Warc Blog

Twitter boss defends TV strategy

1 May 2014
SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter's TV strategy is on the right track and the company will continue to invest in it, the company's chief executive officer has declared in a response to a suggestion that social media does not influence television viewing.

In an earnings call, reported by Seeking Alpha, Richard Costolo declared that there was "a host and a continuing emergence of independent third-party rigorous research" that supported his view of a two-way complementary relationship between Twitter and TV.

Earlier, the head of research at NBC Universal had said that social media activity had little influence on TV ratings, but Costolo cited FOX Research figures showing that 92% of Twitter users had tuned into a show or searched for it after seeing a tweet about the show.

He also referred to data from Symphony Advanced Media that had indicated use of Twitter while watching TV decreased the likelihood of changing channels; and Nielsen had found "a causal relationship between Twitter activity and tune-in".

In addition, Costolo argued that the growing number of content providers and broadcasters participating in Twitter's Amplify program was further proof the strategy was working.

Chief financial officer Mike Gupta elaborated, explaining that all the major US broadcasters were already on the platform and international deals were being signed. "Advertisers are truly recognizing that Twitter complements and extends their ad spend on TV," he stated.

Gupta also outlined how Twitter was partnering with broadcasters and agencies during the annual upfront meetings and said he expected the latter would incorporate Twitter TV data into how they approached the event.

While Twitter's user base grew more slowly than expected in the first quarter to hit 255m, Costolo was looking beyond those numbers to "the broader Twitter platform that's unfolding".

In particular he pointed to the MoPub mobile ad exchange, which he claimed was "the largest in-app mobile ad exchange and the only one at scale to offer publishers native in-app advertising".

With the imminent launch of an integrated bidding system, advertisers would be able to bid across combined inventory through a single interface for many kinds of ads. "We see a strategic opportunity here to assist marketers in making a shift from desktop to mobile," Costolo said.

Data sourced from Seeking Alpha; additional content by Warc staff

 
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