We are friends, not foes in the content partnership paradigm: Kay Madati, Twitter

Global VP of Content Partnerships, Twitter, speaks about Twitter's Live Video Content Strategy and why Twitter's strategy is unique

e4m by Venkata Susmita Biswas
Updated: Sep 12, 2018 8:58 AM

Twitter is strengthening its content offering globally and in India as a testament to its commitment to delivering Live Content. Only, Twitter’s content strategy is different from that of other social media and OTT platforms which are also dabbling in Live Content.

Kay Madati, Global VP of Content Partnerships, Twitter, told exchange4media that Twitter is seeing a lot of strength in its content business primarily because “We are not competing against anyone for rights or for rights to distribute content.” He says taking this approach has helped Twitter position its offering in a unique way in the marketplace. Twitter is positioning itself as an extension of audience reach strategies and their monetisation and business opportunities.

Unique Strategy

Facebook is vying with media companies and OTT players like Amazon Prime Video for rights to distribute sports content. Facebook recently won the rights to exclusive show every La Liga game, for the next three seasons, to viewers in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, The Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The social media network also hold the rights to distribute Major League Baseball to US audiences.

“Most of our partners see that more complementary to their content execution plans than competitive. It is part of the reason we have received so much strength especially from the media companies and the rights holders that we work with,” Madati said.

Prior to Twitter, Madati was at Viacom where he liaised here he sat on the other side of the table, trying to crack content deals. “It was very clear that some of the players are going to be competitors whereas Twitter is not a competitor,” he said speaking about his view of social media platforms from his time at Viacom. Now that he is part of the team at Twitter he said, “We are friends, not a foe in the content partnership paradigm. Our approach is distinctly different from how Facebook is approaching it in the marketplace.”

He further added that the model that Twitter is following is “healthy for the ecosystem” and “is an interesting way for a linear television broadcaster to expand” their reach and audiences.

What Works on Twitter

“When something happens in the world, it happens on Twitter,” said Madati. And it is this basic insight on which Twitter is basing its Live Content strategy. “Video can be a way for people to understand what is happening and that live video content can bring that conversation to life on the platform,” Madati explained.

Twitter’s proposal to content owners is simple: “Conversation is happening on Twitter around content. Marrying that video content with the conversation on twitter that presents you with an opportunity to extend your audience reach and monetise that content as well.”

Users on Twitter are not known to consume long form content on the platform, and Madati is completely cognizant of that behaviour. Which is why Twitter is looking for short-form content for the platform. “Fundamentally, we are looking for content in the moment. A goal is scored in a football match or a political development takes place, most of that conversation is taking place on Twitter and so we are looking for content that can tell stories and develop and create content in the cultural zeitgeist in the moment,” he said.

He added that Twitter’s efforts around content are true to the vision of the company which is to keep the world informed and serve the public conversation. “The content on the platform is structured to align with how we see people consuming content on the platform - which is generally shorter form content - content can quickly deliver the story narrative or the information that people on the internet can easily share and be distributed across the platform,” he said.

India Partnerships

On Tuesday Twitter announced more than 50 premium video content collaborations in Asia Pacific region. Of these 12 are Indian partners who are collaborating for Live and Premium Video Content.

Live Video Content in the areas of News, Entertainment and Sports has many takers on Twitter, Madati said. He pointed out that video consumption in india is growing exponentially. “That is bringing a younger and more coveted audience and we are able to create and execute deals with key partners to access and leverage that receptive and influential set of audience. We are having a great amount of success with this kind of strategy,” he said.

Madati said that since the growth of data infrastructure in India has accelerated over the last two years, the infrastructure is providing an opportunity to platforms and brands to reach more audiences. He added that Live Streams on Twitter in India have been smooth so far.

In the entertainment space alone, Twitter is partnering with Comic Con India, ScoopWhoop, Filmfare, and Vh1 Supersonic for Live Video content in India.

Red Chillies Entertainment, Vh1 Supersonic, Comic Con India, Network 18, Scoopwhoop, NDTV, Filmfare and CricBuzz, that Twitter will collaborate with to bring new content to audiences in the country and opportunities for Indian advertisers.

In the sports genre Cricbuzz has tied up with Twitter to bring Live episodes and clips of their flagship show Cricbuzz LIVE to Twitter. The shows and clips will cover the Asia Cup, India’s home series against the West Indies and India’s tour to Australia. News publishers The Quint and CNBC TV18 will broadcast live content on the automobile sector and the Union Budget coverage respectively.

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