Hoping to turn tweeters into viewers, Twitter appears to be gearing up to take on Hulu as a destination for premium TV video content: The social site is in advanced talks with Viacom and NBCUniversal to license content, Bloomberg reported.
However, a source familiar with the discussions said the content from NBCU and Viacom would be short clips — not full-length episodes, a la Hulu. The potential deals would be similar to agreements the company already has with ESPN and Turner Broadcasting System, which embed video links in their Twitter feeds, the source said.
Under proposed pacts, Twitter would stream videos and share ad revenue with nets, according to Bloomberg report, which cited anonymous sources. Social giant could seal “one or more deals” by mid-May, report said.
Twitter, Viacom and NBCU declined to comment on the report. Exec with one of the media companies noted that “we have lots of conversations with loads of companies. Some result in deals, many don’t.”
News comes as Hulu’s future remains uncertain. Its parents, NBCU, News Corp. and Walt Disney Co., are again attempting to sell website, and topper Jason Kilar ankled in March. Peter Chernin, former News Corp. COO, entered a $500 million offer to buy Hulu but the current status of the sales process is unclear.
Meanwhile, among other forays into the TV space, Twitter named Chernin to its board last November.
Twitter already is a major haven for chatter about TV skeins. About 32 million U.S. TV viewers actively engaged in Twitter conversations in 2012, according to SocialGuide, an online measurement startup Nielsen acquired last November. Twitter cut multiyear deal with Nielsen to develop a “Twitter TV rating,” and earlier this year Twitter bought social TV analytics startup Bluefin Labs.
Separately, social site is gearing up to release a mobile app for streaming and sharing music.