Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) crushed earnings per share and revenue estimates when it reported first-quarter results last week, giving analysts and investors new reason to believe that the company has finally turned itself around. The primary driver for the new-found optimism is streaming video, and Twitter is raising the stakes.
The social media company is teaming up with Bloomberg for a 24/7 streaming live video news service created by Bloomberg exclusively for Twitter. According to The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Twitter will announce the deal later Monday.
Streaming live video has been a big winner for Twitter and the company’s first-quarter results are largely down to the ad dollars generated from video.
Twitter is not the only one to notice the demand for live video, however. YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat all are reading the tea leaves the same way and the competition for ad dollars will be intense. Twitter broadcast more than 800 hours of live video in the first quarter of this year, and the deal with Bloomberg is expected to result in the 24/7 service by the coming fall.
A report last week at BuzzFeed gave some pretty impressive numbers for Twitter’s live video programming:
Twitter’s NFL package averaged 3.5 million unique viewers and its Oscars pre and post shows brought in a combined 6.4 million. Meanwhile, its live inauguration day coverage from PBS netted some 8.6 million unique viewers. (BuzzFeed partnered with Twitter on an Election Day show that drew about 7.7 million unique viewers.)
Twitter lost its NFL deal to Amazon for the coming year, but it’s hard to argue that the company did not get its money’s worth out of the $10 million it paid for the rights to NFL games — Twitter established itself as a quality live video site.
The company’s stock traded up about 3.6% in Monday’s premarket, at $17.08 in a 52-week range of $13.73 to $25.25. For a look at how analysts viewed the company’s first-quarter results, take a look at our report from last Friday (hint: they liked it).