Twitter Seeks Video Deals with Viacom, Comcast

April 16, 2013 by Paul Ausick

Media summaries
Source: thinkstock
In an effort to boost the amount of time users spend on its website, privately held Twitter is reportedly negotiating with Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB) and Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) for the rights to post TV video clips alongside additional advertising. Twitter already has partnerships with Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Time Warner Inc.’s (NYSE: TWX) Turner Broadcasting that allows the site to show clips.

Bloomberg cites unnamed sources who say that the deals would allow Twitter to stream the videos and split the advertising revenues with the media companies. One or more of the partnerships could be active by mid-May one source told Bloomberg.

Twitter introduced its Vine video-sharing app in January, which allows users to post and share short (six second) videos on its site. Vine was an instant hit, but it did not drive any added revenue to the company.

According to research cited by Bloomberg, a third of active Twitter users share a post about something they have seen on TV. Giving its users some additional incentive to view video clips and spend more time on the site and view more ads are all pluses for Twitter. For the media companies, greater exposure for their programming could drum up more advertising dollars, something that they need to fight back against the inroads that online streaming have made into their traditional distribution mechanisms of broadcast and pay TV.