Twitter's Head of Video Hints at Monetization Plans for 'All' Creators

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Former Staff Writer
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- While Twitter continues to be plagued by lackluster growth and confusion about its ultimate identity -- not to mention an ongoing leadership shuffle -- the video category has been a critical focus for the social network this year.

In an appearance today at the digital media summit VidCon, Twitter’s head of TV and video Baljeet Singh hinted that the company is exploring options that would allow more creators to monetize their content.

Related: How Brands Are Paving the Way for Periscope Marketing 

Given that users frequently converge upon Twitter to discuss viral moments from cultural events such as the Super Bowl and award shows, Singh said that Twitter represents a unique, real-time opportunity for marketers. To this end, its most important video ad product is called Twitter Amplify, which enables broadcasters to tweet out viral clips (the NBA might tweet out a particularly thrilling play, for instance) preceded by a pre-roll ad. Twitter then splits this ad revenue with broadcasters.

Singh hinted that the company is thinking about how to offer the same model to more than just broadcasters. “What we’re starting to do is think about how that program can be expanded to all types of creators,” Singh said. The program now counts 130 partners.

Related: The Best Time to Tweet

However, for Twitter’s other video properties -- Vine and Periscope -- Singh is less interested in ads for the time being and more focused on content diversity and audience growth. “We’re not as tuned in to monetizing right out the gate because I think that’s a failure that a lot of initial startups make.”

At Periscope, he said, new content formats are emerging every day. His personal favorite is a pianist who takes song requests around-the-clock via Periscope’s chat feature. 

And while Vine has served as a veritable launching pad for massive digital stars like Cameron Dallas and Brittany Furlan, Singh told Entrepreneur that Twitter has no plans to invest in original content in the same way that YouTube has said it will develop programming around its homespun stars.

Singh joined Twitter in March 2014 from Google, where he previously led all of YouTube's advertising initiatives.

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