Twitter To Present At Digital Newfronts

For the first time, Twitter plans to host its own presentation during the Digital Content Newfronts.

Along with other platforms and publishers, the social giant will vie for a piece of brands’ annual ad budgets, on May 1.

The move is part of a broader effort to invest in original video content and bring advertisers into the fold, according to Matthew Derella, Twitter's vice president of global revenue and operations.

“We are investing further in the video viewing experience, content development and collaborations, and video solutions for advertisers and we are excited to tell that story to the industry,” Derella stated.

Among other content efforts, Twitter recently teamed up with news startup Cheddar to live stream content.

Last summer, Twitter launc hed a live-video stream of ESPN’s Wimbledon coverage and reached a deal to live-stream several Bloomberg TV shows, including "Bloomberg West," "What’d You Miss?" and "With All Due Respect."



Earlier in 2016, Twitter also won the digital rights to NFL games on Thursday Night. Per the deal, Twitter was invited to stream 10 Thursday Night football games while they were simultaneously shown on NBC, CBS and the NFL.

More recently, the National Basketball League also announced plans to double the number of game highlights it posts to Twitter, Periscope, and Vine. Of note, the highlights included ads -- the revenue from which the NBA and Twitter will share.

All told, more than 600 hours of live premium video was streamed on Twitter from content partners across roughly 400 events, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

That amounted to 31 million unique viewers, according to internal figures. 

This averaged approximately 50 hours of live programming per week, half of which was regularly scheduled programming, by Twitter estimate.

Per Twitter, live premium content partners saw a global impact, with about 33% of unique viewers outside the United States, and reached younger audiences, with approximately 50% of viewers under the age of 25.

Yet, video has not provided a jolt sufficient to lift Twitter out of its funk. The long-embattled company recently reported less than solid fourth-quarter earnings.

Missing analysts’ estimates, the social network saw revenue increase by just 1% to $717 million year-over-year. Twitter’s adjusted earnings of 16 cents a share bested forecasts for the period, but that wasn’t enough to offset sagging user grown.

For the fourth quarter, monthly active users were up just 4% to 319 million year-over-year. Worse yet, ad revenue totaled $638 million, during the period -- down slightly year-over-year.

“Twitter is losing traction fast,” Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer, said in a recent note. “It is starting to shed once-promising products, such as Vine, and sell off parts of its business, such as its Fabric app development platform.”

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