Twitter to launch ‘Twitter TV Ratings’ worldwide

CANNES: It is a big development for broadcasters around the globe. Social networking site Twitter had earlier this year launched ‘Twitter TV Ratings’ in the US. The network will slowly launch it in the UK, Italy and Australia.


“We will be rolling it out across the world,” said Twitter researcher Anjali Midha during a presentation in Cannes at the ongoing MIPCOM 2014.


With this, the Twitter team wants to put the power of Twitter in the hands of the broadcasters, so that they know how the programmes are doing day after day or week after week and to also find out the subsequent reach from that activity. “The reason we know that reach is important is because we see that Twitter really drives live ratings,” added Midha. 


Twitter helps broadcasters know about live viewing as well as week after week viewing. “Twitter is conversational, it is live, it is public, it is the global town square. The audience takes the show and makes it their own, it is distributed, it permeates the entire culture,” said Twitter TV creative lead Fred Graver.


Throwing some statistics, Graver said that Twitter conversations are shared with 271 million users, 78 per cent of whom are on mobile and “we process 500 million tweets a day, which is 60,000 tweets a second,” he informed.  


According to him, 95 per cent of public conversation happens on Twitter. What’s interesting is that 70 per cent of tweets are created and consumed during the broadcast of a show. “People who see those tweets when it is live, say they want to watch the programme, either then or later online. We are amazed by the way our partners adapt the platform,” he added.


He further went on to give examples of broadcasters who are using Twitter. “In the past one week, we have seen Channel 7 putting tweets inside promotions, Channel 1 in Russia putting hashtags and handles in news broadcast. There is a live musical jukebox in India that is powered by Twitter.”


The key to the social media platform is data, which proves the value of audience and how they are valuable to advertisers. In the session on ‘TVxTwitter’, another point that was touched was money. “A lot of the money is drifting away to digital from TV. It is a fact. Twitter has devised an ‘Amplify’ programme that helps broadcasters capture the money by capturing the conversation on Twitter,” he said.


Talking of partnership, Twitter UK’s head of broadcast partnerships Dan Biddle said that Twitter is the ‘water cooler conversations’ that won’t wait till the next day. He also delved on how producers could make the second screen important to their brand as the first screen. “Take the content and tweet. You give people the tweet that they hoped they had tweeted. It is not only about the share, it is also about the reach,” informed Biddle.  


Biddle gave ways of reaching out to the audience:


Use Hashtags: these are the moments, they are the campfire around which we tell stories. Every time you put a hashtag, people tweet more.


Use @handles: That’s your presence and relationship on Twitter, that’s the voice that you have which talks to the audience.


Interactions: How do you make followers? How do you turn the hashtags into something more? It is important that you reward conversations on Twitter.


“We don’t see as many @handle’s as we see hashtags, which is strange. @handle is the voice of you, your show and it is the voice that can connect even after your show is over,” he said.

According to Biddle, the first screen is the first screen only for one week, till the time the show is on air. For the rest of the time, it is the mobile, the second screen, which becomes important.  So let people know you are on Twitter and the trick to that is it you let people know that you are there, put it out on shows, during advertising,” he added.  


Twitter is a part of your digital strategy.  “While it is the heart of digital strategy, there is more to it. It can help you drive audiences to SVOD, OTT, where ever you want,” he informed.

According to Twitter officials, they find the best results when they work with their partners from the beginning.


Midha who spoke on the data, started off by giving the one big phenomena, that the impressions were shifting to Twitter during live moments. “The World Cup Brazil 2014 saw 33 per cent increase in tweets and 85 per cent increase in impressions.  The audience has shifted to Twitter while the content is on TV,” she said.


Talking of the US primetime market, Midha said that roughly 3/4th of all programming, now includes either a hashtag or some sort of tweet or voting mechanism. “That’s quite a lot.” This apart, on an average five integrations happen during a single telecast. But the big question is: Does this work? “It does work. And we are getting early results,” she said confidently.


Citing example of the US reality show, Anjali said that the actual tweets per minute when the broadcaster introduces the hashtag, sees a 20 per cent lift in tweets as against when the audiences organically create it. She pointed out that 66 per cent of people prefer to see TV tweets from official show accounts.


An important finding is that for a lot of people, actors and the cast are the most preferred source for news from TV. “Live tweeting from casts sees 64 per cent lift in total conversation volumes, while from show account it sees a hike of 7 per cent,” she informed.


The session also delved on how broadcasters can monetise content through Twitter Amplify. “It is a partnership between Twitter, content and advertisers,” said Twitter Amplify international head Marie Sornin.


Explaining how it functions, Sornin said that as TV broadcasters tweet some content, that tweet gets distributed to followers. The advertiser gives its ad to the broadcaster to integrate with the content. The broadcaster pays Twitter to distribute the message to a targeted audience. “So the advertiser pays to the content creator and the content creator pays Twitter to distribute the message,” she informed adding that Twitter Amplify leads to monetisation, more participation and engagement.


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