Twitter extends video monetization platform

Expanded Amplify program allows any creator or publisher to add pre-roll

Twitter Amplify’s new beta launch takes a page out of YouTube’s video advertisement strategy, where short, six-second pre-roll ads will run before a brand or company’s content video.

This is a huge change in the relationship between companies that release promotional entertainment videos on Twitter over 30 seconds long through Twitter Amplify, and brands sponsoring them. Prior to this week’s beta launch, advertisers would enter a sponsorship deal with a publisher — ESPN, MTV, or FOX, for example — and their videos (such as a movie trailer) would be updated on Twitter with the yellow sponsored button.

This beta changes the equation. All advertisers have to do is log into, then choose what content categories (including demographics and genres) they want to target; those ads will be automatically set as pre-roll before a relevant video.

"Pre-roll sponsorship of great premium content juxtaposes your brand message against this great content, and benefit from that halo effect," said Baljeet Singh, Twitter senior product director, Media TV & Video Twitter, at #VideoNOW event in New York on Thursday. "We’ve heard feedback that advertisers want more scale and want the process to be easier. Now, all publishers and creators will have the option to monetize their great video content on Twitter. Check a box, opt in for monetization as a publisher."

Companies taking part in the beta program include Sports Illustrated, The Food Network, People magazine, The Huffington Post, The Weather Channel, Time and AOL, as listed on the Twitter blog announcement on Thursday.

Advertisers will keep about 70% of what was monetized per ad pre-rolled.

Launched in 2013, Twitter Amplify has allowed television networks, movie studios, sports leagues and major digital media publishers to release promotional and informational videos over 30 seconds long. Twitter users can upload videos 30 seconds or shorter for free; with Amplify, companies can post videos longer than that, including television promos and sports highlights.

"Twitter video is now open for business," Singh said.

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