Hosted by Theo Luke, Twitter Head of Content Partnerships, EMEA, and other regional executives, Twitter announced new partnerships and expansions of existing content deals, giving brand and agency partners new and expanded content which allows them to connect to valuable audiences during relevant and engaging cultural moments.
“Across the world, we find that Twitter's audience leans in to our partners' premium real time video and our advertisers appreciate aligning with our brand safe inventory; whether via global-firsts originating from MENA which include custom productions which position brands as viable distribution partners, or by accessing original programs and video highlight clips. This event is a great way to celebrate that momentum with our partners,” said Twitter Head of Content Partnerships, EMEA, Theo Luke.
Twitter also shared new research, conducted by Toluna a consumer insights company, which examined user preferences for content and their interactions within the online video landscape on Twitter among its users in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Kuwait. The research revealed that the majority of Twitter users - 72% in KSA and UAE and 62% in Egypt - consider Twitter as one of their main sources for online video content and also that 64% have previously watched live streamed content on the platform.
“We’re excited to bring premium content partnerships to these audiences and look forward to seeing continued success by advertisers as they launch new products and services when partnering with such content,” said Benjamin Ampen, Managing Director, MENA, Twitter.
Original and video highlights programming announced on stage, included below, will be led commercially by Twitter and its exclusive sales partner in MENA; Connect Ads unless otherwise specified (full list of partner quotes available in the enclosed page):
The research revealed that entertainment, fashion, cooking and travel are among the top five popular video content genres by Twitter users in MENA. The most viewed videos around entertainment include humorous clips (47%), highlights from TV shows (29%), celebrity interviews (26%) and highlights from TV series (24%).
- MBC Group and DMS (a sister company of AMS - MBC’s Exclusive Media Representative): The partnership includes highlights, backstage content and recaps of the top regional flagship shows, including the Voice, Arab Idol, Arabs Got Talent, Top Chef in addition to recaps from top Ramadan shows and MBC Group’s regular programming in lifestyle and entertainment categories. DMS will be the commercial lead for the group’s content on Twitter.
- Abu Dhabi Media: Brands now have the chance to tap into content around special Ramadan programming as well as original talent and talk shows, reality makeover shows, cooking, travel and cultural shows. This deal also includes select sports programming content.
- Dubai Media Inc.: Dubai TV will bring special Ramadan programming to Arabic speaking audiences on Twitter as well as top entertainment shows such as Carpool Karaoke Arabia season 2, The Insider Arabia season 2, Mashaheer season 14, Fashion Star season 4 and many more.
- Rotana Group: The expanded list of content with Twitter’s existing partnership with Rotana TV includes exciting new content formats related to original Ramadan programming, popular shows such as the nightly Tarek Show, reality show Shark Tank, football program Kora, as well as new shows such as Talent and The Launch. In addition, brands will have an opportunity to align with content related to movie premieres, music and a year-long calendar of concerts.
The research revealed that football, wrestling, tennis and motorsports are among the top six enjoyed sports video content by Twitter users in MENA. The most viewed videos around football include match highlights (87%), behind the scenes (49%), player interviews (53%), and commentary and analysis (39%).
- Football clubs: New formats will be available around football content for Al Ahli and Al Ittihad Saudi football clubs that include behind the scenes with the teams, training sessions, team travel, interviews, fan moments and team archives. In addition, football content will be available on Twitter based on existing global and regional deals for the following clubs; FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, AS Roma, Liverpool, Manchester City (both available to official sponsors only) and other Saudi football club content through a partnership with Sela Sports.
- beIN Sports: In addition to access to UEFA Champions League, La Liga and UEFA Europa League content, Twitter is expanding its partnership with beIN SPORTS to include near live highlights of the UEFA Nations League, the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the South American Football Championship Copa America. Premium video clips will also be available for the tennis Grand Slam tournaments; Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open.
- Goal Arabia: Based on the success of #YallaGoal European Weekly show that covered the Big Five European football leagues on Twitter, Goal Arabia will produce an expanded edition around the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2019. The exclusive Twitter broadcast offers fast match reports, team profiles, breaking news, press conferences, exclusive interviews, as well as reactions from the coaches, players and fans at the tournament.
