The Huge Implications of Twitter’s NFL GigApril 08, 2016
The Twitter-verse has expanded its borders this week by gaining permission to stream 10 of 16 Thursday night NFL games—meaning in five months, we could all be watching football directly on Twitter as we live tweet.
Though the actual monetary attractiveness of the deal is still up for debate, the implications for the future of digital media are pretty grand.
Twitter Lives On
For starters, it seemed just like yesterday when Twitter went under fire for their fourth quarter 2015 earnings report wherein they reported a flat growth in active users. Twitter shares dropped 12% in the hours after the report release. Expecting at least a 1.5% user growth from third quarter and a more ambitious next quarter, shareholders assumed a dim future for Twitter.
And yet, three months down the road, Twitter has clinched a never-before-seen deal with America’s football giant. For half the fortune that Yahoo paid last season to stream one regular season game, Twitter has gained streaming rights for the whole season.
If the company is not leading with its money, it’s certainly leading with its novelty. Sixth months’ time will tell if Twitter actually grows its user base with this deal, or if Twitter-streamed football becomes a trend.
One Screen for Everything
In our eyes, the novelty of the news is not the live streaming aspect. It’s the idea that social media enthusiasts can now report to one platform for their live-event needs.
But, admittedly, we’re biased. Because here at Zoomph, we favor platforms that offer multi-dimensional experiences. We aim to provide our clients with one space for all their social media needs, i.e., one easy-to-use platform to track analytics, build and rehydrate campaigns, and visualize data.
Similarly, with Twitter-streamed NFL, users can now get a live feed of their favorite game and feast on social media reactions at the same time (i.e., could there be a time when we only tune into social media for our football?).
Forget “double screening.” That’s so 2015.
One of the things that gets us most excited about this change in #SoMe weather is the potential for non-American sports fans to become avid NFL watchers. Sure, this is great news for the NFL. But for social media marketers and data minds, this means greater reach into an international audience – simply over Twitter.
Also, you need not have TV anymore to immerse yourself in Thursday night football. As long as you have a mobile device, Twitter, and good wifi connection, you’ve got yourself full access to the game.
(ESPN may offer live streaming of Monday night football. However, with the addition of Twitter streaming, you now have a “full package of games online—legally, speaking,” points out our CX Specialist James Ho.)
In a nutshell, Twitter has opened our eyes to a vast new world of possibilities for social media. We forecast an evolution in social media consumption and marketing, should things fare well for Twitter this NFL season. What do you think?