But over the weekend, a new contender emerged. As has been reported by multiple outlets, Disney is also weighing up a possible Twitter bid.
So why would the entertainment giant be looking to add Twitter to their mix. The primary reason, cited by both Bloomberg and TechCrunch, would focus on the platform’s potential for video distribution – as noted by James Cakmak or analysts Monness Crespi Hardt & Co.
“What Disney has to think about is what is its place in a post cord-cutting world. They’re investing in technology for distribution, and this would give them the platform to reach audiences around the world.”
This is a particularly interesting consideration, and seems more in-line with the timing of the new speculation about Twitter’s future – Twitter’s just launched its new NFL live-streaming partnership, and reviews thus far have been positive. If Twitter can re-invent itself as a content distribution network, with social elements built-in, that could change the trajectory of the network, and Disney could then utilize Twitter’s global reach to increase growth and interest in their services, without the need for legacy cable connections.
In this sense, Disney’s eyeing Netflix and other providers of their ilk. According to reports, Netflix – which now has more than 83.2 million customers worldwide – is aiming to have half the content it offers be original programming in the near future, a shift that puts them in direct competition with studios like Disney, and will likely force Disney to re-think it’s focus.
Interestingly, too, back in June, Disney – which owns ESPN and ABC – also moved to acquire a one-third stake in the video-streaming unit of MLB Advanced Media, the digital arm of Major League Baseball. As noted by TechCrunch, the deal “shows just how important it is for ESPN to be able to offer digital packages, rather than just traditional cable TV packages, in its fight to regain lost advertising revenue”.
From a social media perspective, it would be interesting to see what that increased focus on video streaming would mean for Twitter, as a social platform. Obviously, the social element is still a significant part of Twitter’s live-streaming presentation, but if more resources were put into utilizing Twitter as a video content distribution network, that could reduce the focus on tweeting as we know it. Most likely, we’d see Twitter itself remain much the same, but with a lot more video and content options, which could be a good thing.
It’s hard to tell how serious the latest Twitter takeover talk is and/or how close we might be to seeing a deal, but it seems increasingly likely that Twitter’s live video moves are their big focus, that they’re putting all their bets on live content as a means to reinvigorate the platform. As such, it may be a few more months yet before we see a deal, as the positive response to their live coverage is helping them improve their overall valuation.