Twitter Creates Community Around Live Content; Aims to Take a Piece of YouTube, Facebook Advertiser Pie
Making the move to video has been fruitful for at least one company — Twitter. After announcing that advertising on video accounts for more than half of Twitter’s advertising revenue, the company today followed up with more momentum in video. As part of its NewFronts presentation, Twitter announced it would double the number of deals announced in 2017, tapping deeper into its “superpower” of bringing conversation and community to live video and entertainment events, according to Global VP of Revenue and Content Partnerships Matthew Derella. According to Derella, this combination is “giving brands the unique ability to connect with leaned-in consumers who are shaping culture.
And to amplify those efforts, Twitter announced over 30 premium deals across entertainment, news, sports, and gaming. The announcements echo a trend we’ve been hearing from the likes of Facebook and Verizon’s OATH about creating community and conversation around premium programming and “super channels” in the above content categories.
[READ: Verizon’s Oath Ready to Make “M.O.V.E”, Despite Declining Numbers + Earnings Brief: “Facebook Watch” Downplayed As Zuckerberg Touts “Stories”]
But as Twitter has seen its video viewership over double since 2017, the social media platform is “not guessing, [it’s] listening. People tell us what they want to see with the conversations they share on Twitter,” said Global Head of Content Partnerships Kay Madati. “In the past year, we’ve really expanded our efforts with the best publishers and content creators in the world to bring a slate of programming that reflects those diverse content interests.”
Among those deals include a distribution deal with NBCUniversal and some of its properties including E!, Telemundo and TODAY, renewed deals with Buzzfeed, MLB, and Live Nation and additional new formats with Hearst, Viacom, Ellen Digital Studios, Will Packer Entertainment, Barstool Media and ESPN. (see full list below, taken from a release.)
Just one year later, Twitter has managed to go from the sidelines, to being back on the competitive field with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat, reinventing its business to successfully incorporate video in ways that have historically failed.
To further grab dollars from overlapping advertising clients, Twitter, through its content creator network Niche, has launched a series of creator-driven pilots called “Creator Originals” that will pair talent like Josh Peck, Tyler Florence, Sarah Hopkins and Brittany Sky with brands for in-stream video partnerships. It’s also launching a Live Brand Studio that will coach brands through creating high-impact live video events. Facebook and YouTube have both created similar in-house divisions to help its partners better leverage their respective platforms.
(From a release)
New original and live programming announced on stage include the following:
- NBCUniversal: NBCUniversal will distribute a variety of live video and clips from across their portfolio to Twitter to help create unique viewing opportunities for their audience. NBCUniversal properties participating in the partnership include NBC, NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, TODAY, and E! News which will contribute entertainment, lifestyle, pop culture and events coverage.
Entertainment and Lifestyle
- Ellen Digital Studios: CELEBrate is a heartwarming and fun-filled series which follows deserving folks who will each have amazing news delivered by their idols in a personalized message. The series will feature behind-the-scenes content teasing and leading up to the event. Highlights will include celebrities reacting to the story and preparing the special messages for their fans.
- Live Nation Concert Series: Over the last year, Live Nation and Twitter reached millions of fans by delivering live broadcasts from some of the world’s most sought-after artists including G-Eazy, Imagine Dragons, St. Vincent, Jack White, MØ, Luke Bryan, A$AP Ferg, and Zedd. Live Nation and Twitter are expanding the Live Nation Concert Series to include exponentially more concerts and adding access to live streams of Live Nation’s marquee festivals including BottleRock and Bonnaroo. Fans will be able to tune-in to over 20 hours of live broadcast from each festival taking them on a live journey of its multiple stages.
- Hearst Magazines Digital Media:
- Delish: Each episode of Delish’s Food Day will celebrate the best food holidays in the U.S.—national donut day! pizza day! fried chicken day! Content will include how locals around the country honor the day, crazy food combos, trending pop culture moments in food, and so much more.
