Comedy Central will host ComedyFest next week- 5 days of stand up, available to view only via tweet. Viewers can follow along with the hashtag #comedyfest, see a livestream of the kickoff event, or watch 6 second Vines of content. But bottom line- Twitter will be hosting the content, and viewers can’t turn on the TV to see the festival.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 9, 2013
NCAA played instant recaps on Twitter during March Madness, giving fans stuck at work (and without a cable subscription) a chance to keep up with games in short, easy to digest highlights. Turner Broadcasting provided the content, which ironically, is the same company that owns TruTV, TNT, and and TBS– the channels where cable cutters couldn’t watch all the games.
The Tribeca Film Festival held a contest for the best original Vines, #6SECFILMS. Talk about taking ‘short film’ to a literal level. While not completely valued as a full film (winners only got $600, or $100/second), the medium’s inclusion in such a serious industry festival shows its potential weight.
And while not completely original content, BBC America just announced a partnership with Twitter to air synchronized video content; earlier in the same week, rumors abounded that NBC and Viacom were also close to signing partnerships. (Comedy Central is a Viacom net, so #comedyfest is a promising sign)
Forget second-screen, Twitter is becoming a go-to media destination on its own right. And it looks like an electronic dance music ‘network‘ is set to make its debut on Twitter this week, truly marking the network as a media provider. It’s an interesting space to watch- I think it would be great to see a traditional network make a complete leap over to the social channel, airing a show exclusively on Twitter. The channel could leverage their existing social following to promote the new show- or even better, promote the Twitter exclusive on-air. Content on Twitter could be available anytime after premiere, creating an instant on-demand channel and opportunity for binge viewing.
Given the current lawsuits over free providers like Aereo and cable bundling, it would be smart for a network to innovate and embrace Twitter as a new revenue and distribution point. The cable industry is breaking down at every angle, and providers are at risk of losing relevance (hey music industry) if they continue to be slow to adapt to change.
And as a side note, what does this say about our attention spans?