SocialTV Week In Review: On the Road to Revenue Twitter Turns to Social TV

By now it’s a well-worn path for startups: an ingenious idea, explosive growth, a fresh business model anchored to ad revenue, and, if you’re lucky, a wildly successful IPO. But just take it from Facebook, the growing pains won’t end there.

Before Twitter makes its public offering, it needs to prove its merits as a business, not simply its popularity among non-paying users. Although promoted tweets appear to be doing well, Twitter is hoping to tap the multi-billion dollar television industry to strengthen its position.

Yes, we’re talking Social TV. The stakes are high. As it shores up revenue, media experts are wondering if Twitter is reshaping its identity by moving from micro blogging service to a content creating, media company.

In May, Twitter’s UK GM, Tony Wang, urged broadcasters to adopt Social TV strategies for their own good. “Broadcasters are not the ones to choose whether to have social TV. It happens whether they like it or not. But they have a choice about how to harness that social TV energy,” he cautioned. Though his message was packaged as advice for broadcasters, it is clear that Twitter has real interest in cultivating its relationship with TV.

In June, Twitter appointed Fred Graver, creative director for Twitter partnerships, to focus on those relationships. That Graver is a well-seasoned TV executive did not go unnoticed.

Twitter has already made high profile agreements in recent months, notably with NASCAR and NBC for their coverage of the 2012 Olympics. In both instances Twitter is testing its editorial chops.

In the meantime, speculation regarding Twitter’s media ambitions continues to grow. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo recently told The New York Times, “Our business is an advertising business, we don’t sell technology.” He added, “I don’t need to be or want to be in the content business.” A few days later, Adweek came out saying Twitter is “in serious talks about the possibility of launching several original video series”.

For now, outsiders can’t be sure what to make of Twitter’s moves. One thing we do know is that Twitter is willing to experiment and it is sincere about pushing forward into the lucrative television market. Some are skeptical, saying that the company is deviating from its core service. Like any other business, Twitter will have to walk a fine line between turning profits and turning off customers.

Just yesterday it surfaced that Apple may be considering a stake in Twitter. While Apple hopes to leverage Twitter’s social aptitude, Twitter enjoys the privilege of being baked into the most popular “second screen” devices on the planet. A healthy relationship with Apple will ensure that Twitter remains an important part of the Social TV experience.

For these stories and much, much more please keep reading. 

Twitter, Hollywood Working on In-Stream Video Series via Adweek

Forget the debate over whether Twitter wants to get in the media business. Twitter wants to be a media play. The San Francisco-based company, along with multiple Hollywood producers and network execs, are in serious talks about the possibility of launching several original video series via Twitter, according to sources… And the talk is more than just about launching a Web show. Rather, Twitter is said to be aiming toward changing the way people consume and discover media.

Is Twitter a Media or Technology Company? via The New York Times

It is certain that the Twitter bird is evolving into something different than it once was. Lately, the company has been experimenting with media-like products… Mr. Costolo said. “I don’t need to be or want to be in the content business.”

Why Twitter’s move into TV could be a recipe for disaster via GigaOM

A desire for ad revenue could lead Twitter astray… the company is looking for other avenues that will translate into a bigger payoff. And that apparently means TV…So far, advertising-related tweets have been relatively benign in terms of their impact on the user experience, but if the company is pouring millions into developing original content, the pressure will be on to expose more people to it — and the signal-to-noise ratio of a stream (which is already an issue for many) will inevitably go down. That said, however, I think moving in that direction — while it could produce some ad revenue for Twitter — might be a critical mistake

Apple Officials Said to Consider Stake in Twitter via The New York Times

Apple has considered an investment in the hundreds of millions of dollars, one that could value Twitter at more than $10 billion… talks are a sign that they may form a stronger partnership amid intensifying competition from the likes of Google and Facebook.

Twitter Is Working on a Way to Retrieve Your Old Tweets via The New York Times

“We’re working on a tool to let users export all of their tweets,” Mr. Costolo said in a meeting with reporters and editors at The New York Times on Monday. “You’ll be able to download a file of them.”

