Video ads on Twitter a rivalry for Youtube

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YouTube celebrated its 10th birthday in  February, 2015 and it’s been a frantic, eventful decade for the company.

Few could have predicted its ascent and 9-figure purchase by Google in 2006. (The price at the time, a then eye-watering $1.65bn, now looks like a bargain.) And fewer still predicted that one of their biggest competitors for online video advertising revenue would be Twitter.

YouTube have barely had time to adjust to the competition from Facebook, who have embraced video advertising with gusto. Now Twitter are upping the ante with their own deal for advertisers – one that’s eerily similar to Facebook’s; short pre-roll ads with revenue split 30/70 with publishers.

User-generated content is not just a phrase that applies to kids skateboarding videos on YouTube: Businesses are expected to adapt to that model too. So Twitter Amplify, targeted at media companies, will augment and package video into ad-friendly content.

On their business site, Twitter describes it as a way to tease their audiences with content: “Twitter Amplify enables media companies and brands to capture the excitement on TV and distribute it to fans and audiences across Twitter, beyond their followers.”

“The Twitter Amplify sponsorship includes a short, high-impact excerpt from the media partner’s content along with brand integrations, such as an ad pre-roll (up to 6 seconds).” In other words, the Tweet will look like a typical sponsored Tweet, with a brief video – like a cross between a sponsored Tweet and a Vine.

David Regan, senior product manager in charge of video at Twitter said that Twitter Amplify is designed to let publishers and creators monetise their video content on Twitter, while making it easier for advertisers to reach massive audiences.

“With this update, advertisers can run video ads against premium content automatically based on their preferred content categories — without having an existing publisher-advertiser deal in place,” said Regan.