7 Jul

How Twitter Is Juggling Its Video Push

WRITTEN BY Ruchi Gupta

77 million hours of self-produced live streams

Twitter (TWTR) is digging deeper into the digital video business, which is a necessary burden for the social media company. The recent update of the Twitter app for Apple’s (AAPL) Apple TV reveals a tactical move by the company to ease its video burden. Twitter updated the app to introduce several new features, including Periscope Global Map.

Periscope is a tool that supports video live-streaming on Twitter. It has been embraced by Twitter users to publish self-produced videos on the platform. The company reported that 77 million hours of user-generated videos were streamed live on its platform in 1Q17.

How Twitter Is Juggling Its Video Push

Supplementing premium video

The idea of adding the Periscope map feature to Apple TV app is intended to make it easy for Twitter’s TV app users to discover user-generated content. Self-produced videos supplement Twitter’s premium video deals like those inked with Bloomberg, the BBC, BuzzFeed, Viacom (VIAB), and Live Nation.

Twitter’s video push is starting to bear fruit. The company added 9.0 million new monthly users in 1Q17, yet its consensus called for a gain of 2.3 million.

An expensive undertaking

While video could help Twitter draw more advertisers to boost its top line, video content acquisition is an expensive undertaking. For example, Netflix (NFLX) is spending $6.0 billion this year on content acquisition—in addition to the $5.0 billion it spent in 2016 on a similar goal. Amazon (AMZN) is also said to be budgeting $4.5 billion for content this year.

As a result, Twitter is motivated to promote user-generated videos on Apple TV. Twitter believes this deal could help it grow its video library without the pressure to enter the usually expensive video content licensing deals.

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