Twitter's latest TV tie-in will be held together by chewing gum.
Trident will sponsor a TV show on Fuse called "Trending 10" that the three companies described today as "the first television program to be sourced and produced from real-time Twitter conversation spikes." The show has already been airing every weekday since November without a sponsor, but was recently moved up to the 7:30 p.m. eastern timeslot in anticipation of Trident's participation.
The program features the top 10 trending music-related stories of the day. The picks are determined by Fuse-branded "heat tracker" technology that measures which artists are generating the largest spikes in Twitter conversations. As part of the deal, Fuse was given "elevated access to our data and our API which allows them to sift through the real-time music conversations," Alex Josephson, a Twitter brand strategist, said in an interview. "Trident as our marketing partner is able to facilitate that entire conversation."
The companies declined to share financial terms of the year-long partnership.
Trident's participation lends more momentum to Twitter as it seeks deeper ties to marketers and TV networks. On Monday the company made public a new multi-year deal with Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group that will give the agency's clients first dibs on desirable Twitter inventory, as well as other perks.
SMG's Mediavest, which is the media-planning and -buying agency for Trident-owner Mondelez International, brokered the deal with Twitter and Fuse, which is owned by the Madison Square Garden Co. A spokeswoman for Mondelez said it was negotiated separately from the pact announced Monday.
Mondelez sees the arrangement as a way to engage with millennials, a key gum-buying audience. The deal will give the brand up to "25 daily pieces of content." Trident, for instance, will tweet the Fuse-gathered music trends during the day, using Twitter technology to target specific audiences. So the brand might be able to send Tweets to followers of an artist who is featured on daily trend list, for instance.
"Through the partnership we'll be connecting with consumers at gum-chewing moments, like when they are commuting or waiting in line at checkout," Farrah Bezner, a marketing director for Mondelez, said in a statement. Gum purchases are typically impulse-driven buys as consumers scan the counter at the check-out line. But the category has suffered in part because consumers are paying less attention to the counter in those moments because their heads are so often buried in their smartphones.
Trident will also put its name on a weekly segment during the show called "Flavor of the Week." So, "spicy" music storylines might be backed by a cinnamon-flavored gum. Trident will also be able to tweet out video from the show using its Twitter handle.
The Fuse partnership adds to Twitter's growing portfolio of TV deals, which includes the likes of the Weather Channel and Turner Broadcasting's March Madness coverage and BBC America. Twitter is also said to be negotiating with Viacom and Comcast's NBC Universal.
Those moves are aimed at adding more video content and longer user engagement on a side that that was built around 140-character tweets. The Fuse deal makes the TV network -- not the social network -- the host of the core content with the "Trending 10" show, which is hosted by Fuse personality Yasmine Richard, along with guest hosts.
The partnership aims to "flip the script" of traditional TV programing in which "TV informs digital," Mr. Josephson said. With the Fuse deal, "the social conversation on Twitter is informing what's being programmed and depicted and aired across the Fuse network on television," he added. And Trident is "the conduit to how that programming reaches consumers both on air and then when it comes full circle and is leaked and redistributed across the Twitter platform."
Still, the deal does not exclusively bind Trident to Twitter. The brand could potentially share content on other social networks, including Facebook, Ms. Bezner acknowledged in an interview. But Twitter already appears to be reaping some financial rewards. This morning, Trident backed a sponsored trend (#TridentNews) teasing today's announcement.