Twitter is widely thought to be the dominant player in Social TV.
And Social TV is crucial to the company’s IPO pitch, says Futurescape in the new edition of its in-depth Social TV report.
The majority of Twitter’s revenue to date derives from its Promoted Products advertising formats. These are sponsored versions of its tweets and trends that appear at the top of a user’s news feed.
However, even more significant advertising revenue opportunities are likely to emerge from Twitter’s recently launched and innovative television-based ad formats: Amplify and TV Ad Retargeting.
Amplify shows users instant replays of TV programming, such as exciting sports highlights, with each clip embedded in a tweet. The clips motivate users to tune-in to the programming while it is being broadcast, boosting ratings for the network partner.
Amplify further gains Twitter and the broadcaster advertising revenue from sponsor pre-roll ads.
International partners for Amplify include BBC America, CBS, Discovery Communications, ESPN, TF1 France and Viacom International Media Networks.
TV Ad Targeting identifies Twitter users who tweet about a specific TV show. It then enables an advertiser who is running a commercial during that show to target these viewers with a related digital advertisement via Twitter.
Twitter has partnered with leading US pay-TV operator Comcast and broadcast group NBCUniversal for the See It feature. This enables Comcast subscribers who see a tweet about an NBCU TV show to click on the tweet’s See It button and change channels to watch the show. In addition, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings have recently become available, for broadcasters to evaluate the relationship between Twitter buzz and viewership.
The ad formats, See It button and partnerships with international broadcasters, pay-TV operators, rights holders and ad agencies:
- Encourage viewers to watch the live broadcast of TV programming and commercials
- Support TV advertising and pay-TV revenues
- Create incremental revenue for broadcaster content
This gives Twitter key roles within the $350bn global TV advertising market and a compelling story about monetization and advertising growth opportunities for its IPO roadshow later this month.
The FT reports that Twitter has already been pitching the TV ad products to its global ad agency partners, such as WPP, and quoted the reaction from Tom Bedecarre, president, WPP Ventures:
“I was surprised to see the sales message. It’s all about TV now. Maybe that is because TV still is the dominant medium with big advertisers.”
However, Twitter does not have a monopoly over Social TV.
Facebook is launching multiple Social TV initiatives in the run-up to Twitter’s IPO. It is copying Twitter features, such as hashtags, and providing free data tools that enable broadcasters to engage Facebook users by displaying their real-time reactions on-air during TV shows.
From a competitive standpoint, Twitter and Facebook are now locked in an increasingly fierce rivalry over Social TV’s commercial future.
Post-IPO, the Twitter-Facebook battle for Social TV and TV-related ad dollars will only intensify.
With over a billion Facebook, Twitter and mobile messaging users discussing their TV viewing on second screens, Social TV is crucial for ratings success and advertising effectiveness.
Futurescape’s Social TV report is the most comprehensive and authoritative analysis of this complex and vibrant digital sector, consulted by media executives worldwide.
It provides a full strategic context and data to plan Social TV activity, set targets and evaluate results, for broadcasters, producers, advertisers and agencies.