Video Grows as an Audience Development Tool for Publishers on Twitter and Snapchat

Live video on Twitter is a desired audience development tool for many; Hearst finds stronger engagement through Snapchat; Time Inc. turning towards Adapt Video

The technology behind digital video has come a long way. Now, the ability for publishers to use digital video as an audience development tool has reached new heights. Today we look at how publishers are using video more, and the changes coming to the medium.

Our first story looks at Twitter live video being used by publishers, and how there are higher expectations than Facebook’s live video results. Digiday reports, “Twitter has been getting into live video in a big way. It’s already live streamed events and announced a streaming video service with Bloomberg Media, in addition to other live news, sports and entertainment programs from content creators including BuzzFeed, Vox Media’s The Verge and the WNBA.”


The article continues with commentary on Twitter’s revenue-generating capabilities. “The only metric that really matters is revenue, though. Twitter is scoring points here, too. The revenue share for Twitter’s live shows varies by content creator. But Twitter’s monetization approach is far more favorable than other platforms, said Scott Havens, global head of digital at Bloomberg Media. Twitter is giving Bloomberg the option to do the selling as well as co-selling, which gives the creators more control over the sales process and revenue outcome. (He didn’t explicitly mention Facebook, but that approach is in contrast to Facebook, which is writing checks to just cover the costs and sharing ad sales revenue with publishers, but not much has materialized.)”

“All platforms are looking for high-quality video content to attract TV-like dollars. Twitter, because it’s much smaller in audience than Facebook and Google and its user base has stagnated, has to make itself that much more appealing to creators than other platforms.”

Our next story focuses on the recent expansion of Snapchat publishing as an audience development tool for Hearst. Mobile Marketer reports, “Hearst’s boosting of content on the Discover platform comes shortly after Snapchat began to bring college newspapers to the platform and beef up its news content with daily shows by CNN and NBC.”

The article continues with data that shows why savvy publishers like Hearst are putting more attention into Snapchat. “Eighty-two percent of news readers between 18 and 29 got news from Snapchat, a higher percentage for the age group than Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.”

Our final story looks at Time Inc. and how the publisher is building its own mobile-optimize videos as an audience development tool. Ad Exchanger reports, “Using Google’s native framework, Time created a mobile, in-feed video solution dubbed Adapt that is customized to its site layout. Since its June launch after the NewFronts, the mobile video ad unit has attracted Maybelline, Apple, AT&T, Texas Longhorn Steakhouse, Hillshire Farms and other advertisers.”

“The Adapt unit expands to fit a user’s mobile phone size, renders when it’s 50% in view and pauses when readers scroll past the ad. The goal is to declutter the mobile ad experience while providing a unit that performs strongly for advertisers.”

The article continues with a look at how this strategy is working for Time Inc. “In a market that faces severe supply constraints and where more than half of all inventory bought in open exchanges is fraudulent, adding the outstream format increased Time’s video inventory on its owned-and-operated properties by a factor of five. And the amount of outstream video starts doubled. Because of the added inventory, outstream revenue increased threefold.”

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