Twitter has reported double-digit growth in live event audience during the second quarter, as the social media company seeks to build its ‘premium’ broadcast division.
In a trading update, Twitter said 55 million people tuned into broadcasts during the three months to June 30, which was up 27 per cent on Q1 2017.
Twitter announced a deal with Live Nation during the period, with a performance by Zac Brown Band launching the partnership in May. Twitter’s broadcast service also includes Major League Baseball games, PGA Tour golf and Bloomberg News shows.
In Q2, it delivered 625 live video events and more than 1,200 hours of footage, up from 900 hours in Q1 and double the 600 hours it pumped out in Q4 2016.
The company said more live video is coming later in 2017, including ‘Stadium’, a live collegiate sports channel.
“Ultimately the value we’re going to drive… is serving these audiences on Twitter” that are underserved in specific categories, chief operating officer Anthony Noto told investors.
Twitter shares were down more than nine per cent in pre-market trading on Thursday after it reported that its average monthly user base in the second quarter remained unchanged — at 328 million — from Q1.
The partnership between Twitter and Live Nation was announced in May and is the latest example of concert promoters and artists teaming up with tech companies to take live performances to a wider audience. Live Nation last year launched its virtual reality (VR) partnership with NextVR through the broadcast of a concert by music act Thievery Corporation.
TicketIQ’s former chief executive, Jesse Lawrence, recently said, “VR is poised to disrupt the current event-attendance model”, and predicted ticket prices could fall.
Jordan Zachary, chief strategy officer for Live Nation, also said in May: “Our partnership with Twitter allows us to amplify the live music experience creating a tool for artists to reach millions of fans around the world.
“Through Twitter’s product suite, fans will be able to be immersed in the live experience and interact with each other in real time as they watch some of the year’s most exciting concert events.”
Also speaking in May, Noto added: “Music has always been one of the most Tweeted about topics on the platform, and now fans around the world will be able to experience concerts live on the same platform where they talk about what’s happening in music.”