Media companies set 2023 content deals with Twitter
Media businesses, newsrooms, and sports leagues are enjoying too much income and marketing advantage to abandon the platform, Axios argues.
Twitter is preparing to launch content sponsorship arrangements with more than three dozen news publications, media firms, and sports leagues in the first half of this year, depending on a schedule of events shared with ad partners and obtained by Axios.
The company is under financial pressure to entice back the many advertisers who have stopped spending since Musk bought the company in late October. They left primarily due to concerns about Musk's approach to content moderation and the possibility that their ads would appear near controversial content. However, media businesses, newsrooms, and sports leagues enjoy too much income and marketing advantage to abandon the platform.
Social media giant #Twitter has had a strong hand in suppressing information regarding the contents of Hunter #Biden's controversial laptop. Journalist Matt Taibbi took to a Twitter thread, naming it 'The Twitter Files.' #TwitterFiles pic.twitter.com/1pftCiUt6r— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) December 3, 2022
Who is advertising?
According to Axios, nearly all of the major sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR, PGA Tour, and others, plan to run content deals on Twitter this year around regular season games and marquee events such as March Madness, NBA Playoffs, and the Super Bowl.
Sports publishers such as CBS Sports, Turner Sports, ESPN, FOX, Univision, and Telemundo are all expected to participate in arrangements centered on major sporting events, as per the report.
The Wall Street Journal, NBCU, Reuters, Axios, Bloomberg, Forbes, Conde Nast, and USA Today are among the news organizations expected to participate in other Twitter content arrangements centered on major events such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, CES, and Pride Week, according to the report.
NBCU, Paramount, and Disney are all planning to air content related to award events, concerts, and prime-time TV blockbusters such as "The Bachelor" on Disney's ABC, "RuPaul's Drag Race" on Paramount's MTV, and "The Masked Singer" on FOX.
History of contracts with Twitter
In recent years, media firms and sports leagues have negotiated multiyear contracts with Twitter, often ranging from one to three years, through a selected program called Twitter Amplify.
The initiative matches marketers with relevant videos from premium publishers, and publishers share a portion of the ad income generated by their videos with Twitter.
Some content partners, such as NBCU, sell advertisements directly to brands interested in sponsoring their videos and share a portion of the ad revenue with Twitter. Others, such as the NFL, rely on Twitter to sell advertisements throughout their video programming.
The majority of these media relationships are multiyear contracts negotiated before Musk took over Twitter. According to two sources familiar with the arrangements, some accords, such as the NFL's collaboration with Twitter, are worth seven figures if they run their full duration.
Read next: Elon Musk: 2022’s Twitter-gate Genius of the Year
It is worth noting that most attempts by media firms to leave Twitter have been brief or nonexistent, even for companies involved in Musk's last-year ban on journalists.
A source familiar with the matter said, as quoted by Axios, that although several advertising categories on Twitter saw a 30%-60% decline in the number of active US advertisers last quarter compared to the same period in 2021, the number of US media and entertainment marketers fell by less than 15%.
Most social media boycotts are temporary. Fox News went silent on Twitter for more than a year, only to return in 2020 amid the coronavirus news cycle.
In short, Twitter has been too beneficial to abandon during a critical economic period for the media business, especially while the platform offers free ad space to lure advertisers back to the platform.