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Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

After a year of profitability, Twitter sees a way to keep its business focused on growth. The company announced over a dozen new content deals Monday focused on quality programming tailored to the needs of existing, hyper-engaged communities on Twitter, rather than the widest corners of the internet. 

Why it matters: The company hopes that more high-quality video programming, created exclusively for Twitter with trusted media partners, will lure advertisers who are looking for more brand-safe destinations on social media platforms to run video ads. 

"If you love to watch football, we want to make sure it's the first thing you see when you open up Twitter."
— Twitter VP of Product Sriram Krishnan

Between the lines: Over the past two years, Twitter has refocused its business model on video ads, which are the platform's fastest-growing ad format and now represent over 50% of revenue. Twitter attributes the growth in its video advertising revenue to an uptick in quality programming.

Details: Twitter announced 13 new video deals Monday at its annual NewFronts presentation to Madison Avenue advertising executives. The company emphasized the quality media partners that it could work with to create curated video content. 

  • News: Univision and Twitter are launching a content partnership for Spanish-language audiences in the U.S. that will focus on news and sports, with coverage of the 2020 election. The company is also launching new partnerships with TIME and The Wall Street Journal. The Journal will introducing "WSJ What's Now," a new enterprise video franchise, while TIME will feature exclusive video content for its TIME 100 annual event. Twitter also said it will continue partnerships with BuzzFeed News and CNN.
  • Entertainment: Live Nation is launching a new concert and festival series exclusively on Twitter beginning this fall. The series will feature 10 concerts in 10 weeks with 10 world class artists — bringing the power of live to millions of music fans. Twitter is also launching a new partnership with MTV's "Video Music Awards Stan Cam" to gives fans the ability to create their livestream on the platform.
  • Sports: The company announced new and updated live partnerships with the NFL and MLB. It's also launching a new show with "The Players' Tribune" for what it's calling "the next generation of the talk show." It unveiled renewed partnership deals with the NBA, MLB, PGA TOUR, FOX Sports, The Ringer, and the Drone Racing League.

The big picture: The move comes amid a shift among social media companies to create brand-safe video destinations on their platforms for advertisers. Facebook rolled out its premium video tab "Watch," in 2017, while Snapchat announced a redesign in 2017 that separated social communications from curated videos in its "Discover" section.  

Yes, but: For Twitter, the focus will be on quality and curation much more than it will be on scale. As a result, it will not stream as many shows and videos as a platform like Facebook does, and the videos it will showcase will be targeted to a very specific audience that it knows wants them. 

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

"Horrified": AP, Al Jazeera condemn Israel's bombing of their offices in Gaza

A ball of fire erupts from the Jalaa Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Associated Press and Al Jazeera on Saturday condemned the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed their and other media offices.

What they're saying: The White House, meanwhile, said it had "communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility," according to press secretary Jen Psaki.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
9 hours ago - Health

The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

The Wuhan Institute of Virology. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.

Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.