After news broke this week that Twitter is mulling a possible paid tier of TweetDeck, the company this week announced a new advertising format for Periscope.
The social network will begin to show pre-roll advertisements on the live broadcasting service videos similar to YouTube’s pre-video ads. This means that users wanting to watch a clip on Twitter’s video streaming service will need to sit through an advertisement first.
No ad to show here.
“Today, we’re introducing a new opportunity for publishers and creators to monetize their content, and for brands to advertise against it, with pre-roll ads on Periscope video within Twitter,” the company announced.
“Pre-roll ads on Periscope video enable brands to marry their message with specific broadcasts from creators and publishers.”
Twitter has been pondering a number of different revenue avenues of late, especially after the company’s lacklustre Q4 2016 numbers, which completely missed estimates and inspired minimal investor confidence.
The problem with ads
The ads, Twitter argues, “are a new way to use live and on-demand video to reach audiences at the most relevant moments”. But there could be an gulf between the relevance of these ads and the nature of content often broadcast on the service.
Periscope was used frequently during the recent fatal London Parliament terrorist attack. Prior to that, the social streaming network was used to cover the New York East Villiage explosion in 2015, Paris bombings in the same year, and the Dallas shootings in 2016.
And yes, this does expand Periscope’s possible usefulness to companies on the platform. But will this alienate users?
From today, Periscope streams will be fronted by a video advertisement akin to YouTube
Overall, Twitter is home to around 313-million monthly active users but a fraction engages with Periscope as a standalone product. According to Variety, just over five-million users were using Periscope on a monthly basis.
“Periscope claims that over 200-million broadcasts have been made on its platform, and over 110 years of live video are watched every day on its iOS and Android apps,” we highlighted in a March 2016 piece.
Even so, monetising the service makes sense for the slowing company, especially considering that video — nay, mobile video — is growing massively across all platforms.
According to Twitter, interested parties will be able to purchase these ad slots from today, with the feature rolling out across the world in the coming months.