- Seventeen: IRL is Seventeen’s live news show that will cover the latest in pop culture, fashion, and so much more! From juicy celebrity gossip to buzz-y music, movie and TV show updates to the activists changing our world, we’ll break down everything you need to know, first.
- Viacom: In addition to bringing back exclusive red carpet coverage of MTV and BET’s biggest award shows and events, Viacom will also turn to Twitter to give fans the daily news they crave through the unique lens of Viacom’s beloved brands. New show formats include:
- Comedy Central’s Creator’s Room: Experience an intimate view of Comedy Central’s Creator’s room as the team offers their real-time hilarious and satirical takes on what is trending in pop culture daily news through a comedic lens.
- BET Breaks: The weekly rundown-style show delivers the African American perspective on pop culture including breaking music, entertainment, sports news stories and trending topics being discussed on Twitter.
- MTV News: MTV News will bring daily reports of what’s trending with fans, tapping into issues that are important through MTV’s unique stance in youth culture.
- MTV News International: Curated by MTV News editors and presenters, these visually dynamic, global news reports instantly tap into trending current events on Twitter, and include celebrity and fan reactions.
- Will Packer Media: Inspired by the cultural phenomenon of Black Twitter, Power Star Live from executive producer Will Packer is a 30-minute weekly show streamed live from the Atlanta University Center in Atlanta, bringing together the most entertaining, enlightening and comedic content across Twitter feeds while attributing and highlighting diverse voices.
- BuzzFeed News: Debuting last September and now extended through the rest of 2018, AM to DM by BuzzFeed News (@AM2DM) reimagines the traditional morning show format for the way young people consume news today. Hosted by Saeed Jones and Isaac Fitzgerald, AM to DM takes news and flips it on its head. Much like our Twitter timelines, AM to DM covers a wide range of news and social commentary, with recurring segments like Live From the District featuring BuzzFeed News reporters in Washington D.C., Fire Tweets, and celebrity interviews.
- VICE News: VICE News will debut The New Space Race, a live, interactive show about the latest quest to explore space. With NASA planning a historic Mars landing and private companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin and Boeing racing to offer commercial space flights by the end of 2018, VICE News will be there live alongside the scientists, entrepreneurs, and obsessives who are making it all happen.
- Pattern:From the people who bring you The Weather Channel television network comes Pattern, a new brand that delivers innovative science and weather storytelling directly to Twitter users. Through a lens of weather culture, climate change, and extreme weather coverage, Pattern will take users to the most unique places in our world to prepare them for life on Earth today and beyond.
- #HereWeAre: Building off of Twitter’s existing initiative to highlight and elevate voices of women across the world, the following partners will broadcast relevant and inspiring content related to this topic:
- HuffPost: Crash The Party, a new original series produced by HuffPost and running exclusively on Twitter, will give audiences a comprehensive, non-partisan look at what it’s like to be a woman running for office in 2018. The program will follow over 50 different female candidates across the country — and party lines — as they hit the campaign trail. The series will take a human-interest approach to celebrate their successes, while also understanding the unique challenges these women face on a daily basis.
- HISTORY: HISTORY will produce original content that focuses on the historical context behind the headlines. Specific content to be created exclusively for Twitter will include a special look at the history behind the current women’s movement for equality.
- Vox Media: Divided States of Women (@DSoWomen) will premiere as a weekly live show on Twitter, hosted by millennial feminist, activist and Webby-Award winning producer Liz Plank (@feministabulous). The program will showcase influential guest experts and contributors, special event coverage, and breaking news about the issues women care about that are trending right now. In addition, Liz Plank will host a first-person vlog and post on-demand viral explainer videos addressing topics impacting women.
- BuzzFeed News: AM to DM by BuzzFeed News is expanding to include a new segment that focuses on women in our culture, featuring poignant interviews between high-profile female activists and those rising up to follow in their footsteps.
Sports and Gaming
- SportsCenter Live: When news breaks, ESPN will bring fans unparalleled coverage in Twitter Moments and video with @SCLive, a Twitter take on its flagship program and an extension of its popular @SportsCenter handle that reaches more than 35 million sports fans. Blending insight, analysis, and reporting from a wide array of talent and reporters, @SCLive will deliver robust breaking news coverage through the innovation of the Moments experience.
