- BuzzFeed's U.K. operation plans to start streaming a weekly live show on Twitter called "#What2Watch" that will provide reviews and discussion about linear and non-linear TV shows. BuzzFeed TV editor Scott Bryan and social media editor Dionne Grant will star in the live-streamed show, which also will have show recaps, games, guest presenters and celebrity interviews, per The Drum.
- Dara Nasr, Twitter’s U.K. managing director, said discussions about TV shows are popular among millions of its users as people turn to the social network to send tweets as they watch TV. The show eventually will be supported by advertising, Variety reported.
- Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed U.K., said parts of "#What2Watch" will be broken out as separate segments for viewers to watch later. BuzzFeed U.K. will seek to engage Twitter users by asking them to tweet questions to the 40-minute show.
"#What2Watch" joins a growing list of video programming from Twitter, who has ramped up its offerings over the past few years to appeal to big-name advertisers. The newest show comes a year after BuzzFeed and Twitter partnered on the commercially successful morning talk show called "AM to DM," which counts Wendy's, Bank of America and Toyota as its sponsors. According the Ad Age, BuzzFeed sold ad packages ranging from $250,000 to $500,000 or more.
Twitter also airs a 24/7 news network called TicToc in partnership with Bloomberg, whose sponsors include AT&T Business, CA Technologies, CME Group, Goldman Sachs, Infiniti, SAS and TD Ameritrade. Millennial-focused business media company Cheddar also streams on the social network with sponsorship from Dunkin' Donuts, whose drink cups appear in front of the show's hosts on camera. The breakfast chain also has sponsored segments on Cheddar, according to Digiday.
Video programming has become a bright spot for Twitter, whose user base fell by 1 million to 335 million in Q2 2018 from the prior quarter as the company battled fake accounts, ended text-messaging contracts with third parties and made changes to comply with the European Union's stricter privacy rules that went into effect in May, per MarketWatch.
Mobile devices will be the primary driver of video ad growth in the next five years as U.S. consumers keep shifting their viewing habits toward smartphones and tablets, per a study by Forrester Research. For the first time, the researcher segmented mobile web and in-app spending by format in its forecast to reflect the power of video content to drive growth of in-app ads. Mobile is forecast to account for 72% of the growth in spending on online video advertising, while its share of the online video ad market will grow from 50% this year to 59% by 2023. Smartphone users are becoming more comfortable with viewing online video as the share of mobile screens that measure at least 4.5 inches increases, per Forrester.