TwitterFronts: MMVAs, Corus shortform series

The social media company's first Canadian upfront outlined its video programming strategy for the coming season.

Copied from Media in Canada - 2015MMVAIn less than a month, one of Canada’s biggest music events will take over a busy Toronto street, millions of television sets and, now, Twitter feeds.

It was announced that the iHeartRadio MMVAs will be broadcast in full on Twitter in Canada, thanks to a deal between the social media platform and Bell Media. It’s a first for Twitter, which had previously only broadcast the MMVAs pre-show.

The deal was one of many announcements made at Twitter Canada’s upfront-style “TwitterFronts,” in which the company unveiled new and expanded content deals and partnerships over the coming year.

To begin, Corus Entertainment will produce two new programs exclusive to Twitter. The first is #TrendingTonight, a twice-weekly show featuring the stars of ET Canada discussing the biggest trends and social movements, and allowing viewers to respond in real-time. The second is #OneDirtyDish, a cooking program featuring Food Network Canada chefs, who will create weeknight meals that require only one dish, with ingredients selected by viewers through polls on Twitter. The series are produced by Corus’ in-house social content studio so.da.

Corus and Twitter are also in development on a third short-form concept, tentatively titled #ThisIsViral, a daily live interactive series diving into top Twitter trending stories.

In addition to the Corus content partnership, Twitter will also sponsor custom in-stream video for BetaKit, which covers Canadian start-up, tech and industry news. Other global deals (which will be also available in Canada) include a 24/7 news network by Bloomberg, a daily morning show from Buzzfeed and a weekday business news series from Cheddar.

Lastly, Homestand Sports, a live events company that specializes in sports interviews, including PitchTalks, HoopTalks, PuckTalks and more, will produce 30 near-weekly episodes for Twitter over the next year. The social content will feature top sports talent and commentators.

Kevin Kennedy, founder and CEO of Homestand Sports, told Media in Canada that partnering with Twitter was a way to “bridge the gap” for those who couldn’t make their live shows (which he says now attract audiences of about 600 per event). “This is a place where we can really grow the brand,” he said.

Christopher Doyle, head of sports partnerships for Twitter Canada, said that the platform’s audience is especially receptive to sports brands. “They actually appreciate when a brand brings them great content, connects them with players and teams that they love,” he said. “That could mean anything from an opportunity around a contest to win tickets, presenting a Q&A, or sponsoring talent.”

Currently, more than 15 million Canadians use Twitter monthly, and 44% of those users say they check Twitter multiple times a day. Half of Canadian Twitter users are under 35.

From Media in Canada