- Fantasy Focus Live: ESPN’s award-winning and most popular fantasy sports podcast will now also be live streamed daily on Twitter. Each morning, fantasy experts Matthew Berry, Field Yates, Stephania Bell and Daniel Dopp will provide player previews, injury reports, game overviews and strategies, as well as featured guests and interviews, throughout the football season. The show will take fan questions and opinions, and engage the Twitter audience using key football moments and social content.
- Formula 1: F1 fans will now be able to access a post-race show exclusively live on Twitter, featuring highlights, analysis, and interviews. Starting with the Spanish Grand Prix on May 13 and continuing for a further nine rounds of the 2018 Championship, each show will be hosted by leading broadcaster Will Buxton alongside a number of the sport’s legends.
- MLB: In addition to the recently announced weekly live stream MLB game and highlights package, MLB will live stream a brand new show on Twitter around the MLB All-Star Game and Postseason.
- MLS: Off the heels of a new three-year partnership that features live streamed MLS matches, highlights, and live halftime shows on the platform, Twitter will host the 2018 MLS Homegrown Game presented by Energizer. The annual showcase of top, young MLS academy talent will be live streamed on Twitter and will feature a live halftime show as part of the 2018 MLS All-Star festivities.
- Bleacher Report: Bleacher Report is bringing House of Highlights LIVE to Twitter. House of Highlights has harnessed the power of social to own the sports highlight space. With million of followers that rely on it every day to keep them in the know, House of Highlights has reinvented the modern day highlights show. On House of Highlights LIVE, athletes and celebrities alike will join Omar, HoH founder, for an inside look into what it takes to breakthrough online. Together they will find and share the most entertaining moments on and off the field.
- The Players’ Tribune: #Verified returns for the second straight season, featuring some of the top draft prospects in both the NFL and NBA sharing their insight, reactions and timely takes on topics on and off the field. Driven by Twitter and fan-submitted questions, the show is a modern forum for athletes to connect directly with fans, live and exclusively on Twitter. The show is presented by American Family Insurance.
- Barstool Sports: “Barstool Live” is an 8-episode series exclusively on Twitter featuring live, original content from top sporting events across the country. Each 30-minute episode will feature hosts Pat McAfee, Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFT Commenter along with a rotating roster of Barstool’s top talent and special guests live onsite.
- Call of Duty® World League: The Call of Duty World League will deliver highlights and Championship Sunday from each of the remaining events in its record-setting season schedule, which features the best Call of Duty esports teams from around the world competing for a $4.2 million prize pool. Broadcast includes highlights and finals from CWL Anaheim Open (June 15-17), CWL Pro League- Stage 2 Playoffs (July 27-29), and the 2018 Call of Duty Championship (August 15-19).
- The Game Awards: For the third year in a row, the video game and esports industry’s biggest awards show will broadcast live on Twitter this December. Produced by Geoff Keighley, The Game Awards recognizes the best games and esports of the year alongside world premiere new game announcements and musical performances.
- Gamespot: GameSpot, the number one destination for gamers, will stream daily live video from the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and San Diego Comic-Con. Viewers worldwide will be transported to both show floors as GameSpot’s leading editorial experts deliver first looks at upcoming games, movies and shows; deep dives with developers, celebrities and gaming influencers; demos; analysis and entertainment.
- IEM: Building upon last year’s global live streaming partnership, Twitter and ESL will continue capturing all the action from the flagship event series Intel Extreme Masters with more than 700 hours of live streaming programming and highlight clips in 2018.
- IGN: E3 is the biggest week of the year for video games and IGN does E3 in a big way. IGN will stream more than 30 hours from downtown Los Angeles over six days. Live E3 coverage will include all the action from the show floor, every major platform and publisher press event, IGN hosted pre and post shows with up to the minute analysis from our expert personalities, exclusive live game demos, and the biggest names in video games from the IGN stage.