Disney, Viacom ink deals with Twitter for original progamming
- Disney is partnering with Twitter to live stream content and advertising from its companies on the platform, Business Insider reported. The partnership includes live content across Disney properties, including ABC Disney Channel, Freeform, Marvel, Radio Disney, Disney Digital Network and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The lineup of new shows on Twitter will be announced later this week.
- Viacom is also partnering with Twitter on original content that will feature talent from BET, Comedy Central and MTV, a news release announced. The news is part of a broader digital programming push by Viacom that includes the launch of Viacom Digital Studios and several other platform partnerships, including previously announced content for Snapchat.
- Twitter, at its NewFronts event on Monday, announced a number of other content deals, including with NBCUniversal, Vice Media and Will Packer Media, according to Variety.
For Twitter, the number of content deals is the latest development that suggests the platform's strategy around video is beginning to take hold. Original digital video is a growing focus for companies like Viacom and Disney that have focused on TV and film in the past. A clear sign that digital platforms have taken on new importance for traditional media companies is their visibility at this year's NewFronts, an upfront marketplace for digital video.
Partnering with social media platforms like Twitter and Snapchat on live stream programming will help Disney and Viacom target younger consumers, who don't watch as much traditional TV. A study by Omnicom agency Hearts & Science found that 47% of 22- to 45-year-olds use streaming platforms to watch TV content and video, per Ad Age.
Twitter has been ramping up its video offerings and partnerships around live-streaming content. The social media platform partnered with PeopleTV to stream live content. Twitter has also collaborated with Buzzfeed, Vox and Bloomberg on live news content, and the company is teaming up with Fox Sports to stream some of the upcoming World Cup. More than half of Twitter's ad business comes from video, the social network reported in its recent Q1 earnings call.
Disney and Viacom may face an uphill battle as they enter the highly competitive live-streaming space, with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu holding a large market share. Disney ended its partnership with Netflix in 2012 and plans to launch its own streaming platform with new original content, including a Star Wars television series, along with its Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm catalogs.