Based on the numbers and Twitter's (TWTR - Get Report) stock increasing more than 4.4% Friday during regular trading hours and nearly another 1% after hours, the company's first NFL live streaming was a big success, though the stock has given back some gains on Monday.
Twitter reported that more than 2.1 million viewers logged in to watch at least part of the game through the stream. In total, 15.7 million viewers watched the Thursday Night NFL game, meaning that Twitter's viewers represented a little more than 13% off all those eyeballs.
The one caveat with these figures is that in order to be counted a viewer had to watch at least 3 seconds through Twitter, while the average time watched over Twitter's live stream was 22 minutes. For a game that lasts a little more than 180 minutes, 22 minutes average isn't a huge amount of time.
Furthermore, of the 2.1 million total viewers, 243,000 watched at any one time, which is a nice selling point for advertisers, which is how streaming events such as an NFL football game will ultimately benefit Twitter and its shareholders. Despite its recent woes, Twitter could prove to be a growth stock winner.
It has been estimated that Twitter spent less than $15 million, and some think it is more like $10 million to buy the rights to stream 10 Thursday Night NFL football games this season. Twitter plans to use the live streams to increase its number of users, increase the number of active engagements on the platform and of course turn all those eye's into ad dollars.
Besides the viewer numbers, the fact that Twitter pulled off this massive stream with very little viewing interruption is incredible.
On the first Sunday of the NFL season, Walt Disney's ESPN unit had major application problems. The ESPN NFL fantasy football app crashed multiple times during the day as users logged on to check their scores.
Disney's ESPN Fantasy Leagues are only rivaled by Yahoo!'s fantasy sports, which didn't have any problems during week one and could pick up additional market share because of ESPN's issues last week.
ESPN has been running fantasy leagues for years and still had a problem during week one. Twitter's first live NFL stream had a few very small buffering issues, but never completely lost service or had a major crash, which by the way would be the death knell for its foray into streaming.
Twitter expects that it will be able to bring in about $50 million in ad revenue from the NFL streaming. Although it will have to share this revenue with the NFL, Twitter also hopes that the streaming will increase the number of users for the service.
Investors in Twitter should keep an eye on monthly active users during the NFL season and if there is a big jump, follow how those numbers trend after the season is over. The stock's pop on Friday may have been premature because if users don't stick around after the season is over, this may have been all for nothing.
But any time the stock pops even a little is nice, especially because the stock is down more than 31% over the past 12 months.
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