Twitter Continues Its Push Into Live Programming With New Media Deals

Twitter unveiled a slate of live streaming and original programs at the company’s NewFronts presentation Monday night, coupled with new video advertising services for brands on the platform.

Twitter has doubled its programming partners from 16 last year, the first year Twitter hosted a promotional NewFront in an attempt to find blue-chip brands to back its nascent programming.

Some of Twitter’s pilot media partners are seeing revenue and adding live content to the platform, but brand interest hasn’t kicked into high gear yet.

Wendy’s, for example, is the first brand signed up for a new sponsorship product called Creator Originals, which allows the fast-food chain to promote and place in-stream ads on content from popular accounts in Niche, Twitter’s creator and influencer network.

Wendy’s was also the first brand to back “AM to DM,” a BuzzFeed-produced live morning show that’s picked up steam since it debuted in September.

Wendy’s was “signing dotted lines before we did,” said Saeed Jones, one of the “AM to DM” hosts, during the NewFronts presentation.

Adding top brands is a tougher task than adding media providers, though.

Twitter’s Live Brand Studio, a managed service offering announced on Monday, will work with brands on live video content, targeting and media planning on the platform.

Tools to create and share the most snackable clips from longer-form content, for instance, could help brands add reach to campaigns that, when restricted only to live content, lacks the scale big brands want for campaigns.

Media companies with deep roots in live production are still figuring out social streaming and audience development, so it makes sense that brands would require a managed service to make the same transition.

Twitter declined comment on its Live Brand Studio offering, and the group doesn’t have brand examples to point to.

Since the beginning of the year, Twitter has taken big steps into live news and media, Dan Colarusso, Reuters’ executive editor and digital head of global programming, told AdExchanger last month.

For now, Reuters can more effectively monetize replay clips and segments than live programming, since replays can be watched asynchronously throughout the day and brands are more comfortable with well-heeled pre-roll formats than testing out live news sponsorships (especially considering that the most popular live news is often natural disaster or tragedy).

But for Twitter live audiences can show up in minutes, Colarusso said, upending the conventional wisdom that it takes 25 minutes or more for scaled audiences to arrive for live news.

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