The rumored partnership between Twitter and Viacom has come to fruition. The companies said today they have struck a deal to embed clips from popular Viacom shows and events inside Twitter, starting with the MTV Music Awards on August 25th. It's a high-profile push into television that could prove lucrative for Twitter as it prepares for an eventual initial public offering.
People will be able to tweet out ad-supported clips from the awards show, which Twitter says was the most-discussed news event of 2012 at 14.7 million tweets. Afterward, the ability to tweet clips will extend to shows on Viacom networks including MTV, VH1, CMT, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land, and Spike, among others.
Inserting clips into Twitter cards
The partnership is part of Twitter Amplify, the company's advertising program for broadcasters and publishers. Amplify already includes clips from Fox, the BBC, The Weather Channel, and many other media outlets. The program inserts advertising into video clips that are embedded in Twitter cards.
The Viacom partnership is one of Twitter's biggest TV deals to date. In addition to network programming, Twitter has also pursued sports broadcasters, signing up ESPN and the NBA to share highlights after previously partnering with NBC for Olympics coverage.
"As events happen in life, we continue to see Twitter as the place people share those moments, especially when those events happen on TV," said Adam Bain, president of global revenue at Twitter, in a statement. It's not yet clear how much revenue Twitter can extract from these kinds of deals, but its aggression in pursuing them suggests they have become central to the company's business strategy.