Will this help boost interest in Twitter's live audio Spaces offering?
This week, Twitter has established an expanded rights deal with the NFL, which includes a specific provision for Spaces content, the first deal of its type relating to Spaces broadcasts.
As reported by Variety:
"Under the multiyear deal extension, the NFL is making a full-season commitment to produce exclusive content on Twitter Spaces, the social network’s new live-audio feature. The NFL is the first sports league to partner with Twitter to offer sponsored Twitter Spaces, with plans for more than 20 Spaces for the upcoming 2021 season."
Twitter has had content arrangements in place with the NFL since 2013, in varying forms, but as Variety notes, this is the first time that Spaces has been included in the particulars.
The NFL will produce regular audio broadcasts throughout the season, including special event streams around the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft. Current and past players, the NFL says, will contribute to its live audio content.
Which could give Spaces content a boost - though it is worth noting that the NFL also has a similar content deal in place with Clubhouse. So in some ways, it's hedging its bets as to which format will produce the best audience results - but still, the fact that Twitter is looking to make Spaces a focus in this respect underlines the potential it sees in audio social, which has taken off in 2021, initially lead by Clubhouse's surge.
In order to further this, Twitter is also be looking to roll out a new Spaces tab in the app, which will highlight in-progress Spaces and help people connect with broadcasts of interest.
The new tab is currently in testing, and looks close to a proper launch.
Discovery will be the real test here. Much like video live-streaming, while giving everybody the means to share their thoughts and perspectives, at any time, via live broadcast, the problem is that actually creating engaging, interesting, valuable live content is hard, with few creators able to consistently do so effectively.
That means that your live broadcast feeds tend to get clogged up with junk - irrelevant, sometimes offensive streams, that can quickly make users lose interest in the concept entirely, if they struggle to find anything that aligns with their interests.
Twitter's tab could help in this regard, by using its algorithm matching to showcase Spaces relevant to your interests, based on your activity - though it all hinges on how well Twitter can actually detect what you'll be interested in, which is a big ask (especially given the unpredictability of live broadcasts).
Exclusive content deals like this will help to alleviate such concerns, because Twitter can rest assured that these will be professional, high interests shows, which it can highlight to a wide array of users based on very specific tweet behaviors, in regards to engagement around previous NFL tweets.
As such, expect to see Twitter include Spaces provisions in more of its content deals as it looks to make the option more of a focus.
And as it does, it'll be worth keeping tabs on where Spaces is seeing growth, and how that aligns with yout business niche, with a view to potentially creating your own Spaces to tab into these trends.