- Formula 1: Formula 1 is the biggest motorsport series in the world. Twitter has renewed its global partnership with Formula 1 to bring the best moments of every Grand Prix to its platform, including an exclusive live show happening immediately after the podium across 11 Grands Prix in 2019.
Several new and live original productions will take place exclusively on Twitter during Ramadan. These include Sayidaty Group’s ‘Your Ramadan Morning with Sayidaty’, an all-female morning show by and about women, online network UTURN Entertainment’s ‘Who’s Turn is it?’, a live program that showcases stand-up comedians, Hia magazine’s #VimtoCreations, a program that has already secured sponsorship, that showcases top celebrities while they discuss a variety of lifestyle topics, and men’s lifestyle magazine Arrajol’s #WhenMenKnow, a show that covers Ramadan cultural topics.
Lifestyle publication Layalina will launch a sponsored Ramadan TV Direct Message experience on Twitter. TV viewers can send a Direct Message to the Twitter account @Layalina that will automatically display a variety of categories to choose from; ‘Channels’, ‘Series’, ‘TV shows’, "Celebrities" and ‘Now showing’. Once selected, viewers will automatically receive a message that will include a list of series, TV channels, timings as well as a daily recap of their favorite series based on their selection. The TV guide will allow advertisers to align with the experience by creating a branded automated card and integrating their brand within the bot.
- Sabq: Custom video content around key trending topics happening in Saudi Arabia will now be available for advertisers from Saudi-based online news portal Sabq.
- UTURN-Diwanee Group: Digital media group UTURN-Diwanee will provide a list of curated premium content around entertainment, cooking, parenting and fashion on its premium brand accounts on Twitter. These include Arab women’s lifestyle portal Yasmina, food recipe platform Atyab Tabkha, motherhood and family lifestyle publisher 3a2ilati and entertainment platform UTURN Entertainment.
- New partnerships around lifestyle content additionally include collaborations with Hellooha, an interactive platform where users address key social issues confidentially and seek advice from industry experts, and Aram, a digital publishing company that will be producing edutainment shows on Twitter.
- Augustus: New media company Augustus will provide innovative video content formats on its brand accounts on Twitter that include English and Arabic lifestyle online publications Lovin Dubai and Lovin Saudi in addition to business news network SMASHI TV.
- In addition to the above, a partnership with automotive news publisher Almuraba.net will provide car enthusiasts and brands in the region with unique content to tune in to and leverage.
The event concluded with an introduction to Twitter’s new Content Studio, a service that implements Twitter-specific best practices to ensure brand assets are working their hardest on the platform. The Content Studio team has worked with over 150 brands, and helped produce more than 250 campaigns for Twitter’s partners.
“MBC Group is the largest and most popular media group in the MENA region. MBC’s premium content, flagship shows and offerings are an integral part of the Twitter conversation - thus engaging millions, every second of the day. We are delighted to partner with brands whose principals and end-users value our offerings. With MBC’s strong Ramadan 2019 line-up, across several channels and multi-platforms, we are looking forward to some great outcomes.”.
Johannes Larcher, Managing Director – Digital/VOD, MBC Group
“Our relationship with Twitter has grown over the years and we look forward to strengthening it further.”
Heba Al Samt, Radio and TV Digital Media Department Director, Dubai Media Inc
"Rotana is looking forward to continue its Ramadan partnership with Twitter for the third year in a row. This year, our Ramadan programs will include Radar Tariq, AlRahel, and a special show hosted by one of the top Saudi presenters, Abdullah AlMudaifer. We will also continue to offer premium and existing shows, and upcoming formats on Twitter. For the first time in the region, Rotana will be launching a 100% digital music show with a special edge of "Twitter voting".”
Nezar Nagro, President of RMS (Rotana Media services)
“Partnering with Twitter is one of the committee’s top priorities due to the great popularity of Ittihad Club on the platform and the high-level interactive participation of its fans on Twitter.”
