Twitter’s Periscope Launches Ad Program for Live-Streaming Broadcasts

Live-streaming service teams with Andy Roddick for sponsored U.S. Open broadcasts

Andy Roddick Periscope Twitter
John Salangsang/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

Twitter is making its first move to let users of its Periscope live-streaming video service make money on their broadcasts.

For the first Periscope ad campaign, Twitter has teamed up with Andy Roddick. The retired tennis pro will host a series of broadcasts for this year’s U.S. Open tournament in New York, sponsored by Chase and Grey Goose vodka, which will be streamed on Twitter and Periscope. Roddick, from his Twitter handle, will invite viewers to watch the broadcasts with him, providing commentary on matchups and gameplay. He’ll also answer questions and engage with the audience, allowing viewers to take part in how he experiences the tournament.

Twitter execs have been promising to roll out a way to monetize broadcasts on Periscope, which it acquired in early 2015. Last month, Twitter added the ability to embed Periscope live broadcasts in third-party websites, after adding them to Twitter timelines in January.

Roddick’s sponsored U.S. Open content will begin on Thursday evening, and continue through the run of the tournament. It will appear in several ways on Twitter: His Periscope broadcasts will be shared through Tweets from @andyroddick, and select broadcasts will appear as Promoted Tweets from the brand launch partners. In addition, branded broadcast highlight videos will be tweeted by Roddick, @Chase and @GreyGoose.

JPMorgan Chase, which is an official U.S. Open sponsor, was drawn to Roddick’s Periscope broadcasts during Wimbledon, according to CMO Kristin Lemkau. “When he started Periscoping during Wimbledon, it was clear to us that is a change in how people will watch sports,” she said.

Separately, Twitter has been lining up a string of live-video deals in the past few months, in a bid to boost engagement, attract more users and generate video-ad dollars. Those include rights to stream 10 NFL “Thursday Night Football” games this season, starting Sept. 15.

In what it called a test of its live-video experience, Twitter this summer streamed the live feed from Wimbledon.com on the social service, surrounded by tweets related to the tournament.