Apr 29, 2019

Twitter unveils new targeted video strategy

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. 

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 618,043 — Total deaths: 28,823 — Total recoveries: 135,736.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 104,865 — Total deaths: 1,709 — Total recoveries: 894.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to provide businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: A group of Midwestern swing voters that supported President Trump's handling of the coronavirus less than two weeks ago is balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter. Alaska is latest state to issue stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day.
  6. Business latest: President Trump authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to direct General Motors to build ventilators for those affected by COVID-19. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been appointed to enforce the act.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: World case count tops 600,000

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The big picture: The U.S. leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, as the number of global cases nears 615,519. Governments around the world are trying to curb the medical and financial fallout of COVID-19, as infections surge across Europe and the U.S.

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