Twitter considers creating Apple TV app as part of live video streaming push

Twitter, which plans to stream 10 Thursday night NFL games this year, has set its sights on a bigger screen to capture more viewers.

The company is looking at creating an app for Apple TV before the NFL season kicks off in September, a person familiar with the matter told SiliconBeat on Monday. With millions of people using Apple TV, the move could help Twitter attract more users as it beefs up its live video content, some analysts say.

Twitter and Apple declined to comment on the potential app, which was earlier reported by The New York Times on Sunday.

“Such a partnership would make sense for both companies, we think, as Twitter looks for more distribution and engagement and Apple looks for more differentiated content,” Scott Kessler, equity analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence, wrote in a note.

Twitter stock, which has been taking a beating this year, is currently up more than 7 percent, climbing to more than $21 per share.

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The company has 313 million monthly active users but has struggled to attract more people to its site, and it has fallen short of Wall Street’s expectations. On Monday, eMarketer lowered its forecast for U.S. Twitter usage, projecting that the tech firm will add 3.6 million users by 2020 instead of 13.9 million.

“To keep itself competitive, Twitter should play to its strengths,” eMarketer forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco said in the report. “It has had success with live broadcasting and should continue to make deals to stream sports and political events. Video is now the No. 1 ad format in terms of revenue. By continuing to invest in video, particularly live video, Twitter could potentially begin to more successfully monetize and grow its user base.”

Twitter has been trying to highlight its strength in live events, striking deals with media outlets and other sports leagues such as Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. The company also launched a new marketing campaign to show it’s “where you go to see what’s happening everywhere in the world right now.”

Twitter users have been getting a glimpse of what the new experience could look like with coverage of Wimbledon and the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Live video appears on the left side of the webpage, while tweets flow in on the right.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a press event last year that the company has sold more 25 million Apple TVs since its debut in 2007. Apple currently allows third-party developers to build apps for the product and submit it to the company for review.

Photo Credit: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

 

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