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Live premium content will be a key focus for Twitter


Live premium content will be one of Twitter’s primary focus areas going forward. Its CFO Anthony Noto said during Twitter’s earnings conference call that “we know that on Thursday nights during the 3-hour telecast of Thursday Night Football, we have millions of users looking at tweets about that game. And they’re creating tens of millions of impressions that we know are very valuable to them and very valuable to our partners, both the NFL and, of course, our advertisers. And so being able to bring the live streaming game into the product with that live commentary, those live conversations is a complete solution. And so we see it is a product that will be the same for logged in, logged out and syndicated users. It’s the same video, the same ads, the same analytics.”  Twitter has two video content products: Periscope, for live content, and Vine for short clips.

Notes from the call:

– Monetizing Periscope and Vine: Twitter plans on monetizing Periscope and Vine by bringing them to twitter, and allowing marketers to “do targeting campaigns and measurement through the tools that we have available on the platform. We plan to expand the promoted video with Periscope option for marketers this quarter by bringing in the Android platform as well. Up until now, it’s just been available on iPhone” COO Adam Bain said,

– Dynamic product Ads: Twitter revealed that its dynamic product ads (DPA) uses TellApart’s technology. This is the first instance of Twitter bringing TellApart’s technology onto its platform. Bain mentioned that “both the click-through rates and the conversions (are good), which show that it’s performing for marketers all the way through the funnel.” Twitter will now be looking to bring marketers’ remarketing budgets onto the DPA platform at scale, and work with its API partners and other third-parties to make the process quicker. The Twitter Audience Platform will benefit from this, as well as targeting of both logged in and logged out users, according to Bain.

– How twitter prices video products: They’re “priced on a cost per video view basis, while the older legacy brand promoted tweets are priced on a cost per engagement. We’ve seen video be a more effective ad unit for marketers, especially when measuring either the mind or the wallet. We’ve seen video now is a doubling of ad recall versus traditional promoted tweets. Marketers that moved into video also saw almost a 30% lift in message association or ad association versus traditional promoted tweets, and then lastly, an 18% lift in awareness.”

– Twitter-Google DoubleClickDoubleClick beta was expanded to over a dozen advertisers during Q1 2016. “We have seen 2 things: One, when measuring desktop impressions to desktop conversions, the data looks accurate through DoubleClick Measurement (DCM) and the results for Twitter for these campaigns looks strong. (However), when you look at mobile impressions that are measured through DCM that are measuring desktop conversions, what we saw is that this type of cross-device measurement overall needs work from an industry standpoint. This hits us particularly in an acute way because 90% of our impressions, our ad impressions, are on mobile.

In April last year, Twitter partnered Google to allow Twitter advertisers, who use DoubleClick, to measure conversions from views and other actions on Twitter.

– Monetization of logged-out users: Twitter said that cost per click rates are almost identical for logged in and logged out users. The company believes this is and indication from advertisers that they’re seeing good value from logged out experiences. “We need to invest more to increase the amount of logged out impressions and overall scale the offering.”

– Twitter Amplify: We now are over 300 Amplify video partners. So this is premium video content that partners are bringing on to the platform, sometimes exclusively onto Twitter. And it’s available now in 25 countries, so truly a global offering.

– Developer relations: Twitter’s mobile development platform Fabric now reaches over 2 billion devices. The amount that they paid to publishers grew 80% year-on-year for MoPub, which is a hosted ad serving solution built specifically for mobile publishers. Twitter had acquired it in September 2013.

Key metrics from Q1 2016

– Twitter currently has over 310 million monthly active users (MAUs) globally, up 2% from 305 million MAUs in the previous quarter, and up 3% from 304 million MAUs in the corresponding quarter last year.

– There are 65 million MAUs in United States at the end of Q1 2016. This number has remained more or less flat throughout the whole of last year. The company had reported 65 million MAUs in US for Q1 2015, Q2 2015 and Q4 2015, while there were 66 million MAUs reported in Q3 2015.

– International MAUs stood at 245 million for the quarter, up 2% from 241 million MAUs in Q4 2015 and up 4% from 236 million MAUs in Q1 2015.

– The company claimed, following  an internal review, that false and/or spam accounts represented less than 5% of Twitter’s MAUs, as of December 31, 2015.


– Twitter reported revenues of $595 million for Q1 2016, up 36% year-on-year (YoY) from $436 million revenues reported in Q1 2015.

– Advertising revenue accounted for 89.2% or $531 million of the revenues, while data licensing & other accounted for the remaining $64 million revenues.

– Advertising revenue grew 37% YoY from $388 million in the corresponding quarter last year.

– It’s worth noting that even though International MAUs far outnumber US MAUs, it’s the latter who drive advertising revenues: US accounted for 64.6% or $343 million of total advertising revenues.

– EBITDA stood at $180 million for the quarter, up 73% YoY from $104 million.

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