Twitter expands into live-streaming in challenge with Facebook

Twitter recently partnered with Wimbledon and US cable sports network ESPN to bring live coverage of the annual major tennis tournament to the social media platform. This was a first for Twitter and although they bought Periscope in January 2015; this was separate from that service offering. This is far superior, in full HD and feels very much a premium product in comparison. Also, in April this year, following the initial investment in live-streaming capabilities; Twitter signed a $10 million deal to stream a select number of NFL American football matches. But the latest partnerships are the most important yet; and involve the life blood of Twitter - News! The new partnerships are with CBS and Bloomberg.

© ESPN 2016

© ESPN 2016

More and more people now get their news online, and are heading to platforms such as Twitter for breaking news; and these new partnership will prove very decisive in the battle for live. CBS News announced that they will offer a live stream of their coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in the US later this year, stating that Twitter users will be able to watch “wall-to-wall” coverage from their digital streaming news service CBSN. The coverage will sit alongside live tweets relevant to the streaming content. The Bloomberg deal will see TV programs hit the social network too; alongside streaming of live markets coverage throughout the day.

© Facebook 2016

© Facebook 2016

Facebook have reportedly spent in excess of $50 million on media partnerships with the likes of BuzzFeed and also individual celebrities in a push to win over Facebook users when it comes to their live element. Who will win the live race? Both platform are investing heavily, with Facebook having 140 contracts in place to create videos using their platform. BuzzFeed recently did so for the EU referendum when they streamed with guests including Prime Minister David Cameron, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage in what was called a ‘town hall’ event on 10th June.

© Facebook 2016

© Facebook 2016

We are likely to see a lot more of this content in the next 6-12 months but the most interesting aspect will be who these partnerships are with. Twitter’s recent partnership with CBS News and Bloomberg is a big moment in social media, but with Facebook spending big it will be a close race. Here at Coup Media we own, organise and run the fastest growing social media and marketing tech event here in the UK: Online Influence. To stay up to date with all things social media and tech (in particular the battle for live between Twitter and Facebook) head over to Online Influence. We will be releasing more information regarding our next event later this month.