We’re starting to see some of the early products, and as is customary with Twitter, we’re seeing it first with an API partner. TBG Digital was given an early run at the adverting API, and this week it announced a new product called “Calendar Live” which gives marketers the ability to buy Promoted Tweets in sync with TV shows. While marketers could already do this manually — for example, buying tweets against show-related hashtags and scheduling them around the show’s airtime — TBG Digital has compressed it into an easy-to-use tool with more granular time-targeting abilities and trend monitoring.
I’m a few days late on this post, but it is definitely worth mentioning because Lost Remote is considered by most to be the leading Social TV resource on the web. Now backed by MediaBistro and WebMediaBrands Inc, it will become an even more powerful entity. Congrats to Cory, Natan and the team.
At ESPN’s upfront presentation today, the sports network announced a strategic relationship with Twitter to co-produce unique social experiences around larger sports events. Advertisers will be able to buy into both ESPN’s properties and the Twitter components in a single integrated buy: the first time Twitter has cut such a deal with a network around major events.
This is absolutely HUGE, but nobody else with skin in the Social TV game will admit it to you. Twitter has been the core of contemporary Social TV since the beginning and just took a step towards a strangle-hold on sports.
Gift cards, mobile coupons and other virtual currency are a new twist on an old problem: how to scale interactive TV with tangible incentives for users to interact with advertisers. These loyalty programs along with “tag this commercial” efforts (like Shazam and IntoNow) are one of the hottest growth areas in social TV today. For the first time, we’re beginning to see the promise of interactive TV in small bursts with big potential. If advertisers can generate leads through the second screen at scale — and capture a wealth of data — the sky’s the limit for new revenue generation.
I just don’t get it. The proliferation of these “Cracker Jack prizes” and novelty parlor tricks cannot sustain revenues in the long term. When everybody gets their first free cup of coffee, envelope full of stickers or Gap coupon, the novelty will wear off and users will go back to watching TV for the same reason they have for 60+ years. Social currency.
Here’s how it will work: users begin by drafting a team of Presidential and Congressional candidates. During the campaign, points are awarded and deducted for 1) how those candidate behave and 2) what users do. So how will the game score the candidates? MTV will compile data from Politifact (“Truth-O-Meter” scores), RealClearPolitics (polling numbers), Project Vote Smart (courage on issues), Center for Responsive Politics (financial transparency) and the Wesleyan Media Project (content of TV advertising) to “reward candidates for exhibiting behaviors voters deserve, and penalize politicians for behaviors that hurt our democracy.”
What’s fascinating about this deal is the exclusivity provision, which is unusual for social TV efforts desperate for scale. But the UK second screen startup Zeebox adds a unique dimension here. Shazam says over 10 million people in the UK have downloaded the Shazam app, while last month Zeebox reported 250,000 downloads and growing fast — at one point, 15,000 new downloads an hour. As we reported earlier this year, Zeebox partnered with Sky TV, which has since been running on-air promos for the Zeebox app. And Zeebox has a click-to-buy feature tied on on-screen commercials.
The other big takeaway here is that under the deal, ITV’s sales team offers “shazamable features” as an add on to it’s Ad buyers. Meaning, Shazam is monetizing in the UK with little or no sales force.