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Twitter Builds on Its Strength in the Middle East

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People in the Middle East go to Twitter for online videos

Twitter (TWTR) recently inked more than a dozen video programming agreements with several leading media publishers in the Middle East. According to a report from Mashable, Twitter struck 16 video agreements with the Middle East’s media and entertainment giants such as MBC Group and Dubai Media for content covering news, sports, and entertainment.

In the Middle East, Twitter isn’t making a blind bet with the video push. A study conducted on behalf of Twitter by Toluna shows that 72% of Twitter users in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates consider the platform to be their primary source of online videos.

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Twitter eyeing video advertising expenditures

These new video deals will allow Twitter to improve the experience for its subscribers and extend the reach for its advertisers, in turn capturing more advertising dollars.

In the video push, Twitter is responding to the shifting media advertising trends where marketers are moving away from television commercials to connect with younger consumers on the Internet. In the United States, for instance, marketers are expected to spend over $36 billion on digital video advertising, and that will rise to $58.4 billion by 2023, according to eMarketer predictions. In contrast, spending on television commercials in the United States is forecast to decline from about $71 billion in 2019 to around $69 billion by 2023.

Video contributes 50% of advertising revenue

Twitter’s advertising revenue increased 23% YoY to $791 million in the fourth quarter. Video accounts for more than 50% of Twitter’s advertising revenue. Facebook (FB), Google (GOOGL), and Yelp (YELP) reported an advertising revenue increase of 30%, 20%, and 12% YoY in the fourth quarter, respectively. Advertising revenue rose 10% YoY at Baidu (BIDU) in the fourth quarter.

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