Just in time for the CES show, a major media outlet is spinning out a little business out of Twitter. The Associated Press today announced that it has inked a deal with Samsung for the consumer electronics giant to have two tweeting slots a day on the API’s main Twitter account (1.53 million users) for the five days the show runs, January 7-11.
Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the deal is just between the AP and Samsung and does not involve Twitter or its Promoted Tweets service.
This is the first time that the AP has sold space on its Twitter service, although Samsung has a track record of investing in the Twitter platform to promte itself.
An AP spokesperson emphasizes that this deal is only related to the two tweets per day that Samsung is getting as part of the deal. The AP’s team of journalists will be at the event and tweeting from there as they would normally be, and the Samsung deal will have nothing to do with that. Think of these, instead, as commercial slots in AP’s tweeting news service, which it says will clearly be labelled “SPONSORED TWEETS.”
These tweets will be handled by people outside the AP newsroom and will not be in any way automated — in keeping with Twitter’s rules for how Twitter users can present promoted tweets in their account.
The Samsung service is part of a wider strategy at the AP to build up more advertising revenue through mobile and social media, to supplement the licensing fees it gets from newspapers and other organisations for its news wire service.
Other advertising initiatives have included iCircular, a mobile/tablet version of the advertising circulars that appear in printed newspapers. iCircular
is still in pilot mode, according to this release in July announcing integration with Print2Web for PDF services. was sold in November 2012.
There is also the AP’s YouTube channel, where ads are sold via Google (of course); and its AP Mobile app, which has been ad-supported since 2008 and has had 12 million downloads.
All the same, the AP is treading carefully. “The AP developed internal guidelines in recent months so that it may build new business models in the new media landscape without compromising its newsroom values and principles,” it writes in its release.
“As an industry, we must be looking for new ways to develop revenues while providing good experiences for advertisers and consumers,” notes AP managing editor Lou Ferrara, who oversees social media initiatives, in a statement. “At the same time, advertisers and audiences expect AP to do that without compromising its core mission of breaking news.”