MAD Perspectives Blog

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 Twitter Success Tied to Data and TV

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In advance of the Twitter IPO last week there was a lot of buzz aligning Twitter to the television advertising spend. As many of us know, television represents the lions share of advertising spend with the percentage of ad dollars allocated to TV actually increasing in 2013. Twitter's ability to capture even 1% of those ad dollars would certainly turn it into a revenue and profit generating enterprise. EMarketer already predicts that Twitter's ad revenues will reach ~$1B  by 2014. However, by positioning itself as the social network for TV viewers, Twitter hopes to catapult itself into the lead position for online/mobile advertising. Of course, that means they would need to disrupt Google, Facebook, Bing and others.

The secret sauce, of course, lies in the data that provides brands with insight about their target audience. And, it supports Twitter's goals for advertising revenue from display ads and native ads.  Data is also a source of revenue in and of itself. Companies, like Datasift and Gnip, pay for access to the Twitter Data Firehose. It provides them with data from and about customers. Datasift and Gnip "resell" this data to app developers and solution providers who require real-time access to Twitter data.

It is also dependent on the continuation of the trend of consumers spending time on the second screen while watching TV, the primary screen. Twitters acquisitions of BlueFin Labs and Trendrr, reflect its commitment to and acknowledgement of TV as central part of their strategy. Both acquisitions solidified their analytical and presentation capabilities of data specific to television engagement and content consumption. Nielsen's launch of Twitter TV Ratings, solidifies Twitter's position as a meaningful provider of relevant data. Nielsen correlates TV-specific tweets to audience reach and impressions - all valuable data points for advertisers.

As Twitter continues to create tighter bonds to TV (check out its recent announcement with Comcast) they will continue to identify more uses for its data. And, through partnerships create incremental data - all of which provides value to advertisers and business partners. So keep it coming Twitter. You've taught us how to communicate concisely. You've made the term #hashtag part of our daily vernacular. You may also show us how to harness power of data relevant to the largest global advertising audience - TV viewers. 

What's your perspective?