Twitter and BBC America enter into video partnership

BBC America will offer in-tweet videos that run with advertisements

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
April 19, 2013
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(Updated to reflect comment from Twitter)

Earlier this week, it was reported that Twitter was in talks with both Viacom and NBCUniversal to host television clips inside of tweets. The deal, which was said to likely be done by mid-May. would have been the first time a video appeared inside of a tweet with an advertisement.

But it seems that Viacom and NBCUniversal have been usurpred by a young upstart: BBC America has struck a deal with Twitter to offer the “first in-Tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series," it was announced via tweet on Thursday.

Of course, scant details of the deal between the two are known at this time, including which shows it would actually be offering videos of. The reported deal that was being struck between Twitter andViacom and NBCUniversal would have allowed the two sides to split the ad revenue that resulted from running the in-tweet videos, but it is unknown if BBC America struck a similar deal.

There is also no indication that any negotiations that may have been going on between Viacom, NBCUniversal and Twitter have been affected by this news. These new partnerships would bring clips from other big channels, with popular content, including USA, MTV, Comedy Central, Spike and Nickelodeon.

Twitter already has deals with other networks, to show video footage inside promoted tweets including ESPN, where Twitter users were able to watch instant replays of college football; the Weather Channel, where Twitter users are able to see video clips of local forecasts, severe-weather coverage or user-generated content; and Turner Broadcasting, in which users were able to able to watch college sports highlights.

It is not surprising that Twitter wants to develop a closer relationship with the TV industry, especially since it already indicated it wanted to do so with the purchase of social TV measurement and analytics platform Bluefin Labs in February, to allow advertisers, agencies and networks monitor and analyze the comments made on Twitter about television shows and commercials.

Twitter's move into television coincides with it officially getting into the music business, with the launch of its #Music app Thursday, which lets users to see the songs that have been tweeted by the artists and people they follow on Twitter, while also gettingmusic suggestions based on the artists a users follow, in order to recommend songs it thinks they might like.

The ultimate goal of all this is to expand Twitter beyond just a simple blogging platform and into an all around media company, which will allow it to pull in big ad revenue dollars.

Twitter is now being projected to grow revenue by 63% to nearly $1 billion in advertising sales by 2014, according to a report from market researcher eMarketer last month.  By 2015, Twitter is expected to pull in $1.33 billion in worldwide ad revenue. 

The partnership to run ads on BBC America videos? That is just the beginning.

"The deal has literally just been signed. We will be talking more about the deal in the coming weeks," a BBC America spokesperson told VatorNews.

A Twitter spokesperson told VatorNews that there is "nothing else to share beyond the BBC Tweet right now."

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