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Twitter Leads With Live Sports, News Partnerships: NewFronts '19

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In a repeat from last year, Twitter debuted a long list of premium partnerships at its 2019 newfront presentation, demonstrating an ideal marriage between a wide-reaching social platform and premium content providers.

News partnerships include the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNET, and Time. The WSJ is using the platform to launch WSJ What's New, a new franchise for business reporting. Bloomberg's TicToc will expand coverage of international events on Twitter, while Time will create original content around its Person of the Year and Time 100 issues.

News 2While no sports publishers held newfronts this year, there was plenty of sports at Twitter's event. The platform announced deals with the NFL, The Player's Tribune, MLS, ESPN, Bleacher Report, and Blizzard Entertainment. The NFL will continue bringing highlights, news, and analysis to Twitter, and will expand with original shows around tent pole events, as well as a new weekly video clip series.

Twitter also announced partnerships with Univision, Live Nation, and Viacom.

Other highlights from the first day of NewFront Week 2019:

Viacom

After a year of aggressive online expansion (VidCon, Whosay, Pluto TV), Viacom's message was that it can deliver young viewers for ad-supported and original branded creations. It now gets 3 billion online views per year, said Sean Moran, head of ad solutions at Viacom, and expects to have 5 billion yearly in a few years.

The network announced that Pluto TV has signed a deal with MSL, its first sports partner, with a channel debuting in the coming weeks. The AVOD will debut channels for six Viacom flagship brands: MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Nick, Nick Jr, and Spike, showing curated versions of their content. Pluto TV will also launch themed channels with Viacom content, including CMT Westerns, Comedy Central Stand-Up, MTV Dating, Paramount Movie Channel, and Spike Outdoors.

At this year's VidCon, Viacom will partner with the IAB to create the Direct Brand Summit, a new part of the Industry Track that will talk about how advertisers can use online video to create direct relationships with customers.

BBC News

BBC News previewed a technology BBC R&D is developing using object-based media. The BBC will take a magazine-style program and break it into parts that can be dynamically reconfigured based on the interests of the individual viewer. Shows can be customized based on location, the depth of information wanted, or personal interests. The first program to get this personalization technology will be Click, the BBC's long-running tech series, with its July 5th online-only thousandth episode. Viewers will be asked a few questions before viewing, then additional questions during the show, to gauge their interests. Many people got their first taste of object-based media with the Bandersnatch episode of Black Mirror on Netflix.

The New York Times

Strongly attuned to viewer privacy concerns (a rarity during NewFront Week), the Times showed off new and upcoming methods of targeting readers based on the article selected. Breaking its content into hundreds of categories, the Times can show traits and moods that are likely to be true of readers, allowing for targeting with no personal data required. The Times also gave a look at its long-delayed television show The Weekly, which will debut on FX and Hulu on June 2. The Weekly will provide an immersive examination of one of two big stories per episode. The story's journalists will be the anchors.

Come back every day for the most important news from NewFront Week.

Photo: TJ Adeshola, head of U.S. sports at Twitter, presenting sports partnerships at the Twitter NewFront

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