Twitter Courts TV Networks, Wants to Provide Second Screen

Twitter is in the process of courting several high profile TV networks in order to better integrate advertisements during shows, according to The Wall Street Journal. The move is most likely designed to help bolster the attractiveness of their upcoming IPO, and compete with rival Facebook’s similar ad platform. The partnerships would involve pushing ads to users through Twitter’s new Amplify program.

Amplify lets TV networks display related videos on user’s Twitter feeds as they’re watching a program. The videos are sponsored by an advertising partner, and both Twitter and the TV network then divide up the revenue. Presumably Twitter’s current negotiates are intended to establish long-term promotional deals using this platform. Combined with Twitter’s ability to monitor trends in real-time (via user hashtags), the service could provide a second-screen experience for consumers, while supplying real-time analytics to advertisers and networks.

The only current roadblock appears to be the uncertainty of Twitter’s ability to generate interest in a show itself, rather than simply reflect an already existing buzz. A CBS executive told the Journal that while they see a definite connection between Twitter activity and program ratings, they’re unsure which force is driving the other. There’s no doubt that Twitter’s recently expanded analytics and advertising offers are hoping to prove just such a causal link.

The TV advertising industry spends over $60 billion per year, according to VentureBeat, yet no tech company has so far been able to really exploit the potential of mobile devices to provide extra info (and ads) during TV programming. Whichever service is able to first will find a very lucrative reward.

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