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Twitter Announces New Video Content Partnership with ViacomCBS

Twitter has announced a new video content deal with ViacomCBS, which will see Twitter host streaming content from the network’s stable of TV shows and live sports, as part of its broader video content offerings.

ViacomCBS incorporates a range of TV channels and film studios, including CBS Sports, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and more. Twitter will now be able to tap into the popularity of these brands via dedicated content offerings, while the deal will also include the company’s OTT offering Paramount+, which will additionally host Twitter Watch Parties for selected Paramount+ shows.

Which shows, specifically, will be the subject of these dedicated initiatives have not been detailed at this stage.

As explained by Andrea Wolinetz, the SVP, Distribution & Business Development-Streaming at ViacomCBS:

“Twitter is the digital water cooler for trending topics and fandom worldwide, and we’re excited to provide front-row access to innovative digital content experiences and culture-defining moments across the best of entertainment, news and sports for Twitter users everywhere.”

The hope is that by utilizing Twitter’s popularity as the ‘second-screen’ platform of choice, ViacomCBS will be able to spark increased online discussion, and boost engagement with its programming, particularly its newer digital offerings.

Indeed, according to Twitter’s own data, Twitter users cumulatively publish six tweets every second related to TV show discussion, while video views on TV-related tweets have increased 48% YoY.

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Twitter TV show discussion

You can see, then, why ViacomCBS would be keen to tap into that conversation, and why the partnership makes sense – but then again, Twitter has been trying for years to better integrate TV viewing and tweet discussion, with limited success.

Back in 2017, Twitter sought to create a more specifically integrated TV viewing experience, with tweets displayed on-screen to connect viewers to the broader discussion and community.

Twitter Apple TV integration

That was one of several experiments designed to tap into the popularity of the platform as the social app of choice for live TV chatter – but while the integration seemingly made sense, Twitter’s never been able to fully capitalize on that connection, and bring the two experiences together in a more fluid way.

Dedicated Twitter Watch parties for Paramount+ shows might be another way to approach this, while Twitter will also no doubt look to partner with Viacom on dedicated Twitter Spaces to enhance fan community and engagement.

It could be another way to build on the popularity of TV show discussion, and it’ll be interesting to see whether Twitter is able to integrate streaming content in new ways to build on its potential in this respect.

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