Variety: Twitter nabs livestream deal to Oscars red carpet preshow in blow to Facebook
- ABC is shifting the livestreaming of its Oscars red carpet preshow to Twitter this year, Variety reported. The show had been streamed on Facebook for the past couple of years.
- Viewers can submit questions for nominees, presenters and performers on Twitter using the hashtag #OscarsAllAccess and may see their questions asked in real time. "Oscars All Access: Red Carpet Live" will stream on Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Twitter at @TheAcademy.
- The social media broadcast is sponsored by Walmart. Twitter's head of U.S. entertainment partnerships Sarah Rosen led the negotiations with ABC to livestream the show, Variety said.
Scoring exclusive rights to livestream the Oscars preshow is a big win for Twitter, which has been working to attract more live video content from major partners. The Oscars remains one of the most popular destination TV events of the year and a big draw for advertisers despite falling ratings and behind-the-scenes controversies. With the rise in cord cutting, film fans are at the same time seeking out more Oscar-related content on social media.
The news is a blow to Facebook and signals that the platform's live streaming position is potentially weakening. Facebook Live has seen shrinking viewership recently, which has steered some publishers away from the social networking giant. Meanwhile, Twitter has been attracting new live-streaming partnership and seeing its number of viewers soar. Twitter and BuzzFeed News recently renewed the morning talk show "AM to DM," which targets millennials, through the end of 2019, according to a separate Variety report. The show attracts an average of 400,000 views per episode.
Bloomberg's social media venture TicToc, which previously aired exclusively on Twitter, boasts about half a million followers, and averages about 1.5 million average daily viewers on Twitter, according to data from the publisher. Bloomberg recently announced plans to expand TicToc beyond Twitter through a partnership with Reach TV to distribute the videos on airport screens. TicToc is also launching an owned-and-operated digital video platform and an over-the-top stream network for the show.
Twitter is also working directly with more brands on livestreaming content targeted at specific consumer bases. The social network offers a Live Brand Studio service, which helps brands determine the best content to showcase on the platform and create a media plan. This fall, Twitter teamed up with Adidas on "Friday Night Stripes," an eight-game series of live-streamed high school football games. The partnership included live coverage on Twitter and real-time conversations about the game.