Twitter’s ambitions in live video have taken a step forward with music, as shown by its live stream of a Depeche Mode concert on Friday (17 March).
The gig took place in Berlin, and was billed as a “world premiere” of the band’s new album ‘Spirit’, which was released the same day.
This certainly isn’t the first time music has been streamed live on Twitter: a number of bands and brands have used the company’s Periscope feature to broadcast live video from concerts and studio performances.
The difference here was partly Twitter’s promotion of the live stream as it happened. Users – Music Ally included – saw a prominent ad for the gig in their Twitter streams as it took place on Friday evening:
Tapping on that ad took them to the Depeche Mode video stream, along with a feed of tweets from other people watching it, using the #StreetGigs hashtag. That in turn appears to have involved telco Deutsche Telekom, whose T-Mobile subsidary has been running ‘Street Gigs’ since the mid-2000s.
Telekom Street Gigs has its own Twitter account, although it has also been promoting the concert on other platforms like YouTube:
So, this is more a case of Twitter acting as the platform for a live concert stream by a brand, rather than Twitter piling in to the live-music market to buy up the rights to stream concerts. At least for now.
Could that happen in the future? Twitter has shown more of an appetite so far for sports, most prominently with its deal to stream live Thursday-night NFL American Football matches in 2016. It also has partnerships with basketball body the NBA and golfing body the PGA, with which it will be streaming various tournaments during 2017.
Twitter also worked with broadcaster CBS on coverage of political conventions in the US before the recent presidential election, and has a deal with financial-news service Bloomberg to carry some of its shows live.
Will more bands follow Depeche Mode in streaming concerts live on Twitter? We’ll be keen to see what kind of partnerships evolve.