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Twitter hires former Ticketmaster chief

Tuesday, 27 Aug 2013 | 3:07 PM ET
Twitter appoints head of commerce
Tuesday, 27 Aug 2013 | 1:17 PM ET
Twitter is seeking to diversify its revenue ahead of a potential IPO. CNBC's Julia Boorstin reports the social media site has appointed ex-Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard as its head of commerce.

Twitter is making a big move into e-commerce, pushing to diversify its revenue ahead of an expected initial public offering. The company has created a "head of commerce" position and made a high-profile hire for that role—Nathan Hubbard, who until two weeks ago was president of Ticketmaster Global.

Hubbard, who starts at Twitter this week, will report to Adam Bain, who is Twitter's president of global revenue.

Twitter told CNBC that it's concentrating on a larger commerce play on Twitter itself, and Hubbard will focus on building a platform, to draw in retail partners to sell physical and digital goods on the platform.

(Read more: The 10 greatest scandals ever tweeted)

Nathan Hubbard speaks at the International Entertainment Buyers Association Conference and Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn.
Getty Images
Nathan Hubbard speaks at the International Entertainment Buyers Association Conference and Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn.

"The data we have and the targeting abilities we have are so unique," Hubbard said. "Think about the evolution of tools Twitter gives brands and content owners, starting with brand advertising, then the card product moves to direct response advertising. The next evolution of that card product aims to eliminate that friction and buying, to bring that transaction forward [onto Twitter's platform] in a frictionless way. The goal is to help merchants of physical and digital goods amplify their sales the way Twitter is amplifying views and revenue streams for content creators."

Hubbard draws a comparison between the live conversation happening on Twitter and the live concert business he used to work in. "I have spent the last bunch of years monetizing that passion and electricity of the live moment and as a result am a believer in the power of situational or serendipitous content."

(Read more: Twitter Panel: Why do people really tweet?)

In contrast to Facebook, which recently allowed a test for online shoppers to use their Facebook log-in information to make purchases on mobile apps other than Facebook, Twitter is focusing—initially at least—on its own platform.

Hubbard left his role as president of Ticketmaster's global business two weeks ago, (until recently his title was CEO of Ticketmaster).

At the ticketing giant Hubbard was focused on making Ticketmaster more user-friendly especially online and on mobile devices. A musician himself, he joined Live Nation after the concert giant bought a majority stake in the music marketing company he was running, Musictoday.

(Read more: How business is cashing-in on Twitter)

—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin. Follow her on Twitter: @JBoorstin.

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.