A Lesson From Linear TV: Does Twitter Want The Older TV News Crowd?

So Twitter now wants not just to get former Fox New Channel host Tucker Carlson, but CNN's Don Lemon as well, according to a number of reports.

This begs the question: Is Twitter missing the older-person audience? Is that something digital-first advertisers really want? 

This would be the exact opposite of what linear TV wants, as it continues to pursue a younger audience in all areas of programming: sports (NFL, NBA), news (cable TV news networks, and even prime-time programming (if that is indeed possible).

For Twitter, starting up a news-video channel of sorts would in theory mean pharmaceutical advertising, pillow guys, vitamin guys, financial marketers, and insurance advertisers, among others.



We know that Twitter-owned Elon Musk may have other ideas about how all this goes down. He would say he wants all voices and points of view -- all sides of the spectrum. 

And if he is to be believed, he does not want hate speech. And right there is where the rubber meets the road for brand advertisers. They don't want any hint of that content to be anywhere near their messaging. 

No matter. Just after Musk took control of the social-media site, advertisers headed for the exits. Ever since, Twitter has had a lot of work to do -- even as Musk says some marketers have returned to the social-media site.

History shows Carlson will not help in bringing major TV like advertisers to Twitter for a news-type show.

From January through the end of April, major advertisers for "Tucker Carlson Tonight" included My Pillow, Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Balance of Nature, Nutrisystem, SuperBeets, Pure Talk, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, SelectQuote, WeatherTech, and Tommie Copper.

These are not big brand advertisers. Not even close. 

Currently, Twitter still primarily attracts a younger crowd -- 25-54 viewers in particular. For many big marketers, that would perhaps be too narrow a demographic group for some.

In any event, starting up a video news digital platform with any meaningful amount of TV-like shows would seem to be a tough task for any media companies to launch from scratch. 

Does Twitter's core audience want this? Are 25-year-olds looking for a better pillow?

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