Archive for April, 2018

Twitter announces new video partnerships with NBCUniversal and ESPN

Twitter is hosting its Digital Content NewFronts tonight, where it’s unveiling 30 renewals and new content deals — the company says that’s nearly twice as many as it announced last year. Those include partnerships with the big players in media — starting with NBCUniversal, which will be sharing live video and clips from properties including NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo. Twitter also announced some of the shows it will be airing as part of the ESPN deal announced earlier today: SportsCenter Live (a Twitter version of the network’s flagship) and Fantasy Focus Live (a live stream of the fantasy sports podcast). Plus, the company said it’s expanding its existing partnership with Viacom with shows like Comedy Central’s Creator’s Room, BET Breaks and MTV News. During the NewFronts event, Twitter’s head of video Kayvon Beykpour said daily video views on the platform have nearly doubled in the past year. And Kay Madati (pictured above), the company’s head of content partnerships, described the company as “the ultimate mobile platform where video and conversation share the same screen.” As Twitter continues to invest in video content, it’s been emphasizing its advantage in live video, a theme that continued in this year’s announcement. “Twitter is the only place where conversation is tied to video and the biggest live moments, giving brands the unique ability to connect with leaned in consumers who are shaping culture,” said Twitter Global VP of Revenue and Content Partnerships Matthew Derella in a statement. “That’s our superpower.” During the event, Derella also (implicitly) contrasted Twitter with other digital platforms that have struggled with questions about transparency and whether ads are running in an appropriate environment. Tonight, he said marketers could say goodbye to unsafe brand environments and a lack of transparency: “And we say hello to you being in control of where your video aligns … we say hello to a higher measure of transparency, we say hello to new premium inventory and a break from the same old choices.” On top of all the new content, Twitter is also announcing new ad programs. There are Creator Originals, a set of scripted series from influencers who will be paired up with sponsored brands. (The program is powered by Niche, the influencer marketing startup that Twitter acquired a few years ago.) And there’s a new Live Brand Studio — as the name suggests, it’s a team that works with marketers to create live video. Here are some other highlights from the content announcements: CELEBrate, a series where people get heartwarming messages from their idols from Ellen Digital Studios. Delish Food Day and IRL from Hearst Magazines Digital Media. Power Star Live, which is “inspired by the cultural phenomenon of Black Twitter” and live streamed from the Atlanta University Center, from Will Packer Media. BuzzFeed News is renewing AM to DM until the end of 2018. Vice News is launching a new series called The New Space Race. Pattern, a new brand focused on weather- and science-related news. #HereWeAre programming from the Huffington Post […]

Video: Larry Harvey and JP Barlow on Burning Man and tech culture

Larry Harvey, founder of the counterculture festival Burning Man, passed away this weekend. He was 70. Harvey created a movement and contributed to the flowering both of counter-culture and, ultimately, of tech culture. Both he and John Perry Barlow, who also passed in February this year after a long period of ill health, were huge advocates of free speech. Barlow wrote lyrics for the Grateful Dead, and then became a digital rights activist in later life. In 2013 I caught up with both of them and recorded a joint 24-minute interview, just a short walk from the venue for the Le Web London conference. Amid the street noise and the traffic, they discussed some of the intellectual underpinnings of startup entrepreneurship and its parallels with Burning Man, in what might have been their first-ever joint interview. We went over early computer culture, and how there was a “revolutionary zeal in the notion of intellectual empowerment” in Psychedelia, which found common cause in tech culture. We present for you once again, this iconic interview, in memory of these great men.