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.
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  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.
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  3. I love it when I’m right.
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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.