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Twitter inks live-streaming deal with Live Nation

Social network Twitter, known primarily for its 140-character microblogging platform, today announced a major expansion of its live video offering, signing live-streaming content deals with Live Nation and 15 other news, sport and entertainment partners.

New York Stock Exchange-listed Twitter, which is estimated to have close to 700 million users and turned over US$548m in Q1 2017, says the deal with Live Nation will see the world’s largest promoter “deliver select Live Nation concerts and original content exclusively on Twitter”.

Other content partners include news outlets Bloomberg and BuzzFeed News, broadcaster Viacom and sports leagues MLB (baseball), WNBA (basketball) and PGA Tour (golf).

The partnerships, announced at today’s Digital Content NewFronts conference, are, says Twitter, part of a concerted effort to grow the service’s “premium video” offering. “People have always come to Twitter to see and talk about what’s happening,” reads a statement. “Over the last four years, we’ve brought users video content around the things they’re already discussing on the platform, working with the world’s top TV networks, sports leagues, publishing houses and magazines and professional news outlets.

“In 2016, we started building on this to bring live-streaming video to Twitter to create a one-screen experience for great live content and the conversation around it. Brands align with all of this content to reach engaged audiences at scale.”

“Fans around the world will be able to experience concerts live on the same platform where they talk about what’s happening in music”

Since launching its live video service in Q4 2016, Twitter has streamed more than 800 hours of “premium”, or professionally produced, video content to an audience of 45m viewers.

According to Josh Contine of TechCrunch, who is attending NewFronts, the Live Nation/Twitter concert series will kick off Saturday 13 May with a show by Zac Brown Band (pictured). Future performers include Train, Portugal the Man, Marian Hill and August Alsina.

“Music has always been one of the most tweeted-about topics on the platform, and now fans around the world will be able to experience concerts live on the same platform where they talk about what’s happening in music,” says Live Nation chief strategy officer Jordan Zachary.

In the video space, Twitter (and subsidiary Periscope – it of accidentally-live-streaming-The Cure fame) is once again competing with Facebook, which is similarly pushing its live-streaming offering, Facebook Live. Facebook Live recently signed a deal to broadcast 22 Major League Soccer matches this year, raising speculation a music partner could soon follow suit.


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