Cracking The Video Market

Twitter Allows Video Creators To Get In On Ad Revenue

Gif via Giphy
Creators who publish videos on Twitter will get about 70 percent of the ad revenue…Normally accessible only to companies, Twitter’s Amplify Publisher program is now available to individual content creators.

The TV-ification of platforms continues! Answering a question from the last time I visited this issue, Twitter is allowing little-ole-you to reap profits from your Good posts*. Just put ’em on Twitter, check a box, and let the cash roll in 😎

CNBC’s Julia Boorstin says it’s a move Twitter hopes will grow its user base, commenting that “[t]his is just the latest way Twitter is trying to compete with YouTube.” Sure, ok, kind of, but also: no, not at all. I don’t know what they said in the press release, but even given that admittedly attractive 70–30 revenue split and the acquisition of Niche — the function of which I still don’t understand (a brand/vine star matchmaking service?) — anyone calling Twitter a YouTube competitor in the video market is being pretty quixotic. Is there any competition at all, really**? Why shouldn’t content creators just put their content on both platforms and enjoy the 50% AND the 70%? Is that still considered a win for Twitter? (For now: maybe, but just wait until non-competes make their debut.) And really, how many success stories can Twitter — at least partially — attribute to the video aspect of its platform? At present, I can only think of one.

Still! I’m calling this a Good thing. Allowing users to become their own channels on a platform that is about to be dominated by those of brands has a nice Twitter™ egalitarianism about it. Perhaps more importantly, we still don’t know how to turn putting things on platforms into a functional economy, so anything that might have the possibility of lending financial infrastructure to the primordial swill that is platform publishing is good***.


**Let’s say, as a brief thought experiment, that Twitter becomes the premiere video hosting service; where does that leave YouTube? A siphon directing clicks back to Twitter (i.e. our current Twitter), where the ad revenue per view is better lol? This is…a very ambitious endgame…lmao

***Think of it this way: if a population of ugly swamp fish (media) are facing environmental changes that will soon make their swamp uninhabitable, it’s better for the population to have a high mutation rate. That way, the odds increase that at least ONE of the swamp fish will have an advantageous mutation that allows it to survive, reproduce, and let the species remain extant. Twitter granting individual content creators a piece of the ad revenue pie is kind of like a mutation; it could be the genesis of a functional set of lungs that lets the fish breathe on land (platforms) or it could give the fish a second head (???).