Twitter as media: Its ambitions grow with NBC Olympic deal via GigaOM

Twitter will launch a landmark partnership with NBC Universal for the Olympic Games later this week that will see a team of curators or editors producing a Twitter-based news hub — turning the service into what the Journal describes as “the official narrator” of the games… This kind of operation, which Twitter confirmed it is launching later this week, seems like an obvious extension of the moves the company has been making recently to expand its media relationships — and in the process it has become more of a media entity in its own right… As I have tried to point out before, these kinds of deals are a natural extension of Twitter’s decision to become a media entity powered by advertising

Twitter’s Take on Reality TV May be coming soon to a tweet near you via VentureBeat

But Twitter making broadcast-style content sounds like a stretch, especially given that audiences tune in to Twitter to chime in on reality series, not watch them. The report also seemingly contradicts a recent comment Twitter CEO Dick Costolo made to reporters about the company having zero interest in being in the content business.

NBC Taps Twitter as “Official Narrator” for Olympics via MediaPost

…the 2012 Summer Olympics have the most comprehensive social media strategy of any Olympics to date. That includes detailed guidelines dictating what athletes and volunteers can and cannot say on social media. Athletes are being encouraged to “post, blog and tweet their experiences” during the games, but they won’t be allowed to use social media, including Twitter, Facebook and personal blogs, for advertising, selling products, or sharing videos from the Olympic venues.

Social TV Conversations: Twitter vs. Facebook via From Search to Screen Blog

Twitter is great for in the moment, real-time storytelling/communication. It is one of the reasons it works so well for social TV that is synchronous to broadcast. In fact, it is one of the driving factors for a resurgence in live TV watching.

SocialTV – the biggest threat to the future of television? via Think Differently

Social TV is a buzz word designed to convince viewers that there is something new.  In reality nothing much has changed, except the technology viewers use to interact…Social TV should be about adding value to the TV viewing experience, not about controlling or monetizing it.

Don’t waste those screens: these social TV apps help you tap into the modern viewer via VentureBeat

In addition to traditional media and advertising, and social media engagement on Facebook and Twitter, brands that start leveraging second and third screen apps will capture an active audience that uses mobile and social as a complement to their TV watching.

Does Now TV Herald a New Era of TV Everywhere? via Red Bee Media

Clearly, BSkyB is stepping into a market that already has a strong demand – and with content rights that should make them a real contender…In markets where Sky has a presence, a move like this could put huge pressure on OTT platforms such as Netflix to quickly roll out their international strategy. They will need to rapidly establish their brand in new markets before Sky swoops in with their comprehensive content rights…social media has “come to the rescue” of linear TV, allowing friends and family, and strangers, to share the experience of watching content even though they might not be in the same room.

ITV: Social media has saved linear TV via C21 Media

Social media has come to the rescue of linear television by turning programmes into must-see events…ITV has recently revamped its VoD player ahead of the launch of its micropayment system to access archive content, while second-screen apps and playalong games have been developed for shows such as The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.

Half Of Cell Phone Users On Phones During TV – What It Means For Social TV, Olympics via MediaPost

Several broadcasters have made investments in social TV startups. They include BSkyB in Britain with a 10% stake in Social TV startup zeebox, and Fox Broadcasting with a stake in ACTV8, which has rolled out apps for Fox shows such as New Girl. Then there’s ConnectTV, which is backed by Cox Media, EW Scripps, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television and Meredith Corp,

Report: Tablet Owners Shop While Using Devices and Watching TV – Second Screen Engagement via App Market TV

Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence today released “Mobile’s Role in the Consumer’s Media Day,” an in-depth research report that reveals how receptiveness to advertising and media consumption varies by device, time of day, and location…There is a strong degree of ad interaction among tablet users, with nearly half (47 per cent ) saying that they engage with ads on that device more than once a week…One in four (25 per cent ) smartphone users also said that they interact with ads at that same frequency. Once these mobile device users engage with an ad, they are extremely likely to take action (80 per cent smartphone users, 89 per cent tablet users)

Tablets, Smartphones Drive Engagement, Ad Response via MediaPost

Consumers are more responsive to ads on tablets than smartphones, but both devices are driving high levels of engagement with advertising and media, according to a new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau… People using iPhones and iPads were more likely to make a purchase than Android-based users.

