The next chapter in Twitter’s continuing struggle for an identity in a crowded social media landscape appears to be the addition of a 24/7 news network, courtesy of Bloomberg and some big-money partners.
The news network will start out with six founding partners in the form of Goldman Sachs, Infiniti, TD Ameritrade, CA Technologies, AT&T and CME Group – with more partners on the way. Partnerships are said to be priced at an average between $1.5m and $3m.
Bloomberg is said to be hiring around 50 staff to get the project up and running.
‘In this age of the Google/Facebook duopoly, a relentless focus on invention and innovation is the only way to succeed,’ Justin Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media, told Axios. ‘The fruits of disruption don’t and shouldn’t only belong to the dominant tech (aka “Media”) platforms.
‘Massive growth opportunities are available to all, but they require companies and leaders aggressively committed to new thinking and new models.’
Bloomberg signed a deal with Twitter back in May for the 24/7 news network. At the same time, Twitter penned 11 other content deals with the likes of the MLBAM, PGA Tour, The Verge, BuzzFeed News, and more.
In Bloomberg’s Twitter 24/7 News Network Will Launch Next Month, Tyrone Stewart covers something that seems relatively innocuous – live and breaking news has long been one feather in Twitter’s differentiator cap. If some people get their news on Twitter, why not double-down in that arena and bulk up the news content with exclusive programming?
But it’s no small-potatoes operation. There is significant financial backing and the way Bloomberg is staffing up for the project suggests they mean business.
High-quality production values, original content…suddenly, Twitter is more aggressive and interesting as not just a social media platform, but as a media service. Once this experiment is underway…who knows what other areas of content development Twitter might want to dabble in? After all, Netflix might not be around today if not for original programming.
Twitter provides a unique service. In-the-moment conversation has always been its bread and butter, from major news events to spontaneous meltdown rants from celebrities or…well, world leaders. Sports and appointment-viewing televisions shows inspire tons of commentary, building and connecting loyal communities.
We’ve already seen Twitter flirt with the NFL for live games. This is a different style of partnership, but a very intriguing one! If Bloomberg succeeds, I think we may see Twitter going all-in courting exclusive programming – video has been on the rise, so it seems like a worthwhile place to explore.
Why let cable TV have all the non-stop news and opinion fun?
A truly digital, mobile, social news service could try some innovative approached, too. I think this is potentially a big deal, but it won’t become obvious why until further down the road.
This news channel trial balloon could very well determine the future of Twitter.