Twitter Extends Pre-Roll Video Ads to Periscope Livestreams

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Credit: Periscope

Periscope videos will start showing pre-roll ads on Twitter.

The media service is expanding a program it uses to push pre-roll video ads ahead of clips from publishing partners on the platform, and will now serve commercials before Periscope livestreams. On Tuesday, Twitter announced the new ad inventory, as it leans more heavily on video to turn around its declining ad sales.

"I see it as a natural extension of what Twitter is doing in video," said Matthew Derella, head of revenue at Twitter.

Twitter has been developing partnerships with publishers like BuzzFeed, Bloomberg and other content creators, and splitting revenue on pre-roll video ads.

Twitter is opening pre-roll on Periscope at an opportune time. It's one of the only major digital platforms to offer that format, other than YouTube, which has been facing difficulties with brands after objectionable content was discovered playing there.

A load of brands have frozen spending on YouTube until it can ensure their ads run alongside safer content.

Periscope pre-roll ads will only run when the livestream is being viewed on Twitter, and not on Periscope.

Twitter hopes it can entice brands by giving them control over where their ads run and only offering them a curated group of video publishers.

"The key point is, control is in the brands' hands," Mr. Derella said. "They get to choose the content and the publishers to work with."

That doesn't mean Twitter is immune from brand safety concerns. Advertisers have been pulling back spending on Twitter as the platform has become more polarized and political.

Not all advertisers are comfortable in its news-like atmosphere, while others jump right into that daily conversation.

Periscope allows publishers to livestream from events and has been used by sports leagues, movie studios, awards shows and others.

The pre-roll video ads can be 15- or 30-second spots and can be skipped after six seconds.

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