Khalid Ameen Temairik - President of the Commercial and Marketing Committee, Ittihad Club
“Al-Ahli board believes that the association with Twitter represents an important step for both parties, assuring that the successes achieved by Twitter during the recent years have driven the club to sign this partnership contract.”
Al Ahli Club media center
“With the launch of the AFCON 2019 show, we are now producing the third edition of the Yalla Goal series around key football tournaments that fans in MENA follow and engage with. The exclusive Twitter broadcast allows us to reach a wide pan Arab audience in real-time and sponsors have the perfect moment to reach and deliver their brand message to fans. Goal is a premium football news brand backed by leading digital sports business DAZN, so for brands looking to get involved more natively in storytelling content, we also offer a catered service around product placement and bespoke branded editorial segments which allows show sponsors to align with football content to audiences in a meaningful way.”
Salika Mustafa: Vice President Media and Partnerships - Middle East & Africa, Goal
"Sayidaty’s online daily Ramadan series ‘Your Ramadan Morning with Sayidaty’ will provide fresh spiritual, health, fashion, beauty and societal discussions. Every five minute episode consists of a variety of segments with multiple presenters, street vox pops, and unique infotainment content.
As for Arrajol’s #WhenMenKnow, it will be a contemporary show that will help the modern man learn how to become more relevant, engaging and successful in this day and age. Male audiences will have premium content with witty, spontaneous and unexpected interviews starring Lowai Sahi.”
Nour Almasri-Regional Digital Media Director, Sayidaty
"We are excited to be part of #TwitterFronts MENA. Twitter is a valuable platform which reaches a very engaging Arab audience in the GCC and the wider MENA region and through this partnership we will offer branded content programming which is contextually relevant and reaches the right audience."
Mai Badr, Editor In-Chief, HIA Magazine
“Twitter has proven to be a strategic partner for Layalina. The partnership has allowed us to strengthen our connections with our audience and in particular in the GCC region, which resulted in stronger engagement and a new monetization channel for 7awi. These are the types of partnerships that we cherish!”
Andy Abbar – CEO, 7awi.com
"We are very excited to be expanding our collaboration with Twitter. We look forward to playing a bigger part in developing premium Arabic content in the GCC region."
Hussin Alhazmi, CEO, TREND DC - Sabq
“Our partnership with Twitter is an exciting opportunity to bring regional audiences closer to their entertainment interests. We're thrilled to collaborate with the platform, to leverage its capacities and to bring our own understanding of audiences and content to this relationship.”
Samar Bawab, Head of Publishing, UTURN Diwanee Group
“Hellooha is the first website to offer an interactive platform for users to address key social issues confidentially and seek advice from industry experts for free regardless of social status. We are looking forward to the partnership with Twitter to help us raise awareness about the importance of self-development in the Arab society.”
Mona Abu Salim, Founder, Hellooha
“The partnership between Aram and Twitter is an opportunity to share edutainment content and media that helps improve society, and a chance to create a positive dialogue on Twitter.”
Aram media center
“Being a 'new media' company, our brands inherently live on Twitter, we are always excited by innovative new formats and ways to connect with our audience, on Twitter we have found the perfect partner that understands native publishing and are looking forward to building on our existing relationship to serve our followers and our clients in the best way possible.”
Richard Fitzgerald, Managing Director Augustus, Publishers of Lovin Dubai, Lovin Suadi & SMASHI TV
“We are happy for this great opportunity to partner with Twitter and to be able to expand our content across MENA to reach more audiences who are seeking premium automotive content.”
AbdulRahman Bin Shahbal, Co-founder, Almouraba.net
About Twitter (NYSE: TWTR)
Twitter is what’s happening in the world and what people are talking about right now. From breaking news and entertainment to sports, politics, and everyday interests, see every side of the story. Join the open conversation. Watch live streaming events. Available in more than 40 languages around the world, the service can be accessed via twitter.com, an array of mobile devices, and SMS. For more information, visit about.twitter.com, follow @Twitter, and download both the Twitter and Periscope apps at twitter.com/download and periscope.tv.
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© Press Release 2019