Twitter Announces Content Pacts With NBCU, MLB, Genius, Billboard and More

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Twitter, at its virtual NewFronts presentation Wednesday for marketers, unveiled an expanded lineup of new and renewed premium video content deals, spanning entertainment, gaming, lifestyle, and news and sports.

The social media company, which has nearly 200 million daily active users, announced partnerships with NBC, Tastemade, WNBA, MLB, NHL, Vice Media Group’s Refinery29, Riot Gams and Billboard — which is working with Twitter to create a real-time official Billboard Chart. based on music that’s trending on the platform.

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“Twitter is home to the most vibrant, diverse communities and the place where fandom thrives. The premium content we’re collaborating on with our partners is igniting passion and enabling marketers to tap into the excitement of those communities and be a part of what’s happening,” said Jennifer Prince, Twitter’s global VP and head of content partnerships.

Here’s a rundown of Twitter’s content announcements:

Entertainment/Lifestyle

  • Billboard: The Billboard Hot Trending powered by Twitter will showcase the songs being talked about most on Twitter, tracking music-related trends each day across the platform, and also measuring the conversations dominating Twitter at any given time. The chart will refresh every 24 hours and highlight the major happenings in music. From buzz around new releases to unexpected trending threads of nostalgia amongst music fans to capturing buzzworthy moments at award shows and festivals as they happen, The Billboard Hot Trending powered by Twitter will chronicle what is happening in music right now, and demonstrate the power of Twitter. Advertisers will be able to connect to The Billboard Hot Trending powered by Twitter through innovative ad formats that will live on Twitter and across Billboard. It will be supported with video content, consistent editorial coverage and organic support from some of music’s biggest stars.

  • Genius: For the first time ever, Twitter is partnering with Genius, the world’s premier destination for music knowledge, to bring their hit show, Verified, to fans all over the world. Verified, a space for artists to break down the meaning of their songs line by line and the craft behind their songs, will give brands the opportunity to align with authentic, music-fueled stories. Content will include Twitter-first elements such as polls, fan Q&As and more.

  • Refinery29: Refinery29 will showcase new culture-shaping content on Twitter from Unbothered and Somos, their communities for and by Black and Latinx women. For the first time, sponsorship opportunities will be available through Twitter Amplify bringing brands the opportunity to help elevate the voices of these two communities and connect with their audience in an authentic and meaningful way.

  • Tastemade: Tastemade will be launching two new food franchises on Twitter. The “Tastemade Holiday Hotline” puts culinary pros “on-call” on Twitter, ready to help tackle any and all kitchen questions and issues in real time. From recipe videos to cooking tips and more, fans will be able to chat with experts who will share personalized advice and inspiration. “Feed For Thought” amplifies diverse culinary experts as they take over the Tastemade Twitter handle for a day, sharing their story, introducing us to other voices in their community, and handpicking content that is meaningful to them. From food creators and entrepreneurs to small business owners, each takeover will shine a light on the makers who are impacting the food industry for the better.

Sports and Gaming

  • MLB: Twitter and MLB are extending their existing relationship to include a two-year content partnership bringing live content and real-time highlights to the timeline from the biggest jewel events of the baseball season. They will produce live content around events including the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, MLB at Field of Dreams, Presented by GEICO, as well as the biggest matchups throughout the Postseason. Along with weekly player Q&As in the lead up to ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast, MLB will publish English and Spanish highlights, including every single homerun, on Twitter.

  • NBC Olympics: Twitter and NBC Olympics will work together to amplify NBC Olympics’ vast coverage of the Tokyo Olympics by creating daily, original NBC programming on Twitter live from the host city, including a daily live show, “Talkin’ Tokyo.” The show hosts will include Olympic bronze medalist Adam Rippon, and will make Twitter fans part of the Olympic conversation. NBC will also host a daily poll that will allow fans on Twitter to choose one live look-in to NBC’s Primetime or Primetime Plus broadcasts each night and real-time video highlights throughout each competition day.

  • NHL: For fans in the United States, Twitter will bring back live look-ins for every round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs — voted on by fans on Twitter — and this year, will have a live pregame show before every live look-in. In addition, there will be in-game highlights, co-branded content, and other engagement franchises.

  • Riot Games: This spring, Twitter partnered with the League Championship Series (LCS) and Honda to offer the first-ever Twitter gaming watch party for the LCS Mid-Season Showdown, and will look to continue the party this summer for the LCS Championship. Additionally, thanks to Honda, viewers and Tweeters will have the chance to vote for the LCS Summer Split’s Honda MVP on Twitter DM, partake in prediction polls throughout the season, and win prizes along the way to the LCS Championship.

  • WNBA: Twitter and the WNBA enter the fifth year of their partnership in 2021 as Twitter helps celebrate the league’s historic 25th season with a 12-game slate of live games on #WNBATwitterLive as well as real-time game highlights and postgame interviews with the WNBA’s top players and coaches. #WNBATwitterLive will also deliver top voices from the sports community and several fun new ways for fans to engage with the WNBA on Twitter, including fan Tweets, Q&As, votes and trivia.

News

  • NBCUniversal News: Twitter and NBCU are expanding their partnership to bring TODAY, CNBC and Noticias Telemundo to Twitter in totally new ways. Now, advertisers can align with these powerhouse news brands through highlights, live streams, Twitter Q&As and exclusive content. Plus, NBC News will extend its Inspiring America content series to Twitter Spaces.

Alongside the content deals, Twitter highlighted a new pre-roll offering called Curated Categories: Twitter-curated sets of publishers that are bundled together around specific themes and niche topics like funny content, football, basketball, soccer, or gaming personalities..

For the first quarter of 2021, Twitter reported 199 million monetizable daily active users, gaining 7 million sequentially (and up 20% year over year). Total revenue was $1.04 billion for the first quarter, an increase of 28%. While Q1 user gains and revenue were in line with Wall Street forecasts, Twitter’s stock fell because investors had hoped for bigger numbers as both Facebook and Snap easily topped expectations for the quarter.

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