Without Social Media, 18% Of Teens Would ‘Stop Communicating’ via Mashable

18% of teens would stop communicating altogether if their favorite social networks shut down. That’s according to a recent survey of American high school and college students by email marketing company AWeber.

The Battle of Sexes on the Second Screen via SeeVibes

…men can be just as conversing as women on networks. One difference is the choice of the communication platform. Women have a slight preference for Facebook while men would rather prefer to talk on Twitter – 140 characters are enough for these gentlemen!

53pc of mobile purchasers cite TV as an influence: report via Mobile Marketer

With mobile commerce growing, television is a proving to be a significant influencing factor on consumers’ mobile purchases, according to a new report from Interpret LLC… The report found that 62 percent of consumers want advertisers to make it easier to purchase products seen on TV… The report found that 144.8 million consumers multitask while watching TV, especially during prime time, with 54 percent of respondents reporting they multitask between 8 and 11 pm at night… consumers prefer to make purchases via mobile from a brand’s Web site as opposed to a branded application

Emerging Television: Social TV And Participatory Psychology via never.no blog

Understanding the true nature of Social TV and Participatory television is a lot less about technology and a lot more about psychology and sociology than most folks tend to realize or evangelize upon… By activating a synchronized companion to TV whether it’s participatory or social, we allow viewers to tune out many other potentially distracting elements around them. We create true engagement… Social Identity Theory tells us that when we are in a group setting, we often follow, copy or mimic the behaviors of other group members. In the twitter/social media/TV sphere, this means that people who watch what we are watching may become part of our perceived group, and as such, we often follow their lead on interaction. We may even mimic their thoughts and actions… The point here is that by creating large group behaviors, by creating social groups offline or online, we further the potential for new watchers to come onboard or old watchers to become more engaged.

Advertisers Slow to Capitalize on Connected TV Consumption via eMarketer

…in addition to watching the steep incline in connected TV adoption, marketers will need to open their eyes to consumer behavior when it comes to connected TV advertisements… In 2011, for instance, only 8% of advertisers supported connected TV. By 2012, nearly a third of brand advertisers supported the channel… With connected TV viewers telling Tremor Video they watched 12 hours of video through their connected device per week, marketers should consider opportunities to reach this audience.

Next Gen TV 2020 via DigiWorld by Idate Blog

Growth will vary from region to region: the top five European markets, along with Japan and the United States together represented 80% of the global video services market in 2011, but their share will drop to 60% by 2020…In the United States (CAGR for 2011-2020 of 0.3%), the maturity of the pay-TV market and fierce competition between OTT services will weigh on the sector’s revenue.

NCTC Members Get TV Everywhere via Broadband Technology Report

The NCTC has enabled more than 80 member companies with its TV Everywhere authentication solution developed collaboratively with several members. The platform, known as Watch TV Everywhere, is designed to allow member companies to offer their subscribers authenticated programming content across multiple screens.

Arktan SocialStreams Integrates Kred to Sort Chatter About TV, Music and Events; Highlights Influential Fans and Celebrities via Kred Blog

Social curation platform Arktan is integrating the Kred influence measure into its SocialStreams product… Social media managers will now be able to sort these social streams so the most influential people are highlighted whenthen engage  in conversations about a TV show, concert, conference or other event.

Second Screen via Grafton Media Blog

Over the next year though it’s going to be very exciting time as really usable technology is going to be coming out into the mainstream.

