Bloomberg's 24-hour Twitter news network nears debut
- TicToc by Bloomberg, a 24-hour Twitter news network from Bloomberg Media, is set to go live next Monday, Dec. 18, according to Variety. Plans for the network were announced in May, when Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith said people are choosing "immediacy over quality" for breaking news — a demand he viewed as going unanswered by traditional outlets.
- TicToc is being touted as the world's first social news network and launches with six brand sponsors: AT&T, CA Technologies, CME Group, Goldman Sachs, Infiniti and TD Ameritrade. The publication Axios last month reported that Bloomberg was asking for between $1.5 million and $3 million from presenting partners for the programming.
- Bloomberg is providing significant editorial support to the initiative, with a dedicated team of around 50 reporters, editors, producers and social media analysts. They will be led by M. Scott Havens, Bloomberg's global head of digital, and Mindy Massucci, editorial lead of TicToc by Bloomberg. Content will include news curated from Twitter and verified by Bloomberg, along with the publisher's own live video reports. It will be a separate business from Bloomberg Television, Variety said.
With TicToc, Bloomberg looks to leverage Twitter's reputation as the de facto social media network for breaking news and tap into an often highly-engaged user base. Twitter has long been a tool for journalists who can tweet about stories live and as they're developing but it's only pushed into live video in the past year or so. Given that, TicToc will be a bit of a proving ground for just how much demand there is for a true, CNN-style 24-hour news network outside of the realm of television.
Bloomberg isn't alone in eyeing more video content on Twitter that reflects the styling and format of similar offerings on TV. The millennial-focused publisher BuzzFeed in September debuted a morning show called "AM to DM" on the platform. Like Bloomberg, it attracted a lot of brand interest, with Wendy's, Bank of America and Toyota as the launch partners.
The reportedly eight-figure price tags Bloomberg is commanding from TicToc's presenting partners underscores the high demand from marketers for this type of digital video content, but still might be surprising given how Twitter's status has appeared to be diminished against its social media competitors like Facebook and Snapchat, which are both also pushing into more TV-like content. CNN earlier this year launched a daily news show on Snapchat called "The Update," which features ads, for example.
The TicToc news comes as Twitter is changing the way it presents video shared on its platform to users. On Monday, the company announced it will display view counts on all videos, including advertisements, in a manner akin to YouTube and Facebook.
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