Twitter has hired Todd Swidler, a longtime media executive who was instrumental to Bloomberg’s video strategy, to run its live video business. Twitter CFO Anthony Noto made the announcement of the hire on Twitter, and Swidler replied by saying that he is “excited to join this incredible company and continue building on the amazing momentum of Twitter’s live business.”
Excited to announce @toddswidler is joining Twitter as our new Global Head of Live Business. Welcome to the flock, Todd! #golive
— Anthony Noto (@anthonynoto) May 22, 2017
Swidler is joining the company from ESC Games, an esports gaming company that he joined as CEO last year. Before that, Swidler worked for some five years for Bloomberg, heading digital video and striking global partnerships for Bloomberg’s video efforts. Previous jobs include stints at the NBA and at Cablevision.
The hire goes to show how much Twitter is looking to turn live video not only into a growth driver, but also a revenue opportunity. The company dipped its toe in the water by live streaming the NFL’s Thursday Night Football last season, and has since announced new live video deals with MLB, NFL, Viacom, BuzzFeed and others.
Earlier Monday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pointed out during an investor event how important live video is for the company, reiterating that Twitter had streamed 800 hours of premium live content during Q1 of 2017.