Twitter has reached a milestone deal with Bloomberg to launch a 24-hour news network, expanding the social media company’s ambitious push into video.
The companies are expected to make a joint announcement of the new venture Monday, according to numerous reports Sunday night. Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith tweeted that the companies “will have a lot more to say about this exciting new partnership” at the companies’ presentations at Monday’s kickoff to this year’s Digital Content NewFronts.
Twitter, though still a widely used platform, has struggled to show Wall Street a path to revenue growth amid subscriber losses and turnover in the executive ranks. It last made a live-TV foray with a deal with the NFL to carry Thursday Night Football in 2016, but it proved to be short-lived, as Amazon recently won those rights for the upcoming season.
The new, unnamed service will launch this fall and operate seven days a week, featuring video news programming made exclusively for Twitter. It will not merely repurpose programming from Bloomberg’s existing digital outlets or cable TV network, but instead blend live reporting from around the world with a curated mix of Twitter user video.
For Twitter, the initiative will take its video efforts to a new level. In the first quarter of 2017, the company streamed some 800 hours of video, up from 600 in the prior-year quarter, via deals with partners such as Turner and CBS for March Madness or other events. Last fall, it partnered with Bloomberg to present presidential debate coverage. But the new service would be the first continuous video offering on Twitter.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the deal on Sunday night, saying Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will join Michael Bloomberg at the event.
The news will provide an especially splashy start to this year’s NewFronts, a two-week New York City ritual that began several years ago as a modest, downtown-based effort to shine a light on digital as an alternative to linear television. The NewFronts, presented by the Internet Advertising Bureau, now feature several dozen presentations across the city by digital companies trying to entice media buyers and brand marketers. Those same buyers will then shift their focus to linear TV, still the dominant advertising medium, as the broadcast upfronts begin on May 15.
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