Movie Studio Is the First to Live Stream a Trailer Premiere With Twitter’s Periscope

STX Entertainment promotes The Gift

Newly formed movie studio STX Entertainment is the first advertiser to work with Twitter on a campaign that incorporates the live-streaming app Periscope.

STX premiered the trailer for its debut film The Gift on Periscope today, which shows the social media platform has already included its recently acquired app in its ad offerings.

Last month, Twitter announced it bought Periscope, which lets brands, media companies and users stream live video. The announcement followed the quick, early success of rival Meerkat, which generated a ton of interest in the live format last month, especially among brands.

UPDATE: The live stream started at 4:15 p.m., and with little promotion drew a peak of 50 viewers. The studio said it would have liked more time to promote the trailer launch and attract more visitors, but the exercise still served to test the capabilities of Periscope and demonstrate how it could be used in the future.

The Gift's writer, director and co-star Joel Edgerton appeared on Mario Lopez's Periscope channel to discuss the film and play a clip from the trailer. The full trailer was then released on Twitter with the help of Lopez, Ryan Seacrest and other iHeartRadio talent who tweeted it.

"We're using all of Twitter's various products—the entire ecosystem—to launch and amplify this trailer," said Andrew Runyon, head of digital content and marketing at STX.

STX also is working with another of Twitter's latest acquisitions, Niche, a social media talent and marketing agency.

The Gift, which co-stars Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall, is a psychological thriller. "It's the first movie we're releasing, and we think of it as a modern-day Fatal Attraction," said Jack Pan, president of marketing at STX. "It feels relevant to adults living today in a connected world. What if in your past, you did something in your youth, and it comes back to haunt you?"

Hollywood is often among the first to test the latest offerings out of the social media world. For instance, last year, the movie Ouija was the first to buy Snapchat ads. Before that, the movie Divergent was the first to buy Facebook autoplay video ads.

"It is more difficult to reach moviegoers because so much is competing for their attention," Pan said. "You have to be more inventive with how you spend your money."

Live streaming is seen as the next step in digital video, which has evolved from YouTube channels to Instagram feeds to Snapchat Discover. By next year, STX Entertainment is reportedly planning to spend $1 billion on making and marketing movies. 

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