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Twitter highlights video success but ad revenues slip

Twitter_logo_blueTwitter attracted 31 million unique viewers to live premium video in the first quarter of operations, with 600 hours of live content from partners streamed across about 400 events.

The social network said that 52% of the 600 hours of live premium video aired in the quarter was sports content, while 38% was news and politics and 10% was categorized as entertainment.

Twitter said that approximately 33% of unique viewers came from outside the US, while approximately 50% of viewers were under the age of 25.

In live sports, the social network’s 10-week NFL #TNF programming was the major highlight of the fourth quarter.

In news and politics, Twitter partnered with Bloomberg, BuzzFeed News, and PBS NewsHour to bring Twitter users live coverage of the 2016 presidential and vice-presidential debates, election night, and the inauguration, with approximately 4.2 million unique viewers during the final debate, and we approximately 7.5 million and 8.6 million unique viewers for election night and the inauguration live streams, respectively.

In its financial fourth quarter, Twitter broadcast 6.6 million hours of live video through Periscope. The company also introduced the ability to create and Tweet live video from the Twitter app

The company highlighted video as its largest revenue-generating ad format.

Twitter-owned-and-operated advertising revenue in the fourth quarter was US$553 million, down 1% year-over-year. It said strength in video was off set by year-over-year declines in revenue generated from traditional Promoted Tweet and direct response ad formats.

Overall, Q4 revenue was US$717 million, up 1% year-on-year.

The company said that going forwards it would “focus our investment in revenue product features that dierentiate Twitter and capitalise on our unique value proposition for advertisers, including video and more organic ad formats”.

Twitter said it would bring Twitter Amplify open video, its video advertising product to enable advertisers to place video ads against premium content automatically based on their preferred content categories, to international markets in the first half of this year, ahead of general global availability by the end of 2017.

Overall, Twitter’s total revenue for 2016 was US$2.5 billion, up 14% year-over-year. Adjusted EBITDA for the full year improved by close to US $200 million, reaching US$751 million.

Tags: Twitter, US