| April 22
April 22 Twitter has struck one of its biggest
advertising deals to date with media agency Starcom MediaVest
Group (SMG), the companies said, in the social media site's
latest effort to boost revenue.
The multi-year agreement, which includes preferred inventory
and a direct pipeline into Twitter's data feed for media
planning purposes, is worth up to hundreds of millions of
dollars, according to sources familiar with the deal. They
declined to be named because the transaction details are
"In about 18 months, Twitter has gone from an experiment to
essential," said Laura Desmond, global chief executive of
Starcom, in an interview about the partnership on Monday.
"The deal is about research and experiences on behalf of
SMG's clients," said Adam Bain, president of global revenue at
As part of the worldwide firm Publicis Groupe, SMG
buys and plans media on behalf of clients ranging from Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd to Kellogg Co. The
partnership marks a significant win for Twitter which has been
courting Madison Avenue to expand its advertising business.
With 200 million users, Twitter has become extremely popular
for its effective way of sharing short, 140-character messages.
But the fast growing social media site now in its seventh year
is furiously ramping up its ability to make revenue in the face
of stiff competition from Facebook Inc and Google Inc
Twitter is expected to generate less than $600 million in
revenue this year, according to the research firm eMarketer.
The partnership with SMG culminated last fall after a
strategy planning session between Desmond and Twitter Chief
Executive Dick Costolo. SMG is making a push to connect
traditional media buys like TV commercials and glossy ad pages
in magazines with chatter on social media across the Web.
As part of the agreement, Twitter and SMG will co-create a
virtual lab to research how people tweet and watch TV.
Twitter has also partnered with TV viewership company
Nielsen to measure what people are saying on Twitter about TV
Additionally, Twitter and SMG will launch a mobile product
to survey users in real-time.
"We think agencies play a big role bringing interesting new
ideas to the platform and we want to support that," said Bain,
adding that Twitter plans to form more of these types of
partnerships. "We want to create a great framework to measure."