Last May, Twitter announced a service called Amplify, which
allowed broadcasters and advertisers to use tweets to bring in more
ad revenue. Specifically, Amplify targets posts and tweets that are
shared and talked about during television shows. Remember how
everyone was tweeting about the blackout after the Beyonce Super
Bowl halftime show? Just imagine how many people will be tweeting
during this Sunday's series finale of
With Amplify, Twitter allows advertisers to capitalize on all of
such tweets, and on the "second screen" phenomenon, wherein viewers
pay attention to the screen of their television and their computer
or smartphone at the same time.
On Monday, Twitter announced a partnership with
) through Amplify, wherein the broadcast company will post promoted
tweets containing video advertisement for shows, sports programs,
and at least 40 other CBS shows will be a part of the partnership.
With momentum for Amplify mounting, Twitter announced yesterday
morning that it had made an agreement with the National Football
League to carry instant-replay footage -- along with short ads from
marketers -- of course, via sponsored tweets. The primary marketing
sponsor for the NFL-Twitter agreement is
), and come February 2, 2014, that will likely prove to be a very
sweet deal: Verizon holds exclusive rights to Twitter's Amplify ads
during the Super Bowl.
All the buzz surrounding Twitter has been about its recently
filing for an IPO
; the Amplify project may serve to add value to the company before
the public can buy in. Just as
) has found its way, financially speaking, via advertising, it
seems that Twitter will seek to monetize its service by allowing
marketers to sell products to its base of 200 million regular
users. And partnerships with television companies makes sense, as
TV is by far the most lucrative medium for advertising. The hope is
that Twitter's new service can "amplify" the efficacy of television
ads by leaping to the second screen. As Adam Bain, President of
Revenue at Twitter, told the
, "We have often thought about Twitter plus TV, but now we are
thinking about Twitter times TV."
But it is not likely that Twitter will be rolling in cash due to
CBS and the NFL. "Some Amplify partnerships will result in
TV-related ad revenue flowing to Twitter (albeit modest amounts in
total)," wrote Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser in a
note following the announcement of the CBS deal.
That being said, Twitter has a lot of promise in the advertising
world. According the the Social TV analytics firm Bluefin, a full
95% of live TV conversation currently happens on Twitter.
Additionally, half of all the ads during the Super Bowl earlier
this year featured hashtags. Amplify has already had success with
), the NCAA, and
(KO) during this year's March Madness college basketball
tournament, with promoted tweets including instant replay videos
and brief advertisements. During the NBA Finals,
(YUM) sponsored tweets with the best replays from the games.
The advertising consultancy firm eMarketer has estimated that
Twitter will generate $580 million in revenue from advertising for
2013. For next year, the firm placed that figure at $1 billion,
factoring in the NFL, an American institution that broadcasts games
watched by 200 million viewers (or 80% of all homes with
televisions) each season.
Perhaps Twitter's partnerships with CBS, the NFL, and others will
persuade other broadcasters and advertisers to make deals to
"amplify" their -- and Twitter's -- ad revenue. Twitter's new
partnerships, and particularly its relationship with the Super
Bowl, the beating heart of American advertising, should provide
consumers, investors, and tweeters a glimpse of Twitter's future as
an advertising platform.
For more on Twitter and Facebook as advertising platforms, read
Facebook and Twitter Drop 'Social,' Become
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