Twitter expands premium video content in the Middle East and North Africa with over 16 partnerships

Tuesday 09 April 2019
Dubai - MENA Herald:

At its first TwitterFronts event for the Middle East and North Africa, Twitter unveiled over 16 premium video content collaborations across sports, entertainment and news. This provides advertisers more opportunities with premium video on Twitter to connect with the most valuable audiences when they’re the most receptive.

Hosted by Theo Luke, Twitter Head of Content Partnerships, EMEA, and other regional executives, Twitter announced new partnerships and expansions of existing content deals, giving brand and agency partners new and expanded content which  allows them to connect to valuable audiences during relevant and engaging cultural moments.

“Across the world, we find that Twitter's audience leans in to our partners' premium real time video and our advertisers appreciate aligning with our brand safe inventory; whether via global-firsts originating from MENA which include custom productions which position brands as viable distribution partners, or by accessing original programs and video highlight clips. This event is a great way to celebrate that momentum with our partners,” said Twitter Head of Content Partnerships, EMEA, Theo Luke.

Twitter also shared new research, conducted by Toluna a consumer insights company, which examined user preferences for content and their interactions  within the online video landscape  on Twitter among its users in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Kuwait. The research revealed that the majority of Twitter users - 72% in KSA and UAE and 62% in Egypt - consider Twitter as one of their main sources for online video content and also that 64% have previously watched live streamed content on the platform.

“We’re excited to bring premium content partnerships to these audiences and look forward to seeing continued success by advertisers as they launch new products and services when partnering with such content,” said Benjamin Ampen, Managing Director, MENA, Twitter.

Original and video highlights programming announced on stage, included below, will be led commercially by Twitter and its exclusive sales partner in MENA; Connect Ads unless otherwise specified (full list of partner quotes available in the enclosed page):

TV networks

The research revealed that entertainment, fashion, cooking and travel are among the top five popular video content genres by Twitter users in MENA. The most viewed videos around entertainment include  humorous clips (47%), highlights from TV shows (29%), celebrity interviews (26%) and highlights from TV series (24%).

New deals

  • MBC Group and AMS: MBC Group and AMS: The partnership includes highlights, backstage content and recaps of the top regional flagship shows, including the Voice, Arab Idol, Arabs Got Talent, Top Chef in addition to recaps from top Ramadan shows and MBC Group’s regular programming in lifestyle and entertainment categories. As the official media representative of MBC Group, AMS will be the commercial lead for the group’s content on Twitter.
  • Abu Dhabi Media: Brands now have the chance to tap into content around special Ramadan programming as well as original talent and talk shows, reality makeover shows, cooking, travel and cultural shows. This deal also includes select sports programming content.
  • Dubai Media Inc.: Dubai TV will bring special Ramadan programming to Arabic speaking audiences on Twitter as well as top entertainment shows such as Carpool Karaoke Arabia season 2, The Insider Arabia season 2, Mashaheer season 14, Fashion Star season 4 and many more.  

Expanded deals

  • Rotana Group: The expanded list of content with Twitter’s existing partnership with Rotana TV includes exciting new content formats related to original Ramadan programming, popular shows such as the nightly Tarek Show, reality show Shark Tank, football program Kora, as well as new shows such as Talent and The Launch. In addition, brands will have an opportunity to align with content related to movie premieres, music and a year-long calendar of concerts.

Sports

The research revealed that football, wrestling, tennis and motorsports are among the top six enjoyed sports video content by Twitter users in MENA. The most viewed videos around football include match highlights (87%), behind the scenes (49%), player interviews (53%), and commentary and analysis (39%).

New deals

  • Football clubs: New formats will be available around football content for Al Ahli and Al Ittihad Saudi football clubs that include behind the scenes with the teams, training sessions, team travel, interviews, fan moments and team archives. In addition, football content will be available on Twitter based on existing global and regional deals for the following clubs; FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, AS Roma, Liverpool, Manchester City (both available to official sponsors only) and other Saudi football club content through a partnership with Sela Sports.

Expanded deals

  • beIN Sports: In addition to access to UEFA Champions League, La Liga and UEFA Europa League content, Twitter is expanding its partnership with beIN SPORTS to include near live highlights of the UEFA Nations League, the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the South American Football Championship Copa America. Premium video clips will also be available for the tennis Grand Slam tournaments; Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open.
  • Goal Arabia: Based on the success of #YallaGoal European Weekly show that covered the Big Five European football leagues on Twitter, Goal Arabia will produce an expanded edition around the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2019. The exclusive Twitter broadcast offers fast match reports, team profiles, breaking news, press conferences, exclusive interviews, as well as reactions from the coaches, players and fans at the tournament.
  • Formula 1: Formula 1 is the biggest motorsport series in the world. Twitter has renewed its global partnership with Formula 1 to bring the best moments of every Grand Prix to its platform, including an exclusive live show happening immediately after the podium across 11 Grands Prix in 2019.  

Ramadan

Several new and live original productions will take place exclusively on Twitter during Ramadan. These include Sayidaty Group’s ‘Your Ramadan Morning with Sayidaty’, an all-female morning show by and about women, online network UTURN Entertainment’s ‘Who’s Turn is it?’, a live program that showcases stand-up comedians, Hia magazine’s #VimtoCreations, a program that has already secured sponsorship, that showcases top celebrities while they discuss a variety of lifestyle topics, and men’s lifestyle magazine Arrajol’s #WhenMenKnow, a show that covers Ramadan cultural topics.

Lifestyle publication Layalina will launch a sponsored Ramadan TV Direct Message experience on Twitter. TV viewers can send a Direct Message to the Twitter account @Layalina that will automatically display a variety of categories to choose from; ‘Channels’, ‘Series’, ‘TV shows’, "Celebrities" and ‘Now showing’. Once selected, viewers will automatically receive a message that will include a list of series, TV channels, timings as well as a daily recap of their favorite series based on their selection. The TV guide will allow advertisers to align with the experience by creating a branded automated card and integrating their brand within the bot.

Digital publishers

  • Sabq: Custom video content around key trending topics happening in Saudi Arabia will now be available for advertisers from Saudi-based online news portal Sabq.
  • UTURN-Diwanee Group: Digital media group UTURN-Diwanee will provide a list of curated premium content around entertainment, cooking, parenting and fashion on its premium brand accounts on Twitter. These include Arab women’s lifestyle portal Yasmina, food recipe platform Atyab Tabkha, motherhood and family lifestyle publisher 3a2ilati and entertainment platform UTURN Entertainment.
  • New partnerships around lifestyle content additionally include collaborations with Hellooha, an interactive platform where users address key social issues confidentially and seek advice from industry experts, and Aram, a digital publishing company that will be producing edutainment shows on Twitter.
  • Augustus: New media company Augustus will provide innovative video content formats on its brand accounts on Twitter that include English and Arabic lifestyle online publications Lovin Dubai and Lovin Saudi in addition to business news network SMASHI TV.   
  • In addition to the above, a partnership with automotive news publisher Almuraba.net will provide car enthusiasts and brands in the region with unique content to tune in to and leverage.
  • The event concluded with an introduction to Twitter’s new Content Studio, a service that implements Twitter-specific best practices to ensure brand assets are working their hardest on the platform. The Content Studio team has worked with over 150 brands, and helped produce more than 250 campaigns for Twitter’s partners.

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