“Twitter is the social soundtrack for TV”; Twitter CEO Costolo Says Investing ‘Heavily’ in TV

Twitter CEO Costolo Says Investing ‘Heavily’ in TV

Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo said he sees television companies as valuable partners for its microblogging service and is investing accordingly.

“Twitter is the social soundtrack for TV,” Costolo said today in an onstage interview at the D: All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

“We’ve decided to invest heavily in that,” said Costolo. “There’s a bunch of ways we can be complementary to broadcasters.”

Twitter is adding video content to bolster ad revenue in a bid to reach $1 billion in sales by 2014. Earlier this month, Twitter announced a partnership with the National Basketball Association to stream game highlights, as well as a deal with ESPN, a unit of Walt Disney Co., to show snippets from soccer matches, college football and other sports.The microblogging site is also investing “quite a bit of money” in improving security in the weeks after hackers compromised the Associated Press account on the site, triggering a stock market decline, Costolo said. Last week, it added two-step authentication, which requires users to input a code sent via text message to a mobile phone in order to log in.

“We haven’t moved as quickly there as we would have wanted to.”

While Costolo has said that management isn’t concentrating on an initial public offering, Twitter is widely predicted to hold a share sale before long to fund expansion and give early investors a way to realize financial gains on their holdings.

IPO Question

Today Costolo continued to downplay the potential for an IPO, likening himself to a football player concentrating on making a big play while someone stands on the sideline asking him what he’s doing after the game.

“I’m in the middle of trying to run this business and build this business.” Planning an IPO is “not the way I spend my time thinking about the company,” Costolo said.

Earlier this month, the company hired Morgan Stanley managing director Cynthia Gaylor to run corporate development, adding an executive with 17 years of investment-banking experience.

Twitter Inc. was valued at almost $10 billion by one of its investors this month, up about 10 percent from a previous estimate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Douglas MacMillan in San Francisco at dmacmillan3@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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