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Twitter Announces New, Exclusive Video Programming at 2021 NewFronts Event



Twitter has announced a range of new video partnerships at its annual NewFronts event, including exclusive sports content from the MLB, WNBA and NHL, new news broadcasts from NBC, and other, exclusive video agreements that will further expand Twitter’s partner content slate.

The big focus this year, at least from a sporting perspective, will be the Tokyo Olympics – if, of course, the event does indeed go ahead amid the ongoing pandemic.

Twitter confirmed in 2019 that it had secured a deal for exclusive Olympics content (when it was scheduled for 2020), and today, the platform provided further details its arrangement with NBC, which will include an original live video show for Twitter called ‘Talkin’ Tokyo’, hosted by Adam Rippon and featuring other Olympic celebrities.

NBC will also host a daily poll which will let Twitter users vote on a ‘live look-in’ on NBC’s Primetime or Primetime Plus Olympic broadcasts each night, while it will also supply real-time video highlights throughout each day of the event.

On other sports, Twitter will also continue to broadcast live content and highlights from MLB, live pre-game shows for the NHL, while it will also air 12 live WNBA games throughout the season.

Twitter has also announced a new agreement with Riot Games to broadcast a live watch party for the League Championship Series (LCS), which will tie into the rising gaming discussion on the platform.

On news content, Twitter has announced an expanded partnership with NBCUniversal, which will look to share exclusive content from TODAY, CNBC and Noticias Telemundo to the platform ‘in totally new ways’. And interestingly, NBC News will also extend its ‘Inspiring America’ content series to audio via Twitter Spaces, the first new exclusive content deal for the platforms new audio functionality.

Twitter’s also announced a new programming deal with Billboard, which will include a focus on the most discussed songs in tweets, while it’s also outlined new video programming partnerships with Genius, Refinery29 and Tastemade.


That will expand Twitter’s slate of video content, which advertisers will then be able to promote against. Twitter also recently launched its new Curated Categories for video ads, which will provide more options for brands to align their video promotions with its premium video broadcasts.

Twitter curated categories

As explained by Twitter:

Curated Categories include niche topics like light-hearted content, football, basketball, soccer, or gaming personalities and allow advertisers to run their pre-roll against video content from publishers covering the topic of choice. The publishers included in each of our Curated Categories are always hand-selected by Twitter teams for their relevance and conversation driving ability within their category’s topic, ensuring a deeper level of contextual alignment for brands.” 

That’ll provide more opportunities to tap into highly engaged conversation groups on Twitter, with sports, in particular, providing a lot of opportunity based on these new announcements.

There is strong potential here, and while video has never really taken off on the platform the way Twitter would have hoped, its ongoing content deals still facilitate direct audience connection, and Twitter users are increasingly watching more video content on the platform every year. 

Amid the various COVID lockdowns around the world, video views on Twitter increased by 62% from 2019 to 2020, while it also saw a 72% year-over-year increase in overall on-platform watch time. Those trends will normalize somewhat as the vaccine roll-outs continue on, but they do show that people are increasingly looking to video content, and video consumption habits are changing, which is important to note.

Twitter also says that more than 70% of user sessions now include video.

In addition to this, Twitter says that its Amplify pre-roll offering has proven increasingly popular over time, and is generating good results for brands.

There’s a range of potential opportunities here, and as people’s approaches to video content shift, it’s worth considering how your promotional strategies are evolving in-line.


Maybe, through tools like Curated Categories, and these new video programs, there could be a new outreach strategy waiting in the tweets.



YouTube Tests Improved Comment Removal Notifications, Updated Video Performance and Hashtag Insights



YouTube Expands its 'Pre-Publish Checks' Tool to the Mobile App

YouTube’s looking to provide more context on content removals and violations, while it’s also experimenting with a new form of analytics on average video performance benchmarks, along with improved hashtag discovery, which could impact your planning and process.

First off, on policy violations – YouTube’s looking to provide more context on comment removals via an updated system that will link users through to the exact policy that they’ve violated when a comment is removed.

As explained by YouTube’s Conor Kavanagh:

“Many users have told us that they would like to know if and when their comment has been removed for violating one of our Community Guidelines. Additionally, we want to protect creators from a single user’s ability to negatively impact the community via comments, either on a single channel or multiple channels.”

The new comment removal notification aims to address this, by providing more context as to when a comment has been removed for violating the platform’s Community Guidelines.

In expansion of this, YouTube will also put some users into timeout if they keep breaking the rules. Literally:

If someone leaves multiple abusive comments, they may receive a temporary timeout which will block the ability to comment for up to 24 hours.”


YouTube says that this will hopefully reduce the amount of abusive comments across the platform, while also adding more transparency to the process, in order to help people understand how they’ve broken the rules, which could also help to guide future behavior.

On a similar note, YouTube’s also expanding its test of timestamps in Community Guidelines policy violation notifications for publishers, which provide more specific details on when a violation has occurred in video clips.

Initially only available for violations of its ‘Harmful and Dangerous’ policy, YouTube’s now expanding these notifiers to violations related to ‘Child Safety’, ‘Suicide and Self-Harm’, and ‘Violent or Graphic’.

If you’re in the experiment, you’ll see these timestamps in YouTube Studio as well as over email if we believe a violation has occurred. We hope these timestamps are useful in understanding why your video violated our policies and we hope to expand to more policies over time.”

On another front, YouTube’s also testing a new analytics card in YouTube Studio which will show creators the typical amount of views they get on different formats, including VODs, Shorts, and live streams.

YouTube average video performance

As you can see in this example, the new data card will provide insight into the average amount of views you see in each format, based on your the last 10 uploads in each, which could provide more comparative context on performance.

Finally, YouTube’s also launched a test that aims to showcase more relevant hashtags on video clips.

“We’re launching an experiment to elevate the hashtags on a video’s watch page that we’ve found viewers are interested in, instead of just the first few added to the video’s description. Hashtags are still chosen by creators themselves – nothing is changing there – the goal of the experiment is simply to drive more engagement with hashtags while connecting viewers with content they will likely enjoy.”

So YouTube will be looking to highlight more relevant hashtags in video clips, as a means to better connect users to more video clips on the same topic.


Which could put more emphasis on hashtag use – so it could be time to upgrade your hashtag research approach in line with the latest trending topics.

All of these updates are fairly minor, but they could impact your YouTube approach, and it’s worth considering the potential impacts in your process.

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