Twitter strikes new deals to bring in more sports and entertainment videos

  • Twitter announced that it struck new deals with media and entertainment companies to bring “hundreds of hours” of live-streaming and video highlights onto the social media platform.
  • Some of the partners include Sony Music, FOX Sports Asia and VICE.
  • The social network projects by 2020, it will have about a billion views in videos on its site from Asia Pacific, Kay Madati, global vice president of content partnerships at Twitter, told CNBC.

Twitter said on Wednesday it struck a host of new deals with media and entertainment companies to bring "hundreds of hours" of live-streaming and video highlights onto the social media site.

The partnerships would expand the kinds of videos that are available on Twitter to audiences and advertisers in the Asia Pacific region, the company said in a statement. That includes game highlights from the UEFA Champions League, action and interviews from Formula One and live Red Carpet events and other programming.

Some of the partners announced include Sony Music, Indian film star Shah Rukh Khan's production house, Red Chillies Entertainment, CNBC parent company NBCUniversal, FOX Sports Asia and VICE.

"We work with each of our partners to structure the deal where they'll produce the content and then we put advertising around it, and then we work out a (revenue) share," Kay Madati, global vice president of content partnerships at Twitter, told CNBC's "The Rundown."

Madati emphasized that Twitter is not trying to be a competitor to linear broadcasters and other content creators. Instead, he said the goal is to help those companies reach Twitter's audiences.

Video consumption has seen explosive growth in recent years. This year, nearly 2.38 billion people are set to watch streaming or downloaded digital video content using any device at least once a month, research firm eMarketer said in a February report.

Twitter is seeing an "enormous" amount of video consumption and double-digit audience growth in Asia Pacific, according to Madati.

"In fact, we are projecting by about 2020, we'll be at about a billion views here in (Asia Pacific) alone," he said. "That strength has actually led to a lot of inbound inquiries and outbound inquires where we have had partners want to come work with us to extend their reach."

That projection will face a lot of competition from other companies, including Facebook and Alphabet's YouTube, that are also working with video content producers to bolster their own platforms.

Madati, for his part, said Twitter has a unique value-proposition.

"When something happens in the world, it happens first on Twitter," he said. "In the moment, the audience reacts on Twitter and we're working directly with our content partners to be able to insert that video into the conversation that erupts on the platform."

When asked if Twitter has a target on user growth that it expects to come as a result of those new deals, Madati said he was more focused on increasing the company's penetration with partnerships and that, subsequently, the user growth will happen.

In its second-quarter earnings, Twitter said its average monthly active users were at 335 million, which was a decrease of 1 million quarter-over-quarter. In a letter to shareholders, the company said monthly active users could decline in the third-quarter due in part to its efforts to clean up the site by removing certain accounts.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of NBC and CNBC.