Twitter and NBCUniversal Explore New Ways to Meet the Demand for Premium Social Content


  • NBCUniversal and Twitter inked a new multiyear agreement that will deepen their existing relationship in areas including global ad sales and premium content, according to a press release.
  • Twitter will now provide more concentrated sales support for NBCUniversal’s advertising partners at the global, national and local level. NBCUniversal will ramp up programming for Twitter around more than 30 upcoming live events, including the Golden Globes, the E! People’s Choice Awards and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  • While the two companies have worked together since 2013, the news marks a noteworthy expansion of their collaboration to encompass international offerings like NBCUniversal’s Sky network. It arrives as consumers are turning more frequently to social media to stay up to date on current events and entertained during the coronavirus pandemic.

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NBCUniversal and Twitter are considerably expanding their partnership as the pandemic pushes publishers and platforms alike to adjust content and ad sales strategies. People have flocked to social media in droves since the health crisis shut down large parts of society last March, with many engaging with formats like livestreaming video, while cord-cutting has significantly accelerated over the period.

As part of the new agreement, NBCUniversal aims to better leverage Twitter’s advanced targeting capabilites, mobile ad formats and campaign management tools at a global scale. The network owner’s One Platform business arm that covers more than 160 countries will receive additional ad sales support as well. Together, the companies look to tailor more ad experiences based on what’s trending on Twitter to better tap into culture, including through formats like sponsored sports highlights, red carpet livestreams, watch parties and fan voting.

“As people increasingly turn to digital platforms like Twitter, we continue to expand the ways viewers can find NBCUniversal’s timely, quality content across entertainment, sports and news in English and Spanish,” Maggie McLean Suniewick, president of business development and partnerships at NBCUniversal’s direct-to-consumer arm, said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, Twitter will get access to the types of premium content that is in high demand among social platforms as consumers look for more interactive ways to experience live events. The Golden Globes broadcast set for Feb. 28 will be accompanied by immersive, first-of-their-kind Twitter highlights published through the @nbc, @enews and @latinxnow channels, according to the release. For Black History Month in February, NBCUniversal will use Twitter to share stories on racial justice, as well as profile Black business owners, artists and other thought leaders.

NBCUniversal’s work with Twitter has yielded high engagement, especially during the pandemic period. Global views on videos shared across NBCUniveral’s Twitter handles grew 26% on average last year, while the number of campaigns run by brands jumped 25% year-over-year, the companies said.

NBCUniversal is expanding beyond traditional media in other ways. On Monday, WWE signed a multiyear deal that makes NBC’s fledgling Peacock subscription service the exclusive streaming host of the WWE Network in the U.S. Late last year, NBCUniversal and Twitter extended a tie-up around the Olympics that includes original live programming, pregame content and real-time highlights.

Twitter is growing its video ambitions as the medium produces a windfall for social media companies. Global spending on social media advertising spiked 50.3% during the peak of the 2020 holiday season compared to the year-ago period, with formats like livestreaming commanding marketers’ attention, according to a recent analysis by Socialbakers. Video posts shared to Twitter were up 26.7% in the fourth quarter compared to the prior quarter, the firm found in an analysis of its platform data.

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