×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Twitter Lures Top Google Exec to Focus on Entertainment Biz (Exclusive)

Jennifer Prince to head social media company's ad sales efforts in movie, TV biz

Looking to win more Hollywood followers, Twitter has hired Jennifer Prince, formerly Google’s head of media and entertainment ad sales, to pitch new ways movie and TV marketers can use the social giant’s platform.

Prince will lead Twitter’s entertainment sales, based in Santa Monica. Exec officially starts Aug. 19 and reports to Robert Pietsch, director of West Coast sales.

SEE ALSO: Twittervision: How Video + Social Media Will Change Twitter (and Entertainment)

“All entertainment brands are working with Twitter, but they’re just scratching the surface,” Prince said. Over the next few months, she plans to hire a sales team to widen Twitter’s coverage of movies and TV and possibly expand into the videogame biz.

As director of entertainment industry sales, Prince will promote Twitter as the “social soundtrack” that can enhance marketing of TV shows and pics. Twitter sells “promoted tweets,” and last month debuted a TV ad targeting product that pushes sponsored messages in real time to users who appear to be following specific shows.

In addition, the Twitter Amplify initiative lets media partners sell ads in video clips embedded in tweets. And this fall, company plans to launch the Nielsen Twitter TV rating in partnership with Nielsen, aiming to provide metrics reflecting shows’ social engagement.

Are Twitter ads targeted to moviegoers in the offing? All Prince will say is that there will be future “innovation” in company’s ad products.

Prince’s hiring marks the first time Twitter is targeting a vertical industry segment. Until now, company’s ad sales in the U.S. have been regionally focused.

“In my first two weeks, I’m going to meet with key entertainment brands to find out what exactly what they’re doing with Twitter today and where they want to go,” Prince said.

Hiring away a top exec from an even bigger tech titan with which it competes for ad dollars is just the latest sign of Twitter’s aggressiveness, amid speculation mounts that it plans an IPO sometime next year. The company is on track to generate $950 million in global ad revenue in 2014, eMarketer estimates.

Twitter maintains it has no designs on becoming a media platform and isn’t seeking content-licensing deals. “This is not a content play,” a company rep said.

SEE ALSO: Twitter Drives Up TV Ratings for Only 29% of Shows: Nielsen Study

Prince worked briefly for YouTube in early 2007 as a sales team manager, then joined Demand Media as head of branded ad sales before coming to Google in April 2011. She also has worked at Dow Jones & Co., Red Herring, American Greetings, TBWA/Chiat/Day and Ziff-Davis.

“Jen Prince has worked with Sony for more than the past decade, and her deep knowledge of the movie studio category makes her a perfect fit for the entertainment industry director role at Twitter,” Elias Plishner, Sony Pictures Entertainment senior veep worldwide digital marketing, said in a statement. “We couldn’t respect her insight more and look forward to working with her in this new role.”

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Urges Gavin Newsom to Sign Law Punishing 'Deep Fake' Videos

    SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. “We urge Gov. [...]

  • Facebook Portal logo

    Facebook Is Launching a Portal TV Device: Here’s What We Know

    Facebook is getting ready to launch a TV streaming device in time for the holiday season, Variety has been able to confirm with multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, and combining video chatting with TV viewing and [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

    MoviePass, the long-struggling theater subscription service, finally appears to be down for the count. On Friday, MoviePass notified remaining subscribers that it would be shutting down the service effective Sept. 14, 2019, because “its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics announced. “The company is continuing [...]

  • Disney Plus - Full Lineup

    How to Browse the Disney Plus Catalog the Company Is Testing in the Netherlands

    Disney began testing its Disney Plus streaming service in the Netherlands this week. Consumers in the U.S. will have to wait until November 12 to get access to the service, but European streaming aggregator JustWatch already makes it possible to browse the catalog available during this beta test. JustWatch is one of a number of [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content