Tech Drivers
Tech Drivers

Here's Twitter's plan to steal video ad dollars with more live content, like a TV network

Key Points
  • Twitter announces 16 new live deals, ranging from sports to news to entertainment programming
  • The platform streamed more than 800 hours of live content in Q1 2017, reaching 45 million viewer
  • Sixty percent of viewership was outside the U.S.
Jack Dorsey
Justin Tallis | AFP | Getty Images

Twitter detailed its plans to become a 24-7 live streaming video network at its NewFront presentation in New York, an annual event for advertisers to preview upcoming online programming. This was the first time it was part of the lineup.

"We want to be the first place that anyone hears of anything that's going on that matters to them," said CEO Jack Dorsey at its Digital Content NewFront presentation on Monday. "The first place where people hear of what matters. That is our focus, and that is what we will work so hard to deliver."

As concerns about fake news and ads running next to offensive content swirl around its competitors, Twitter is gunning for a bigger piece of lucrative video advertising, trying to steal it away from bigger TV ad budgets as well as Google's YouTube and Facebook's video ads.

"With Twitter, advertisers can have both quality content and massive, accelerating scale," said Twitter's vice president of global revenue and operations Matt Derella said at the event. "With Twitter, advertisers are in control and are able to choose the type of video content their message aligns with."

The platform streamed more than 800 hours of live content in the first quarter of this year according the company, reaching 45 million viewers. More than half was sports content, about one third was news, and 14 percent was entertainment-related. The largest portion of the viewership was under 25, and 60 percent were from outside the U.S.

"We're doubling down on our live premium content strategy — making sure that advertisers can reach an audience that's connected, influential, as an opportunity to be part of what's happening," Anthony Noto, Twitter's COO and CFO, told CNBC.

Here are some of the sixteen new deals announced.

Sports: Though Amazon took over streaming Thursday Night Football games, Twitter announced deals to stream weekly regular season WNBA games and PGA Tour content, in addition to its earlier weekly live MLB game streams. It's also working with the NFL for pre and post-game content, as well as a Sunday through Thursday original show around the games. Other sports programming will include a three-hour weekly MLB show in partnership with MLBAM and a Q&A show with athletes and fans via The Players' Tribune. Another new streaming network, Stadium, will showcase clips from collegiate games, highlights and other original content in real-time.

Entertainment: Live Nation will stream concerts on Twitter, starting with the Zac Brown Band on May 13, with shows from Train, Portugal The Man, August Alsina and Marian Hill scheduled to follow. IMG Fashion will showcase Fashion Week content from around the world. And, it's debutin a pop culture show #WhatsHappening, hosted by Phoebe Robinson from the podcast Two Dope Queens.

News: In addition to the previously announced partnership with Bloomberg for a 24-7 live streamed news network, Twitter said it would also be adding shows including a gadget show from Vox's The Verge, a morning program about viral news and memes with BuzzFeed sponsored by Wendys, and stock market coverage with Cheddar.

However, the company did not address issues with harassment on the platform. Twitter has actively been taking measures to stop trolls, including barring accounts attacking users and banning known perpetrators.

Note: CNBC parent company NBCUniversal is an investor in Vox and BuzzFeed.

—CNBC's Julia Boorstin contributed to this report.