Viacom, NBC talking with Twitter for online TV


TwitterTwitter is reportedly close to reaching partnerships with TV networks to bring more high-quality video and advertising to the site. The exploding social media company has held talks with Viacom about hosting TV clips and selling ads alongside them. Twitter has also discussed a partnership with NBC, reports Bloomberg.

The partnerships would let Twitter stream videos on its site and split the resulting ad revenue with the networks. One or more deals could be reached by mid-May, and Twitter may strike deals with other networks, the story said.

Twitter, which began in 2006, is racing to add video content that will get users to spend more time on the site and watch ads. Building on its existing partnerships with ESPN, Weather Channel and Turner, Twitter is seeking to add more entertainment and news video. NBC also owns the USA Network and Viacom owns MTV and Nickelodeon.

Last June, a third of active Twitter users posted on the site about something they watched on TV, up from 26% at the beginning of the year, Nielsen said in a report on social media last year. Twitter and Nielsen have agreed to form a partnership to measure the amount of online discussion being generated by TV programs.

In February, Twitter also bought Bluefin Labs, a Boston-based startup which makes software that lets advertisers, agencies and networks monitor and analyze social- media comments about TV shows and commercials.

Peter Chernin, former News Corp. President/COO joined Twitter’s board 11/12 to help the company navigate the media industry. Also last year, Twitter teamed up with NBC to promote use of the social site among audiences of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Twitter tracked more than 150 million Twitter posts about the games over the course of the 16-day event, it said on its blog.

The TV push coincides with the Twitter’s expansion into music. The company is planning to release a mobile application that lets users stream and share music with others on the social site.

See the Bloomberg story here.

RBR-TVBR observation: This is a smart move, because as much as any network tries on its own to push and then monetize social media interaction, nothing will drive the numbers like a partnership with Twitter. The Twitter audience is huge and growing exponentially. The way to really get users to see these ad-supported videos is to drive messaging that follows keywords currently being tweeted. Twitter’s immediacy will also help with the timing of campaigns in real-time.