Elon Musk owner of Twitter confirms plans for smart TV video app

Elon Musk, owner of the social network believes video can provide a new revenue stream as it seeks profitability.

Twitter owner Elon Musk confirms plans the company is working on a dedicated video application for connected TV platforms.

Musk, who purchased the social networking site for US$44 billion last year, wants to expand video consumption on the site in a bid to drive Twitter’s profitability and diversify revenue streams beyond advertising.

New chief executive Linda Yaccarino and Musk believe video is a significant growth opportunity, with an investor presentation seen by Reuters claiming that vertical video accounts for more than ten per cent of time spent on Twitter.

The company hopes creator programmes similar to those introduced by YouTube and Instagram, as well as recruiting high-profile contributors, will deliver audiences which can be monetised through commerce and sponsorship.

While mobile will likely be the key focus of the initiative, Musk confirmed that a smart TV app was “coming” in a bid to reach the widest possible audience.

It is unclear how integral sport will be to this strategy, if at all. Twitter has previously entered into live streaming partnerships with the PGA Tour and National Basketball Association (NBA) but its recent focus has been on wider content partnerships.

SportsPro says…

The words ‘pivot to video’ evoke a range of reactions within the media industry. The term describes consumers’ growing appetite for video over text in the mid-2010s, a theory strengthened by metrics provided by Facebook to advertisers, and how many publishers redirected resources away from written journalism to video content. The problem was the data was wrong – a miscalculation that led to two rounds of painful job cuts.

In 2023 there’s no denying the popularity of short-form video content, albeit as part of a healthy diet of text and audio, and TikTok, YouTube and Instagram all have thriving platforms supported by revenue-sharing creator programmes. Twitter, in its latest attempt to justify its inflated price tag and partly self-inflicted advertising revenue declines, wants its own pivot to video.

Despite the recent chaos at the social network, Twitter retains significant influence and a highly engaged user base. It also remains an important channel for the sports industry, providing a platform for discussion and engagement, with many rights holders distributing official clips and highlights.

A greater focus on video and a new big screen app would, in theory, be a new channel for the sports industry to reach a wider audience, but the true value of video on Twitter is its role in wider conversations. In any case, short-form video feels a more natural fit for mobile platforms.

It’s a big ask to translate the appeal of social media to the big screen, even through video. TikTok and Facebook have had mixed results with their own experiments. Only YouTube has had much success and has become almost a search engine for sports video thanks to wide-raging partnerships, organic growth and a massive install base. 

News Source: Sports Promedia

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