Twitter and BBC World News Partner on Social News Series

/ Oct 23, 2013


Twitter is partnering with BBC World News on a new online news series that will be distributed exclusively via video clips inside embedded tweets.

As first reported by Ad Age, the series will be called “#BBCTrending,” and will launch via the BBC World News Twitter account, which today has nearly 4.8 million followers. Hosted by Ann-Marie Tomchak, the show will cover trending news stories on social media, and will be ad-supported via short pre-rolls attached to each clip.

To distribute the short videos, BBC Global News will use Twitter’s Amplify program, which helps brands and media companies embed sponsored, real-time video clips inside tweets. In most cases, TV programmers who have used this capability have done so to promote or increase distribution for existing TV content. Viacom used Twitter Amplify to distribute highlights from the most recent MTV Video Music Awards, while Turner did something similar for March Madness.

“#BBCTrending,” on the other hand, is an entirely original series meant for the Twitter platform. Twitter, for its part, will use services like Promoted Tweets to market the videos.

It’s not the first time Twitter has been used to distribute an original video series — Believe Entertainment Group, the studio behind “The LeBrons,” partnered with Twitter last year to produce and distribute an original series about EDM musicians like DJ Tiesto and Deadmau5. That show, as “#BBCTrending” will look to do, did not simply insert a third-party video clip inside a tweet, but actually used video technology from Twitter.

As evidenced by Twitter’s partnerships with Viacom and Turner, among other traditional media companies, the social network wants access to TV ad dollars. The company has already spent a great amount of time highlighting how integral it is to the conversations viewers have around their favorite shows — what many in the industry refer to as “social TV.” With a deal like this, Twitter wants to deepen those relationships it has with TV programmers, and by extension, TV advertisers. It’ll serve them well ahead of their planned initial public offering.

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