Targeting Twitter’s audience by the TV that they watch

The future, I sees it –

Back in September last year, I put together a few ideas about what evolutions we might see in the social media industry during 2013. Snappily entitled ‘2013 Social Media Predictions‘, one of the areas focused on was how Social TV and advertising would need to work closer together if they planned to meaningfully speak to their audiences across multiple different platforms.

Quote:

“…Soon smart media-planners will force Twitter to allow time-sensitive promoted tweets, with time-focused twitter ads designed to populate at specific times – down to the very minute. Whereas the traditional consumer used to put the kettle on, today’s viewers are now turning to Twitter (and away from the ads), the industry won’t put up with this for long.”

Makes sense, right? Of course it does. So it came as no surprise at all to read that, thanks to the advent of Twitter’s new Ad API, the smart folk at TBG Digital have done just that.

Introducing Calendar Live, a new platform that  allows buyers to purchase Promoted Tweets in sync with television programmes. It’s that simple. While it’s true that marketers could kind of do this already, this new system makes it supremely easier and brings in additional features such as trend monitoring and more granular time-targeting.

Calendar Live

Bonus simplicity: it looks just like your TV guide — 

While this isn’t the kind of ad-based scheduling I was initially talking about, it is a step towards a more connected approach to social media ad-planning. Good work Twitter, and well done TBG. We’ve been looking at a number of solutions to manage our approach to social media and TV of late, and Calendar Live looks like it might actually have something useful to both brands and agencies alike.

Three final points:

  1. With similar fantastic work taking place right now in the form of Three’s #DancePonyDance, this kind of integration really is the at the forefront of where social media, and thus social TV, is headed during 2013.
     –
  2. SXSW is on right now which, to me at least, means big news like this gets swept away under the mess of it all. Rule one: don’t launch during SXSW.
     –
  3. I love it when I’m right.
    – 

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.

 

Speaking: Social TV Conference

My slides are up –

However, as per usual, I would whole-heartedly recommend you click through to the presentation’s main slideshare page so that you’re able read the accompanying slide notes (that provide more of an in-depth look at the points I was making along the way).

While you’re there, I would also impress upon you to look at the presentations from Tiffany St James, Mat Locke, and Dan Paton. Dealing with stats, history, and an ace MTV case study respectively.

All in all, Social TV Conference London was a really good event. Second screen entertainment is definitely one of the more nascent areas of the social media industry today and there is some amazing work going on right now.

Why not have a poke around the conference website and see what nuggets you can find…

Your comments, as ever, are welcome.

 

New Year, New Choices: Speaking

Yes, that’s right: SPEAKING.

The Conversation Prism, by Brian Solis

At the tail end of last year (and after much deliberation; is it poncy, is it not?) I added a ‘Speaking’ tab to my blog. First, to record all the speaking engagements that I am lucky enough to get/give and second, to serve as a way for folk to not only see the way I work, but also get in touch should they wish to book me.

Last year topped out at three different presentations and talks, and given that 2011’s end number was six, I really don’t think this is good enough.

After reviewing last year’s fairly lacklustre efforts I decided that this year, 2013, I’m going to proactively hunt down new speaking opportunities and get back into the swing of things again. The best thing is, my new responsibilities at Ogilvy now allow me the freedom to pursue this goal, which means I can make the time where appropriate. Brilliant.

Saying it is one thing, but doing it is another – a bit like running, really; you just need to put the effort in. Which is why, after only three weeks gone in the year, there are four slots already on the horizon!

The two I can tell you about?

January 22nd
Tomorrow I’m speaking at the SocialTV conference. The speaker line up looks great and, after my post last year about how hard TV-based social media integration is failing, I believe I’m being pitched in to add a bit of realism to the proceedings. I can’t wait!

January 24th
Then on Thursday, I’m one of the speakers at the SalesForce Social Success Mic-Up. This time speaking about social media trends looking forward into 2013. I made some predictions in August last year and for this sessions I’ll be building on those and trying to see what else we can see coming ’round the corner.

Two confirmed, and two under discussion. If the latter come in, I’ve already beaten last year’s score. Perfect.

It’s amazing what you can achieve when you set yourself a goal like that.

Who’d a thunk it?

 

__________________________

Additional reading: being a better speaker, by Terence Eden

 

Five things on Friday #44

Things of note for the week ending November 2nd, 2012

Wolverine Poster

1. New poster for The Wolverine
This dropped earlier this week and it is gorgeous. Bold, stark and perfectly reminiscent of the 1982 mini-series that the film is based upon. It’s a little less controversial than the first teaser poster (apparently the locals weren’t happy with the apparent destruction of their flag) and alright we’re going to have wait until July to see if James Mangold‘s version will be anywhere near as good as I hoped Aronofsky’s version would be but still, it bodes well.