What does the second screen mean for brands? Former NMA editor Mike Nutley meets Zeebox via The Drum

Previously all you needed to do was specify what kind of demographic you were trying to reach with what frequency, and your media agency would go off and buy 30 second ad campaigns for you and all you had to do was supply creative…Now the opportunity is to synchronise that on the second screen with digital, targeted, personalised calls to action, where customers can engage with the brand and buy the product immediately, rather than having a long gap between seeing something on the first screen and taking action on it… What’s interesting is that alongside the technology comes a re-evaluation of what matters, because whereas a digital impression might be worth X, a synchronised ad might be worth Y… I foresee a future where you buy a campaign that comprises your 20 or 30 second spots on TV channels alongside second screen delivery as part of the same buy, as opposed to being done by a completely different team, because it’s the same medium, consumed across two screens.

Tablets, smartphones drive touch screen revenue via EP&T

Total touch screen module revenue will reach $16 billion in 2012, and nearly double in six years, reaching $31.9 billion by 2018, according to the most recent NPD DisplaySearch 2012 Touch Panel Market Analysis.

Google redesigns the TV with Fiber TV: a new DVR, mobile apps, and voice search via The Verge

Google announced Fiber TV today, an entirely redesigned experience for how you watch TV. It’s part-DVR part-cable box, with the ability to watch and record all the channels you expect, via Google’s new network… You’ll be able to record 500 hours of TV, and can record a ridiculous eight shows all at once.

Sneak peek: A first look at GetGlue HD (video) via GigaOM

GetGlue isn’t the only company trying to use social data to improve on the traditional TV guide. Other contenders include Peel, as well as the original TVGuide.com. However, Iskold said that GetGlue’s advantage lies in the data it’s been accumulating with its check-in service. Altogether, GetGlue has amassed some 500 million data points about TV viewing behaviour, including check-ins and likes, he said.

Aussie Start-Up Hits Right Button with America’s TV Giants via The Wall Street Journal via The Wall Street Journal

Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation-owned The CW Television Network has given Sydney start-up Fans.TV the responsibility of managing its social engagement capabilities…CW’s shows include Gossip Girl, America’s Next Top Model, 90210 and The Vampire Diaries. Fans.TV has the task of encouraging viewers to remain engaged in real-time.

ninemsn launches social TV app ‘Jump-in’ via ninemsn

Television and social media are set to become closer than ever with the launch of ninemsn’s new app Jump-in.

6 Reasons Why Bravo & USA Network are Winning the Social TV Game via 360i Blog

The common thread between Bravo and USA Network’s success has been their social-to-the-core approach across both promotions and personalities and their mission to build community instead of one-off viewership.

PBS President: Downton Abbey exploded because of social media via Examiner.com

“Downton Abbey,” which follows the Crawley family and their servants who reside in a Yorkshire castle, caught fire so quickly because of its social media hustle, according to PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger.

Netflix Adds Warner Bros. Exec As Its New Chief Marketing Officer via TechCrunch

Netflix announced that it has named former Warner Bros. executive Kelly Bennett as its chief marketing officer… Netflix has launched its streaming video service in Canada, Latin America, and the U.K., but its new markets have been slower to develop than it might have liked so far. Having someone like Bennett, who has a strong background in international marketing could help change that.

Discovery launches Social TV app via Marketing Week

Discovery Networks International is to launch its first social TV app, integrating Facebook and Twitter with its programming as it looks to boost engagement with its brands and encourage viewers to share its content.

WWE Looks to Build on Social Success With 1000th ‘Raw’ Episode via Mashable

The program will introduce the #RAWactive social initiative, incorporating platforms including Twitter, Tout, Shazam, Instagram and Facebook for fans to converse with wrestlers and one another during the show as well as help control outcomes and storylines.

Tell your Facebook friends about severe weather with The Weather Channel’s new app via LostRemote

The Weather Channel is at it again taking social to new heights to deliver weather info… Now the network is using Facebook’s Open Graph to encourage friends to warn other friends about bad weather.


One Comment on “SocialTV Week In Review: On the Road to Revenue Twitter Turns to Social TV”

  1. […] By now it’s a well-worn path for startups: an ingenious idea, explosive growth, a fresh business model anchored to ad revenue, and, if you’re lucky, a wildly successful IPO. But just take it from F…  […]


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