Monetizing the video business
After a string of video acquisition deals, Twitter (TWTR) is beginning to show that its video business is almost ripe. The recent hiring of Todd Swidler as the head of its Live Video segment hints at Twitter’s confidence that its video business is quickly coming of age.
Swidler is an experienced and well-connected video executive. He led Bloomberg’s video strategy for about five years before he left to join video game and eSports company ESC Games. Swidler also worked in the video operations of Cablevision (CVC) and the NBA.
Turning the video business into a money machine
Twitter is charging Swidler with the responsibility to grow and turn its video business into a money machine that can transform its fortunes. Twitter’s tepid growth has been a longtime source of pain to its investors.
Twitter’s 1Q17 revenues of $548.3 million represented a 7.8% drop from 1Q16. Twitter has missed its consensus revenue estimate in three of the trailing five quarters. The chart above shows how Twitter’s reported revenues have compared with consensus estimates in the last five quarters.
Swidler to tackle Facebook in video push
In addition to working to recoup the investments Twitter has made in video, Swidler is also expected to drive the transformation of the company’s revenues and earnings.
However, it remains to be seen whether Swidler can help Twitter navigate the escalating competition from Snap (SNAP), Facebook (FB), and Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google to grow its share of the digital video advertising market.