If you want to know more about The Wolverine, I’d suggest you go and watch this video (featuring my friend Ryan, and posted by my friend Rob – the guys I mentioned I last week), which features an interview with both the film’s lead and director.

2. Taste the rain

I have a love/hate affair with autumn at the moment, but this piece of art speaks to me on so many levels. I just, I just can’t stop looking at it. It’s crying out for breath. There’s so much going on. I adore it.

via

3. Halloween!

Beetlejuice + Grandmama

Any excuse for dress up, right?

Two parties, one costume.

Epic times.

4. Muse are hilarious
This is old, but I don’t care. I liked it. Apparently, Muse don’t like to mime.

[youtube width=”525″ height=”355″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3T2sOOtNlw[/youtube]

Brilliant.

5. Rob’s THINGS
This week I (re)discovered the blog of Rob Hinchcliffe. He does a similar thing to my Five Things but his is called ‘Inspiring and Interesting Things This Week‘ or ‘I.I.T.T.W.‘ (catchy, I know). If you’re after a source of interestingness (hey, that might a reason you’re reading this post right now), then I recommend you go have a look.

Seriously, without it I wouldn’t have discovered the by far away best thing I’ve read all week which was this fantastic three page long interview with the master magician Teller (one half of Penn & Teller).

Bonuses this week; apparently psychopaths are more attractive than the rest of us (this explains a LOT); all the 2screen reports you’ll ever need (big love to The Guardian for that one); and this piece from Warren Ellis is a damn good read too. 

 

Whatley out.

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EDIT: Apologies to those of you that subscribe by email and received an unfinished article in your inboxes early this morning. God knows how I managed to hit the publish button by mistake, but I did. And hey, if you don’t subscribe by email, why don’t you give it a go? You’ll never miss a post and it’s easy too – you just have to pop your email address in one of the boxes on the right and you’re away!

Current attempts at television-based social media integration are failing, hard.

How do we fix them?

To find the solution, we first need to fully understand the problem.

2screen / dual-screen / second-screen — all are different names for the kind of integration that I’m referring to and it’s something I’ve been kicking around in my head ever since I went to my first 2screen event back in October 2010.

It was a big deal then and it’s a bigger deal now.

With the increase of iPad penetration and the continuous growth of the smartphone market, the notion of 2screening is becoming more and more commonplace. In fact, a recent Neilsen survey found that 80% of tablet and 78% of smartphone owners used their device while watching TV at least once during a 30 day period.

In the app-world, services such as ZeeBox and Sky Sports for iPad are doing very good things indeed. Both integrating news, stats and social media streams into your second screen; providing a suitable data-based accompaniment to your visual consumption.

However, I want to talk about television-based social media integration (not app-based).
This kind of stuff –

That’s how Sky One’s ‘Got to Dance‘ handles it and many other broadcasters follow suit. BBC One is getting in on the act too, here using a Twitter wall backstage for the UK edition of ‘The Voice‘.

Twitterwall

What do these examples all have in common?

Fundamentally, they are all bringing (or at least attempting to bring) the conversation from the second screen, to the first. Which, correct me if I’m wrong, kind of defeats the object of the second screen.

Whether it’s reading out tweets during the credits of Celebrity Juice on ITV2 or talking about Facebook wall posts inbetween programmes on BBC3, broadcasters seem to be obsessed with sharing (read ‘owning’) viewer social media.

Recognising that conversation takes place away from their platform(s), TV + social media work best together when television directs its audience to the conversation medium, as opposed to smashing them in the face with it via another.

Sorority Girls, an E4 TV show, flashes up their hashtag both at the start and at the end of their show as well as when going into ad breaks.

This is good! This is television saying –

‘Hey, perhaps some people are actually watching our shows when they’re on and, instead of going to the kettle during an ad break, they’re turning to Twitter!’

– and giving the audience a your hashtag at this point is a very good idea. You own it, you guide it, you track it.

Ignoring The Voice for a second, the BBC actually do this quite well, both with Question Time and Have I Got News For You, for example:

via Roo Reynolds

Little pointers like this give you, the viewer, the option of tracking (and joining) the back-channel. If you understand what it means, you join the conversation. Perfect.

I guess this is one big plea to broadcasters to just stop reading out tweets and Facebook updates on the telly. Seriously, it just doesn’t work.

Finally, and returning to the opening image of this post, the new trailer for Prometheus aired recently during the first break of Homeland. Channel 4’s own announcer was employed also, asking viewers to tweet their reactions using the hashtag #areyouseeingthis.

So far, so good. Right? Right.

Except that, 20mins later (during the next ad break), those very tweets were displayed onscreen for all to see.

via Digital Examples

Yes that’s actually a TV ad you’re seeing there, with (clearly moderated) tweets displaying instead of your usual commercial break. Mental.

