The Twitter news channel will cater to “an intelligent audience around the globe” that will have a broader focus than the existing Bloomberg TV network, Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith told the Wall Street Journal, which reported the deal on Sunday.
The free, ad-supported channel will feature original live news dispatches from Bloomberg along with third-party video content culled from other sources, according to the companies. Twitter had previously partnered with Bloomberg to live-stream select programming on the platform, as well as the 2016 U.S. presidential debates.
The Bloomberg-powered news channel will provide an anchor for Twitter’s aggressive move into live-streaming video. For the first quarter of 2017, Twitter said it streamed more than 800 hours of live video from content partners across more than 450 events, reaching 45 million unique viewers. That’s up 31% from the previous quarter, which Twitter said was its first full quarter of live-streaming premium content.
Twitter lost out to Amazon to secure streaming rights to the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” for next season. Meanwhile, in the current quarter, Twitter plans to launch a free weekly Major League Baseball game, and has a pact with IGN to provide an exclusive live stream of the E3 video-game expo in June.
Of Twitter’s Q1 live video, 51% was sports and eSports, 35% was news and politics, and 14% was entertainment (including red-carpet coverage of the 2017 Grammy Awards). About 60% of its unique video viewers are outside the U.S., about 55% are under the age of 25. Twitter says it has signed more than 200 content partners to date.
According to Twitter, video in Q1 continued to be its single biggest ad format in terms of revenue. The company will make its debut at the IAB-managed NewFronts on Monday in New York City.