Photographer: David Paul Morris

Twitter Adds Video Advertising to Periscope, Focusing on Predictable Content

Twitter Inc. is adding advertising to posts from its Periscope live-broadcasting tool -- but only on the safest videos.

As some of the world's largest advertisers pull spending from Google's YouTube video-sharing site amid concerns about placement with potentially offensive material, Twitter is touting that its Periscope ads will be placed predictably and only with high-quality publishers that the marketers choose.

``They'll be able to scale and have complete control about where their message appears on live content on Twitter,'' Matt Derella, Twitter's vice president of global revenue, said in an interview. ``Brands can control and choose the trusted content they want to align their message with.''

It's a difficult promise to make about live content. Periscope users have posted live feeds of violent protests and crimes, for example. The social-media company has a program to work directly with certain publishers, such as media organizations and influencers. When advertising starts on Periscope in the coming weeks, initially on a trial basis, Twitter will share the revenue with those top-tier creators. The ads will play before the videos start rolling.

Twitter is struggling to win market share in a digital-ad market dominated by Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google. It may have an opportunity in video as YouTube works to repair relationships with advertisers that saw their commercials play alongside offensive, racist or extremist content. YouTube had been matching ads to videos automatically, as opposed to letting marketers pick the pairings -- a tactic that allowed the site's ad business to grow quickly but now has the company scrambling for technical solutions.

Periscope's progress will be slower, with an invitation-only trial to start, Derella said. Twitter wouldn't say how much of the video on its site comes from its Periscope tool -- only that many millions of hours of Periscope are watched every month. The company is betting on video advertising to help boost its sales, which have slowed in recent quarters and are expected to post their first annual decline this year.

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