Twitter rolls out in-stream video ads

Dive Brief:

  • Twitter now offers marketers an in-stream video ad format per a blog post, meaning brands can now run in-stream pre-roll and mid-roll ads to align with highlights clips and live-streams from Amplify partners, including  TV networks, major sports leagues, major publishing houses and magazines, and professional news outlets.
  • In the announcement, Twitter cited findings from 406 Nielsen Brand Effect research revealing people who saw video ads on Twitter were 50% more likely to be aware of an advertiser’s brand, feel 14% more favorable about the brand and had an 18% higher purchase intent versus those not exposed to video ads.
  • “Twitter is home to brand-safe video from hundreds of the world’s top publishers,” the blog post noted, in an obvious swipe at YouTube, which is facing a host of issues around brand safety and offensive video content.

Dive Insight:

The company needs a shot in the revenue arm after multiple quarters of disappointing earnings reports and lagging user growth and getting into the in-stream video ad game helps flesh out its total video advertising offerings that also include sponsorships and promoted videos. The Twitter post pointed out its video impressions “grew significantly” from Q3 to Q4 2016 without providing hard figures on the actual amount of growth. It also linked to a Zenith Media report for 2016 forecasting that mobile would become the main platform for online video views.

The in-stream strategy builds on Twitter's recent introduction of pre-roll ads for Periscope

As video content consumption continues to grow on mobile, consumers are getting used to seeing ads appear in this content. Still, one challenge Twitter and brands will face with in-stream ads is ensuring they do not come across as intrusive to users. 

Video has become the go-to content type for social media platforms in general, and Twitter has put major stakes in its live streaming and other video content strategies. However, it recently lost the rights to stream NFL games to Amazon for next season, a blow that could signal Twitter may struggle to bring on the kind of video content that attracts large numbers of consumers now that other, bigger platforms are increasingly chasing after the same partnerships. 

Twitter is also facing challenges on the second-screen front, where it has traditionally been a leader. The choices for second-screen marketing have proliferated quickly as Snapchat has moved up the ranks with several significant second-screen activations while YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are also chasing this space.  

The blog post also reminded readers that Twitter would be participating in IAB NewFronts next month

Filed Under: Social Media Video Corporate News Mobile
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