NBCUniversal, Twitter Strike Global Content and Ad Sales Partnership

New York's Rockefeller Plaza- NBC - Getty - H 2020
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The company says the number of campaigns it has run for marketers on Twitter grew by 25 percent from 2019-2020.

NBCUniversal and Twitter have signed a multi-year, global partnership covering advertising sales and content across the international footprint of the media and entertainment giant.

While Twitter and NBCUniversal have been partners going back to 2013, the new deal's global nature marks a significant expansion.

On the content front, NBCUniversal will publish highlights and behind-the-scenes video from dozens of live events, including the upcoming Golden Globes next month, E! People's Choice Awards, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and major sporting events. The company will also continue to premiere Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live! after-show on Twitter. NBC Olympics and Twitter recently announced a separate deal that will cover the upcoming Tokyo and Beijing Olympics.

On the ad sales front, Twitter will now provide broader sales support for marketers buying ads through NBCUniversal's One Platform, giving marketers local, national or global options to reach consumers, and utilizing Twitter's targeting capabilities and advanced ad formats in conjunction with NBCU's content.

"NBCU represents one of Twitter's largest and deepest content partnerships in the U.S. This agreement expands not only their content publishing output in the US, but will position international markets for growth as well," says Jen Prince, vp and global head of content partnerships for Twitter. "More premium content means more sponsorship opportunities for advertisers, so there's meaningful revenue impact here as well."

"By joining forces with Twitter on this new global partnership, we're bringing NBCUniversal's premium content directly to audiences around the world, and we're leveraging Twitter's platform capabilities to create even more engaging and interactive experiences," says Joe Cady, senior vp of strategy & development at NBCUniversal. "Together, we're making it even easier for brands to work with us by providing the premium content and advanced targeting capabilities that marketers need to run a high-quality, seamless digital campaign."

Cady says that the number of campaigns that NBCUniversal has executed on Twitter grew by 25 percent from 2019-2020.

As the digital and social media spaces have exploded in popularity with consumers and marketers, NBCUniversal, like other entertainment giants, has tried to leverage its own scale by partnering with many of the tech platforms.

The company invested $400 million in BuzzFeed and Vox Media in 2015, hoping to leverage the digital publishers' expertise in the social space. In 2017, the company invested $500 million into Snap Inc., tied to its IPO.

Ultimately, NBCU exited its Snap investment in late 2019 as it sought to pay down its debt and invest in its own digital platform Peacock. Instead, the entertainment giant is continuing to work with Snap as a partner, rather than an investor.

"At NBCUniversal, we believe that partnership drives progress," Cady says. "For the better part of a decade, we've sought out partners that enable us to bring the best possible experience to our audiences, along with the flexibility and scale that marketers need to reach them. Our best partnerships are the ones that value premium content, integrate product and technology, and commit to long-term collaboration. When we're able to combine our strengths towards a common goal, we can move the industry forward.