Twitter tries to woo anxious advertisers with a slate of premium video content at NewFronts – TechCrunch


Twitter returned to Digital Content NewFronts tonight to showcase its upcoming slate of premium video content to advertisers, as it has done in previous years. But this time around, the company faces a slew of media buyers who worry about the social network’s future as a “brand-safe” platform for their marketing efforts. As various reports have noted, some Twitter advertisers have already begun planning how to stop spending on Twitter if Elon Musk’s takeover leads to the service becoming a more toxic and abusive social network.

Advertisers understand that Musk’s vision of Twitter as a “free speech” platform doesn’t necessarily align with their interests. Brands are historically opposed to their messages appearing alongside abusive and divisive speech, hate speech and misinformation. And if Musk rolls back Twitter’s existing content moderation controls, it could lead to an increase in the type of content brands like to avoid becoming more prevalent on Twitter’s platform.

In recent days, Twitter has attempted to assuage advertisers’ fear by writing to ad agencies with assurances that Twitter will remain a safe place for them in the future by separating their ads from harmful content. But the companies know Twitter can’t make promises about changes Musk has yet to make. Twitter knows this too – in a filing with the SEC this week, Twitter warned that a loss of advertising dollars is one of the risk factors associated with the acquisition.

In previous years, Twitter’s presentation at NewFronts has already been a more lukewarm affair. The company isn’t really seen in the same space as big streamers and media companies like Roku, Amazon, or NBCU. And it tends to have less to offer than rival social media companies like Snap, Meta and now TikTok – all of which have already featured this week.

This time, however, Twitter didn’t just have to showcase its content, it had to convince advertisers that it has enough relevant and interesting content to retain them as partners, despite the upcoming changes.

While the presentation wasn’t the “show” promised by Bloomberg’s sources, it did include lots of loud music and loud cheers from the audience for each announcement (which was…not suspicious at all).

Essentially, Twitter aimed to convince advertisers that their content would be available in a safe area on Twitter through its upcoming premium video partnerships.

Picture credits: Twitter

After taking the stage, Twitter chief customer officer Sarah Personette promised the audience that the company’s investments in its video and advertising businesses would continue.

“I hope you see that we’re going to continue to invest in the parts of our business that bring scroll-stopping content to the timeline,” she said, first highlighting Twitter’s premium video product before to highlight the success of its advertising program.

“Twitter Amplify has been one of our fastest growing products over the past year, proving that it’s turnkey products like this that drive real results for you,” said she continued.

“We are committed to growing our audience. We are committed to investing in our product innovation and we are committed to increasing the speed with which we ship products. We are committed to deepening relationships with major rights holders and publishers of premium content globally and also across the country. This is extremely important to us because we know how important it is for you to be able to connect your brands with the people who matter to you. So I hope you saw that commitment from us tonight,” she said.

Twitter’s range of content – ​​which this year included both video and audio offerings, thanks to Twitter Spaces – was not significantly differentiated from the type of offerings expected for the social network, however.

The company announced the expansion of a partnership with Condé Nast for live events such as Vogue’s Red Carpet at the Met Gala, the Vanity Fair Oscar Party Red Carpet and the Pitchfork Music Festival. He said it will also include other content from Wired, Bon Appetit and The New Yorker, as well as Highlights, Twitter Moments and several Twitter Spaces (audio events) per month.

Twitter is also expanding its partnership with Essence and the WNBA. The former will feature highlights from events such as the Essence Culture Festival and the World Black Economic Forum; weekly clips from shows like “The Receipts” and “Essence Uncovered”; and Monthly Spaces. The WNBA and Twitter announce a multi-year extension to their now six-year partnership, which will include 12 live games during the 2022 season. For the first time, the @WNBA account will also host spaces throughout the season, as well than at the WNBA’s flagship and offseason events.

E! News, meanwhile, will be launching a new livestream show for Twitter called “While You Were Streaming,” hosted by Danielle Robay. The show covers popular TV shows like ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’, ‘The Real Housewives’ and more, where Robay will be joined by a rotating line-up of guests, pundits and insiders. former stars.

Picture credits: Twitter

Twitter will also partner with Revolt to bring music, lifestyle, urban entertainment, sports and social justice content to the platform, including “Drink Champs”, a hip hop podcast; Summit of the Revolt; “The Crew League”, where artists compete on the basketball court; “Assets over Liabilities” financial literacy series; and “Revolt Black News Weekly”.

The company also said it would be the first social partner to test an integration with NBCU’s cross-platform certified video measurement partner, iSpot. Advertisers who purchase Amplify sponsorships from NBCUniversal will gain additional insight into the incremental audience generated by their Twitter media campaigns through this agreement.

Finally, Twitter said it will launch a pilot program that will bring real-time highlights of world events to the platform. The program will allow advertisers to promote and run pre-rolls on live event pages with highlights, allowing Twitter users to discover content in their timeline and Explore tab.

“At the heart of advertising is not only the desire to reach consumers, but also to connect with them around something that matters to them. Twitter Amplify helps brands do just that,” said Robin Wheeler, vice-president Twitter president and new head of US customer services, in a statement shared ahead of the event, “When advertisers tap into Twitter’s premium video content, they’re aligned with the topics that our highly engaged audience is already obsessed with. High-quality, brand-safe content that serves diverse communities is more important than ever today. We are grateful to find new ways to grow this inventory on Twitter, giving our advertisers and marketers a place to generate additional reach and results,” Wheeler added.

Personette concluded tonight’s presentation with an offer of gratitude to the brands that (still?) work with Twitter.

“Your partnership makes us better every day. And we are exceptionally grateful for the way you stand by our side…” she said.