Twitter Signs Deals with Broadcasters and Ad-Buying Firm

Twitter signed deals over the weekend with BBC America and Comedy Central that will bring video clips inside users’ real-time streams (last week we reported that Twitter was in discussions with Viacom, Comcast and NBC). While there have been video content deals before, such as featuring Weather Channel updates in expanded tweets, the new deals could serve as prototypes for future video sharing. Perhaps as a sign of things to come, Twitter also announced a new deal with a major ad-buying firm.

“The deal with BBC America — a joint venture between the British public broadcaster and the Discovery Channel, which carries such popular shows as ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Top Gear’ in the U.S. — will presumably see Twitter run clips from those shows inside its users’ streams, in much the same way it did with ESPN during March Madness,” reports paidContent.

“Twitter is also launching a somewhat different project with the Comedy Central channel that illustrates just how much the company wants to bring video as an experience inside the stream: the network is launching what it calls a five-day ‘comedy festival,’ but all of the content will appear within Twitter, and most of it will be either created or distributed via Twitter’s recent video acquisition, Vine — which is designed for video clips of six seconds or less,” notes the article.

Twitter’s acquisition of Bluefin Labs and its new partnership with Nielsen could help position the company to present data that appeals to advertisers.

On Monday the Financial Times reported that Twitter reached a deal “worth hundreds of millions of dollars over a multiyear period” with ad-buying firm Starcom MediaVest Group. SMG clients include major players such as Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Microsoft and Coca-Cola.

“Twitter’s deal means the company is officially moving into larger territory when it comes to advertising and turning the social media company into a serious platform for brands to spend their budgets,” suggests GigaOM. “The report says the deal will give SMG’s clients access to special advertising slots and opportunities with Twitter.”

“We think that the industry had been focused in the wrong area, which was making a decision between Twitter and TV,” says Adam Bain, president of global revenue for Twitter. “That’s not what we believe. Twitter is a bridge.”

“Twitter, in a very short period of time, has gone from an experiment to something that is essential,” adds Laura Desmond, global chief executive of SMG. “This signals to the marketplace how we want to conduct business and measure the implications. This is the future. It’s convergence.”