Here’s What’s Interesting About That Twitter-Bloomberg Video Deal

As part of an increasing focus on video, Twitter has said it is looking for deals that will allow it to stream various kinds of content on the network 24/7, and on Monday it announced its first partner in that effort: Financial news giant Bloomberg LP.

This isn’t the first time the two companies have joined forces on streaming video. Twitter also partnered with Bloomberg to broadcast live coverage of the U.S. presidential debates in September, which came after an earlier deal to stream several of the media company’s shows. But Monday’s arrangement goes much deeper.

Instead of just coverage of one event, the partnership will see Bloomberg providing 24 hours of content a day to stream via Twitter, seven days a week.

https://twitter.com/reformedbroker/status/859021136214020096

“It is going to be focused on the most important news for an intelligent audience around the globe and it’s going to be broader in focus than our existing network,” Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith told the Wall Street Journal in advance of the official announcement, which was made at Twitter’s “new front” event for advertisers.

Smith’s comment gets at one of the most interesting things about the news: Namely, that this is not going to be just a re-broadcast of existing content from Bloomberg’s various channels and shows.

As more than one media watcher pointed out when the story broke, Bloomberg already streams its content through a variety of services and networks, including on YouTube and pretty much every other over-the-top alternative. It can afford to do so because it doesn’t have to rely on traditional cable distribution contracts for its livelihood.

By contrast, what Twitter will be getting from Bloomberg is original content (it’s not clear how much) that will be created by the media giant’s various bureaus and reporters around the world. Smith said the channel doesn’t have a name, but will begin streaming in the fall.

https://twitter.com/conorsen/status/859004454917558273

The other interesting aspect of the new channel/network is what else it will include. According to the Journal, in addition to custom content from Bloomberg, the new service will have “a curated and verified mix of video posted on Twitter by the social-media platform’s users.”

It’s not clear who will be doing the curating and verifying of the video that appears on the new channel. But it plays into some of the work that Twitter has been trying to do with features like Moments and an expanded “Discover” tab, both of which are aimed at curating content from the network to show to users who might be pressed for time.

News Corp.’s Storyful unit also curates and verifies user-generated video from Twitter and other networks, but it does so as a paid service for media clients.

When it comes to streaming video about business and technology, meanwhile, there is already a video startup that does this for Twitter (among other outlets). Cheddar was launched by former BuzzFeed president Jon Steinberg last year as a kind of CNBC for millennials.

Having a multi-billion-dollar competitor like Bloomberg enter your market might fill some with trepidation, but Steinberg said he sees the new partnership as a good thing because it will bring more quality streaming-video content to Twitter, and that will grow the pie for everyone.

https://twitter.com/jonsteinberg/status/859082601033682946

Bloomberg and Twitter declined to share any details about the financial arrangement behind their partnership. The new channel will be supported by advertising, according to the announcement, but it’s not clear how the revenues from those ads will be shared between the two.

For Twitter, such a partnership would likely be a positive thing even if no money changed hands. The company has been pushing its status as a home for live video with deals like the one that saw it stream NFL Thursday night games last year (a deal Amazon recently took over), and having a heavyweight like Bloomberg involved will likely help. The stock jumped about 5% on the news.

The announcement also sparked speculation about whether the partnership might lead to a deeper relationship between the two companies—in other words, an acquisition of Twitter by Bloomberg.

There are some synergies that might be achieved from such a combination, including the addition of social features for Bloomberg, which has been behind the curve on such things for some time. But it’s not clear that they would be worth the $15 billion the financial-media giant would likely have to pay to acquire Twitter outright.

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