Reports state that this activity reached a potential audience of 15m users. (Note: POTENTIAL audience. That’s the number of every tweet with the hashtag, multiplied by their sum of their followers – ie: not a real number). And while this kind of exercise is a great advert for Twitter, it leaves existing fans and users feeling a bit… empty.

In closing, encouraging viewers to join an online conversation is one thing, replaying that conversation to them 20mins later is just a pain in the oculars.

Discuss.

 

 

Not one, but 2Screen

According to the website

We are watching more TV than at any time in the last five years.
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That statistic is usually followed by ‘despite the rise of the Internet’. We’re in the opposite camp. We believe TV viewing is increasing because of the Internet. The social web turns TV into an event, a shared experience.
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And as the social web becomes increasingly central to our lives, these events become more and more important. It becomes the nationwide, and sometimes worldwide water-cooler.
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Where’s it all going? And what’s the next cool thing going to be?
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Join us 14 October 2010 evening at Conway Hall.

So I did.

Before we start, this post might look quite long but it’s not. Not really anyway, there’s just a lot of pictures…
Let’s crack on.

Up first, Matt Locke, Head of Cross Platform for Channel 4. For this session I thought I’d crack open my Moleskine and give ‘mind-mapping’ a go. Something I’d seen Charlie Osmond do at SXSWi earlier this year, I’d been meaning to try it out for a while, so…

Start at ‘Television: Traditional’ in the middle of the left page and follow the arrows from there (click the image for larger size):

Presentation 1 Mindmap (aka Moleskine scribbles)

As per the right hand page, at 19:35 and 19:40 there were two slides which I loved (and subsequently uploaded). First, the web hits received by Channel 4 when their 2screen show ‘Seven Days‘ went live –

Traffic spike on Channel 4's website for Seven Days... Wow.

Err… WOW. No wonder the site went down on day one.

Second, the Google searches for ‘1066 Channel 4’ which was an online game that Ch4 ran during the showing of their 1066 drama broadcast in the summer earlier this year.

Searches for '1066 Channel 4'

The TX date is the peak at the top. The slide that I didn’t manage to grab was the one after, which showed how their online game carried on this peak long after the TX date. A great learning.

Matt spoke of attention shapes coming in different forms. Priyanka has a great write-up of these and I’d recommend taking a look at her words. The key takeaway for me was that, back in the day, our attention (as consumers) was organised by content creators –

‘It’s our TV show, we’ll broadcast it 7am. You need to be there to see it.’

Today, that is no longer the case and broadcasters are not only having to adjust their models accordingly, but also get over their fear of this changing consumption model.

Presentation two was from Margaret Roberstson, Director of Development at Hide & Seek. Just a couple of quotes from this one (which hopefully speak for themselves);

Twitter / @James Whatley: Much respect for harking b ...

Twitter / @James Whatley:

The irony of ‘focus’ resulting in two choice tweets is not lost on me.

Next up, my good friend Utku Can and his mate Tim Morgan. The former representing LivePitch, one of my favourite iPad apps to date and the latter, talking about Picklive; a way to bet on short amounts of football.

The mindmap for that session is below, start on the bottom page in the middle just above ‘RTRTG’ where it says ‘Picklive + LivePitch’ –

Talk 3 @ #2Screen mindmap - Picklive vs LivePitch

This one was a touch more difficult as there were two speakers, taking it turns to talk about two different products but around one theme (which changed every few minutes). Like before, at 20:15, there was a slide that I really liked and, as such, subsequently uploaded. Take a look –

Screens demand attention

I love this slide.

As mentioned, Utku is a friend of mine and often we talk about distraction vs attention and when he pulled up this slide, suddenly it all clicked.

The point of this slide is demonstrate that television is constantly demanding attention – whether you’re looking at it or not, the iPad on the other hand (with its built-in accelerometer) knows when it’s not being looked at so shouldn’t shout at you when it’s flat down and not moving for example. However when it is picked up or being moved/looked at, it should know that too and then start responding accordingly.

Utku later commented –

One other thing I had mentioned was we don’t necessarily need the devices to have accelerometers. A cruder way of achieving this would be ‘time since last interaction’: if you haven’t tapped or clicked anything in a while, we can scale back how much attention the second screen is demanding.

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For the lack of a better phrase, I’m calling it ‘reactive interfaces’.

Nice.

Finally, Kevin Slavin spoke at length, about crowds creating magic and how that drives us online ‘to 2screen’ with the larger community. Cinema viewings vs TV viewings, concerts vs radio… it adds up.

See 'Limbic Resonance'

It’s an odd sense of wonder, being aware that there are thousands, nay millions, of others sharing your experiences.

Limbic resonance, who knew?

At the end of it all, 2screen turned out to be one of my favourite events of recent years and – if you’re interested in the future of television, broadcast or consumer entertainment behaviour then I would definitely suggest reading up on 2screening right now; it’s already happening.

Be a part of it.