New York Times writer Mike Isaac has just reported that Twitter has signed an agreement to feature on Apple TV. Though the deal was specific to the NFL, other sources say that this could involve putting all of Twitter’s live streaming video content on Apple TV.
In an attempt to gain relevance in a world dominated by Facebook and its acquisitions Instagram and WhatsApp, Twitter has been actively making deals for live streaming relevant news-based content to its users.
The move into Apple TV will give Twitter a major edge in live video streaming. Even though tech majors like Facebook and Google’s YouTube have the capability to transmit live videos, it seems Twitter has been moving fast and acquiring rights to the majority of sports leagues in the United States, including MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL, Wimbledon and the English Premier League (soccer).
Apple TV currently has somewhere in the range of 6-8 million, and is projected to reach over 10 million people in the next few years, according to a Business Insider projection.
Now that doesn’t look very significant considering that Twitter itself has over 300 million users on its social network. However, you need to remember that this is live video streaming we’re talking about, not just people Tweeting their thoughts. The videos will not only appear as a live stream, but users will also be able to Tweet their comments during the live feed.
That opens up the live video streaming industry in a big way because none of the other paid services can provide that kind of engagement opportunity for its users. The best they can do is get contracts to stream the video on their respective sites. Twitter will be the first to tie together sports and social media in a major way.
Of course, Facebook Live is also about the same thing, but Facebook seems to have played hard ball with the NFL. The gist of it was that Facebook wanted rights to sell every single ad played during the NFL on its own Facebook Advertising Network, with the result that the latter openly recommended Twitter as the go-to social site for NFL live streamed events.
As a company, Twitter has been fighting to retain the relevance and popularity it had several years ago. Their main competitor, Facebook, seems to have run away with the bulk of internet users around the world, and Zuckerberg’s company now boasts multiple user bases numbering in the hundreds of millions, and Facebook and WhatsApp having far more than a billion users each.
If Twitter can keep swinging deals like this for major sporting and other important events, they may slowly turn into a social-based TV station.
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