Total Pageviews

Monday, September 23, 2013

Twitter Adds CBS to Its Stable of Big Advertising Partners

Twitter has been furiously adding partners to its Amplify advertising program ever since it began informally last year with a partnership between the social network, ESPN and the Ford Motor Company. In those initial ads, ESPN sent out clips of football games, wrapped in a Ford Fusion ad, as short messages on the service.

Since then, more than a dozen other content distributors, from the Fox television network to Globosat in Brazil, have joined the program, with brands including Heineken and AT&T promoting clips from major sports events like the U.S. Open tennis tournament and NCAA basketball games and live events like MTV‘s Video Music Awards.

On Monday, Twitter announced that it had signed CBS, one of its biggest partners yet. The broadcast and Internet network intends to use Twitter Amplify to showcase content from 42 products, from TVGuide.com to its fantasy football site.

As an example, Twitter and CBS showed off a possible “60 Minutes in 60 Seconds” ad, which could promote content from the venerable television news magazine.

Increasing advertising revenue is important to Twitter, which has filed preliminary paperwork to sell stock to the public in an initial public offering that could occur as soon as November. As part of the process of courting investors, the company will be publicly disclosing its financial performance for the first time.

The real-time nature of Twitter’s stream of messages, or tweets, pairs well with live broadcasts. During Sunday night’s Emmy Awards broadcast on CBS, for example, the number of tweets exceeded 17,000 per minute as Carrie Underwood performed her rendition of the Beatles‘ “Yesterday.”

Television executives are intrigued by the possibilities of Twitter and TV reinforcing each other’s audiences.

“It’s a win-win-win situation,” said David Morris, the chief client officer of CBS Interactive, who appeared onstage as part of a Twitter presentation for Advertising Week 2013, an annual industry gathering in New York. CBS can send Twitter messages, or tweets, in real time, targeted to people who are likely to be interested in the content, with advertisers getting additional reach for their messages.

Mr. Morris declined to name any advertisers that would participate in CBS’s Amplify efforts, saying discussions were still going on. However, he said, “one advertiser asked us to partner and package up 20 of these shows.”

Matt Derella, a Twitter executive who works with the company’s largest American advertisers, said that research by Twitter and Nielsen suggests that Twitter and television reinforce each other, boosting viewership and the volume of messages on Twitter.

Broadcasting commercials simultaneously on a TV show and Twitter can boost an ad’s message, Mr. Derella said. Twitter has found that users who saw a TV commercial and then engaged in some fashion with a Twitter ad for the same product indicated they were 58 percent more likely to to buy it than people who saw just the television ad.

“By adding Twitter to your buy, you will sell more stuff,” he said.