TV and Twitter are bonding well. Twitter was a clear winner in the recently concluded Football World Cup 2014. The 140 character network received more than 672 million tweets related to the #WorldCup. With the users increasing, which was quite evident in the recent Q2 2014 earnings, Twitter has been working on introducing new revenue sources. Latest being the Twitter Amplify in India.
In a latest blog post, Rishi Jaitly, Twitter India Market Director states that, “It’s no secret that people turn to Twitter to connect with stars and fans alike while they are watching TV programs. Today we’re pleased to tell you that Twitter Amplify, which links TV and Twitter more closely than ever, is now here in India – first with Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) and Vodafone India (@VodafoneIN).”
To tap into the growing social TV conversation, Twitter has tied up with Star Sports as the media partner and advertiser Vodafone India to present the Twitter Amplify in India for the ongoing India-England cricket series.
With this alliance, Twitter users will receive spectacular and timely updates that round out their TV experience and remind them to tune in to the live cricket action and key sporting moments. The below listed tweets bring some of the excitement from the ongoing tightly found India – England test series.
— STAR Sports (@StarSportsIndia) July 30, 2014
— STAR Sports (@StarSportsIndia) July 31, 2014
What’s in there for marketers?
In New York, Twitter had launched Twitter Amplify last year a way of bringing real-time video into the site, with initial partners including the broadcasters BBC America, FOX, Fuse and The Weather Channel. After a year it has now been launched in India and lets broadcasters (to be read as Star Sports India) publish the best content directly to Twitter, and then monetize that content with advertisers (Vodafone India) through sponsorship packages.
What is interesting is that this content displayed by Twitter Cards would be powered by Promoted Tweets, that will “amplify” the reach of the video content distributed through the broadcasters’ or sponsors’ Twitter accounts. Broadcasters reach new audiences and open up new business lines and brand advertisers get an integrated cross-platform tool for reaching the social conversation wherever it happens.
Besides, the most important aspect of Twitter Amplify is that it allows content owners to use paid media support from sponsors and advertising partners to fund the distribution of their content across Twitter.
Twitter Amplify makes it possible to pin the video tweet to the visible part of the feed so the user is more likely to see it and engage with it, rather than getting lost in the fast feeds. Additionally, with sponsors running a paid campaign with Twitter Amplify, it can target anyone tweeting about that topic or content at that time, or any other user who may be interested in the content.
Therefore, broadcasters can ensure their video tweets are seen and use paid media distribution (Twitter Amplify) to extend this reach to a much wider and relevant demographic, states The Guardian.
Should marketers go for it?
Having evolved from “Instant Replay”, Twitter Amplify has got the ball rolling for content that is tied with live events such as sports. According to AdAge, when Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic fought out an epic 54-shot rally in the final match of the U.S. Open tennis tournament last September, Heineken and the United States Tennis Association used Amplify to post and promote a replay with a few seconds of branded video before it. It was retweeted 1,500 times.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 10, 2013
In total the campaign generated 12 million impressions and 200,000 retweets, favorites, clicks and follows, across 124 tweets, and Heineken added 2,300 Twitter followers.
Pepsi found a similar success during its first Amplify campaign ‘MTV’s 2013 Video Music Awards’, adding 9,000 Twitter followers that were relevant to the show. Pepsi will use Amplify during the next VMAs. It also ran Amplify campaigns with CBS during the Grammy Awards, shares Chad Stubbs, senior director, Pepsi Media while talking to AdAge.
Challenge for Twitter Amplify
But the challenge for Twitter Amplify is to replicate the same success of live sports events to dramas and talks shows. Scripted TV shows haven’t found a great deal of success and this could be one of the worries for Twitter Amplify.
Glenn Brown, who leads Twitter Amplify, admits content that doesn’t air in real time doesn’t perform as well on Twitter, but said the company is committed to working with non-sports partners “to figure out what second-screen is to them.”
“The entertainment side is the biggest area for growth for Amplify,” Mr. Brown added. But short videos or gif could be the answer according to head at Twitter Amplify.
Also there is a strong debate on who pays what and why they should share ad revenue with Twitter. While marketers don’t need to use Amplify to associate themselves with TV content; they can just as easily work directly with the networks to push out relevant content around programming. But it is Twitter’s access to user data for better targeting and efficiency that makes the difference.
For now in India this is the beginning for Twitter to sell Amplify to TV broadcasters.
According to The Guardian, real-time video clips can drive hundreds of thousands of views within just a few minutes of being shared and 72% of clip plays take place across mobile devices. With India being the fastest growing smartphone country in Asia and data consumption seeing new levels, Indian broadcasters and advertisers should be interested in Twitter Amplify.