Twitter announces new video partnerships with NBCUniversal and ESPN

Kelvin Reese
May 2, 2018

The deals with the various media companies were announced at Twitter's 2018 NewFronts event on 30 April.

"Twitter is the only place where conversation is tied to video and the biggest live moments, giving brands the unique ability to connect with leaned in consumers who are shaping culture", said Matthew Derella, global VP of revenue and content partnerships at Twitter. The "brand-safe" pilot series include Born and Bred with Josh Peck, Wolf It Down with Tyler Florence, Voodoo Dating with Matt Cutshall and City Tours with Sara Hopkins. Twitter is also expanding its female-driven content with shows including election-themed Crash the Party from HuffPost and Liz Plank-hosted Divided States of Women from Vox Media.

Twitter's video views have almost doubled in the past year, according to the company, although it declined to provide specific numbers.

"We're not guessing, we're listening". Two of the deals are for new series, while one adds to an existing series and another focuses on individual documentary-style content. Notably, the agreement will stream 20-plus hours of content from Live Nation's marquee festivals, such as BottleRock and Bonnaroo. The channel has been working closely with Twitter since 2007. On the latter front, for example, Will Packer Media will produce Power Star Live, a 30-minute weekly show streamed live from Atlanta, bringing together the most entertaining, enlightening and comedic content across Twitter feeds while attributing and highlighting diverse voices. Meanwhile, users can expect to see new content from Formula 1, MLB, MLS, Bleacher Report, The Players' Tribune and Barstool Sports.

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Twitter recently launched a new set of tools created to let users Tweet special moments from a live video in hopes of making it easier for people and publishers to find, watch, and discuss those highlights.

Also in the way of sports, F1 fans will be able to access a post-race show exclusively live on Twitter, featuring highlights, analysis and interviews. After an announcement made about the partnership early Monday shares of Twitter surged and ended the day 4.5% higher. There are a number of ways the publishers can strike ad deals, integrating brands into the content, showing commercials, and letting the advertisers sponsor tweets around the shows. The original series designed for brands is expected to launch with eight original series.

It's already taken several steps this year, including cracking down on spambots and banning shady ads for cryptocurrencies.

Digital Content NewFronts continues through May 4 in New York City, an event created to connect content creators with big brands.

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