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Volume 25 No. 132
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Twitter Facing Crucial Ad Test With Live Stream Of Jets-Bills On Thursday Night

Thursday's Jets-Bills game is a "crucial test" for Twitter, as the platform will "show the live CBS feed on its mobile app and website, along with running commentary of tweets and commercials from brands such as Budweiser and Bank of America," according to Yoree Koh of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Twitter is "hoping to attract advertisers’ bigger video ad budgets by becoming a prime destination to watch live events." But it is a "tough sell that will require time and strong execution -- two things Twitter is short on these days." The "TNF" game marks Twitter’s "first time selling ads for live sports." The NFL deal "allots Twitter about 15 in-game local ad spots per game, as well as ads shown ahead of NFL highlights and sponsored broadcasts on Periscope." Advertisers including Anheuser-Busch, Verizon, Sony and Nestlé "have signed on." But some ad buyers who have met with Twitter said that they are "hesitant to commit to Twitter’s live-streaming events." Most of Twitter’s over 300 million users "access the service through the app, meaning they will be viewing the game on the equivalent of roughly a 5-inch TV, or smaller if the phone is turned vertically." Twitter hopes to "strengthen its position by bringing its app to the big screen." A source said that it has "been in talks" with Apple to bring Twitter’s live-streaming experience to Apple TV (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/13).

TARGET DEMO: Twitter CFO Anthony Noto said of the stream and what their partners expect, "Our demographic is very attractive to our partners. We have a very young, mobile focused, and globally diverse audience. These are things that can be very additive and complementary to their existing distribution strategies." He added, "People have always been connected with us during a live game, so it’s quite natural to now bring those events directly onto the platform in a single, integrated experience" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/12 issue).