Twitter and the monetization of the second screen

Twitter’s been buying again… 

Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 22.32.36 (1)

According to sources, Twitter just bought US-based social TV analytics firm, Bluefin Labs. While the actual number is still an ‘undisclosed figure’, early reports state that this is Twitter’s ‘biggest acquisition to date’.

A few things:

1. This is REALLY interesting

Twitter and TV is clearly going to be HUGE. During the panel I was on at Social TV Conference London recently I remember saying something along the lines of –  ‘Let’s just be honest: second screen engagement is basically Twitter, we shouldn’t kid ourselves about that.’

I was being deliberately forthright but, looking back on it now, I don’t think I could’ve been any more right.

2. Is this is Twitter buying *outside* of their ‘API quadrant’?

Last summer, much was made about Twitter’s changes to their API. However what made it ultimately clear to everyone on what (and what was not) fair game was this one simple chart –

twitter-api-chart

At the time, Twitter made it very clear that they were encouraging developers to no longer create apps that existed in the upper-right quadrant. In fact, they went so far as to call out the guys they thought were doing a great job in the other areas – stand up Klout, Radian6, and Storify.

However, with this acquisition, Twitter are now parking their tanks on the lawns of many many TV analytics firms out there today, and who can blame them?

My point is: Twitter are moving the goal posts again. To wit:

‘You can develop on our API but as soon as there’s serious money to be made… we’ll have our ball back please.’

3. Monetizing the second screen is clearly the next big thing

This is hardly news but, after the massive success of Twitter at the Superbowl this past weekend (earning mentions in 50% of all advertising)… hang on, before we go any further, some fag packet analysis:

  • Superbowl ads cost (for airtime alone) $3.8m per 30seconds
  • $3,800,000 / 30secs = $126,666.66 per second
  • 26 of the (presumed) 52 ads featured during the Superbowl had hashtags appended to them
  • Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that those ads ran those hashtags for 2-3seconds (it’s probably more, so let’s shoot for the top end of that spectrum)
  • 3secs x 26 ads = 78seconds
  • 78 x $126,666.66 = $9,879,999.48

Which means that during Superbowl 2013, Twitter scored just shy of 9.9million dollars of FREE ADVERTISING.

Wow.

Sorry, where was I?

Oh yes, brands are on the Twitter train (for second screen activity) and the great ones are killing it. How long will it be until others catch on? 5, 4, 3…

4. Bluefin now, Second Sync next? 

From what I can tell, Bluefin are US only. Which is great, and an obvious win for that team (second screening in the US is clearly the most advanced / widely accepted). However the immediate question is: what’s next for the rest of the world’s TV social analytics market?

The smart money would be on the UK’s Second Sync being next. At a recent London Twitter event, #PoweredByTweets, Second Sync data was present in nearly every presentation – and Twitter were happy to say so too. They clearly do the best job, they’ve clearly been anointed as the chosen ones in this particular region, so are they clearly next in line for aquisition? Place your bets now please…

5. Social TV + The Future

It now goes without saying that 2013 really will be the year of Social TV. There’ll be a lot of snake oil salesmen out there and separating the wheat from the chaff will certainly make for interesting viewing indeed.

Bring it on, creatives of 2013, let’s see what you’ve got.

 

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3 thoughts on “Twitter and the monetization of the second screen”

  1. First time reading one of your blog posts (I’m ashamed that it’s taken this long). Was not disappointed. Glad you did all that twitter math. Great to lay it all out like that. Makes perfect sense.

    Crap, now I have to read moar of your stuff all the time now, don’t I? 😉

    [Reply]

    James Reply:

    Yay! Another reader! 😀

    (and thanks, you rock)

    [Reply]

  2. Hey James,

    Great post. I’ve been out of action for a few weeks and have been trying to get back up to speed on what’s going in the world. I was pleased to see a succinct analysis of the Superbowl and an opinion on what the Bluefin acquisition could mean. Thanks. E

    [Reply]

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