Brief

Bringing video into focus, Twitter pitches at Digital Content NewFronts for first time

Dive Brief:

  • Twitter is participating in the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Digital Content NewFronts event for the first time, according to a press release. On May 1, the platform will be pitching original video content and live video programming to attending brands and agencies.
  • "We have made major investments in video over the past few years, and being able to present the breadth, depth and quality of that content at the NewFronts is the ultimate culmination of those efforts," Matthew Derella, VP of global revenue and operations at Twitter, said in a statement. "In 2017 and beyond, we are investing further in the video viewing experience, content development and collaborations, and video solutions for advertisers and we are excited to tell that story to the industry."
  • In related Twitter news, Ars Technica reports that the platform plans to open its live streaming API, allowing more companies and marketers to bypass Periscope to produce live video.

Dive Insight:

Twitter's video strategy, which first came into focus a little over a year ago when the platform brokered a variety of live streaming deals with sports organizations including the NFL, continues to ramp up. Twitter is in desperate need of a turnaround as its old advertising model fails to see solid returns.

In its recent Q4 earnings report, the company actually saw declining ad revenue for the first time since going public, and reports have surfaced suggesting Twitter might power down some of its older advertising products to pivot attention toward video

COO Anthony Noto has suggested Twitter plans to double-down on live streaming content this year. Some of those offerings will presumably be pitched at NewFronts, along with other, premium programs, which Twitter has dabbled in before.  

The Newfronts move is another clear indication that video is growing in importance and competitiveness for social media platforms as they search out new revenue streams. Facebook has been actively pursuing original TV-like content deals, most recently in the sports space and through a set-top box app. Snapchat is similarly eyeing original series and extensions of existing TV properties with media partners like Disney and Turner as a way to build out its value following the IPO of parent company Snap. 

Twitter has already been fairly active with live video, streaming more than 600 hours of live, premium video content in Q4 2016 and netting 31 million unique viewers in that time frame. The reach for this content was international, according to the company, with around 33% of unique viewers outside the U.S. Those viewers also tended to skew young, with around 50% aged 25 or under.

Marketers should welcome the newly opened live streaming API because it makes placing live video on Twitter easier and more intuitive. Previously, video creators had to go through Periscope, a separate app, in order to get live streaming video on the main Twitter platform

Filed Under: Social Media Video Corporate News
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