How Twitter can make real money in media – ideas from the sensible to the downright bonkers.
Before I start, my background is news media, from working in the field to running a network of reporters providing live breaking news coverage for TV and radio broadcasters… The other premise is that if Twitter needs to survive with advertising, it’s going to be a long hard slog, with no guarantee it will win. So here are things that seems logical to me….
By way of disclosure, I think Twitter is a very useful tool and possibly as revolutionary to news as the pigeon was to Reuter.
1 – Sell dedicated streams:
This post is prompted by the launch of @eventparrot – an interesting Twitter experiment. But without dissecting that, I would suggest the following. News organisations or anybody selling information needs to get inside their clients – Twitter is everywhere already, so sell priority tweets or DMs.
Existing news organisations and agencies will say that undermines their own business models, but if Twitter is the platform and as a subscriber to any news agency, you get the Tweet – it’s simply another way in. Twitter should sell this technology direct to all news agencies to start with and they will buy it, because they have no choice. Plus working direct with these agencies, will open up a load of other opportunities, this will grow fast.
2 – Offer a marketplace for media:
So much video or still photography that appears these days in news media first popped up on Twitter. Sell it for your users – that’ll make them happy and will help bolster the market. The licensing model is pure Hollywood – it keeps on giving.
3 – Sell music, movies and other entertainment direct in stream:
Add a simple ‘buy link’ – you are a platform after all and creating your own entertainment content might be really bonkers.
4 – Offer film and music companies paid engagement platform:
Charge out the platform to offer engagement opportunities between the audience and the artist – it will need moderation, but you can charge both or either party for the pleasure.
5 – Start to ‘own’ breaking news:
Twitter could easily engage 1000+ tuned in and turned on reporters around the world who can craft general and breaking news for niche and huge audiences. They can provide a global feed, but also a more dedicated service for paying customers. These customers can also then, once they’ve paid up, interact direct with the people on the ground, ask questions, engage and more. We all want our own question answered, who better to answer them then somebody at the scene.
In the news field Twitter needs to think of itself as the software equivalent to Bloomberg (from a business model perspective only), while in the entertainment space, Twitter needs act like Sony did in the 70s and 80s.
Think big, the bigger the better. I’ll pay for some of this stuff, as will loads of others.
Oh and by the way – I think the DM system is the best IM out there – I would also pay to use it…