Riding big on the explosive growth in online video consumption, social media giants are racing ahead with tie-ups to offer live-streamed sports, news and entertainment programmes. Twitter on Tuesday announced over 50 premium video content collaborations in the Asia Pacific, 12 of them with Indian partners.
You could soon see Twitter live-stream to your mobile phones such blockbuster events such as the Comic Con India, where the comic world comes alive. Bengaluru is big on the annual Comic Con list, with its trendy mishmash of cosplayers, illustrators and comic book creators.
Twitter’s tie-up with Cricbuzz, the leading mobile app for cricket, will have live episodes and clips of the game stream straight right through the social media platform’s mobile app.
On Twitter’s agenda are shows and clips from the forthcoming Asia Cup, India’s home series against the
West Indies and India’s tour to Australia.
The deal with NDTV Tech would mean premium tech content from Gadget360. As part of its tie-up with Twitter, ScoopWhoop will create its first-ever Live Deepavali show exclusively on Twitter. The partnership with Shah Rukh Khan’s production house, Red Chillies Entertainment, will see the launch of video content from the upcoming Hindi film, Zero, on Twitter.
Twitter’s video deals come less than a month after Facebook beat Sony for rights to stream matches of the Spanish football league in India for free. It had marked the company’s latest foray into online sports streaming.
The partnerships were announced at the TwitterFronts event in Singapore. Kay Madati, Global VP of Content Partnerships, Twitter, articulated the logic behind the partnerships: “Content programming and distribution on Twitter is an essential part of any media company’s audience engagement and content monetization strategies.”
But Twitter’s strategy is not to be in competition with the content providers. As Madati explains: “It positions Twitter as a compliment, not a competitor, to traditional media companies.” The reason is obvious. Explains Maya Hari, Twitter’s VP, Asia Pacific: “Video continues to be an important way to stay informed and engaged on Twitter, especially for the younger millennial audience.”
An estimated 250 million Indians had watched videos online in 2017, says a report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci). This is expected to touch 500 million within the next two years.