Ten confirms Twitter Amplify deal, more in pipeline

By Brendan Coyne | 19 November 2013

Network Ten has confirmed a deal with Twitter to use the platform to push out sponsored video content and share ad revenue, as reported last month. It is likely TV networks such as SBS and Seven, alongside other media owners, will follow suit ahead of the Twitter Amplify launch in late January or early February.

Under Amplify, broadcasters push out content – such as video and audio – onto the platform with the clip sponsored by an advertiser. Twitter and the media owners share the sponsorship revenue equally and it is understood that each will attempt to broker the best deal using their own sales teams.

While a firm launch date for Amplify in Australia has not been announced, Ten plans to use the platform to push content from the Sochi Winter Olympics. That means it will launch by 7 February at latest.

“Twitter and television go hand-in-hand ... Amplify is an innovative way to engage with audiences while they are most active, reaching the social conversation wherever it happens, and allowing us to measure how socially responsive people are to television campaigns,” said Network Ten chief sales officer, Louise Barrett.

It is not yet clear how the arrangement will affect Ten's relationship with companion app provider Zeebox.

Twitter is positioning itself as a complement to TV, touting an ability to bring audiences back to linear broadcasting via the real-time social ripple effect: friends talk about a show or a game when it is on, not during catch-up. The theory, underlined with research by Twitter partner Nielsen, is that it drives a pick-up in audiences.

It also adds another revenue stream when broadcasters have so far struggled to monetise their social channels, while Twitter needs that content to take its cut for distribution. Twitter post-IPO will need to aggressively monetise its reach.

In Australia it is understood that some of the TV networks are yet to decide whether Twitter is a friend or a foe that could potentially eat into TV ad dollars. However, talks with SBS, which has the soccer World Cup and Seven, which has the Australian Tennis Open, are thought to be at an advanced stage.

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