Twitter is getting ready to make another pitch to advertisers in an effort to shore up the company’s finances and reinvigorate growth. The company said that in May it will be reaching out to brands and agencies at Newfronts, the digital content conference put on by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). It’s Twitter’s first time participating in the conference, where it will be showcasing new original content and live programming for the 2017 season.
“We have made major investments in video over the past few years, and being able to present the breadth, depth, and quality of that content at Newfronts is the ultimate culmination of those efforts,” said Twitter’s vice president of global revenue and operations, Matthew Derella. “In 2017 and beyond, we are investing further in the video viewing experience, content development and collaborations, and video solutions for advertisers…”
In the last quarter, Twitter reported that more than 600 hours of live premium videos were streamed through its service from across 400 events. This includes the National Football League, Bloomberg, the CBS livestream of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, and others.
With many social networks pursuing video, original content and series are seen as a way to increase ad load. Twitter is following in the footsteps of Facebook, YouTube, AOL, Hulu, Refinery29, and others, but what could separate it from the rest is perhaps that it’s centered around real-time conversation instead of a standard hub of content.
What exactly Twitter will reveal at Newfronts remains unknown, but the company could tout more of the type of programming it had in 2016, namely news, entertainment, sports genres, and possibly creator-inspired content. The idea is to increase advertisers’ appetite for the service and change the perception that Twitter is a lost cause by showing that there are plenty of ways to advertise on the service, through both promoted Tweets and actual videos.
And as Twitter’s advertising revenue declines — last quarter it was $638 million — there is a strong case to be made for video. It remains Twitter’s “single largest revenue-generating ad format,” and the company’s Amplify and First View offerings at Newfronts could continue that trend.
Today’s announcement comes a day after it was reported Twitter would soon permit media firms to publish livestreaming videos directly into its service through an API. The company declined to comment on the news, but if the option did come to fruition, it would possibly increase ad load.
Depending on the success at Newfronts, we might also see Twitter repeat its presentation at other brand-centric events later this year.