The Verge‘s writer Casey Newton reported that Twitter will start putting ads in front of Periscope videos.
You’re about to see ads in front of Periscope videos. Twitter said today it would start monetizing its 2-year-old live streaming service, beginning with pre-roll video on both live and archived videos. The move offers Twitter new revenue, and big Periscope broadcasters a way to profit from their work, at the risk of alienating some users.
Twitter is seeking new revenue sources amid a general decline in its advertising business. Video advertising, which commands higher ad rates than other formats, is at the centerpiece of the company’s plans. The company said this month that it would participate for the first time in NewFronts, a May event where digital media companies promote their video offerings to advertisers.
LIVE VIDEO CAN BE RISKY FOR ADVERTISERS
Live video is prized by advertisers for events that command outsized attention, such as sporting events or the Oscars. But the race to win advertising dollars in video is growing more crowded by the month. It’s unclear how Twitter, whose user base is dwarfed by YouTube’s and Facebook’s, will win. And no matter the size of the platform live video can also be a risk — no advertiser would want to see their brand associated with a video where a crime is committed.
Periscope ads will only run in front of high-profile live video
Twitter said that initially, Periscope ads will only run in front of high-profile live video, such as fashion shows or sports games. Would-be Periscope advertisers must be part of Twitter’s Amplify program, which matches advertisers with big video publishers. It’s unclear to what extent average users will ever be able to profit from the kind of distracted bedroom selfie streaming that remains a hallmark of live-streaming services.
Periscope ads will come in a variety of lengths, and longer ones can be skipped, Twitter said. They also run over the content, so you’ll miss the portion of the stream you would have seen if it were still the halcyon days when Periscope videos did not have pre-roll ads.
Correction, 10:18 a.m.: This article has been updated to reflect that longer Periscope ads can be skipped.