Twitter and TVFebruary 27th, 2013 |
Twitter loves TV. Twitter has become the platform of choice for real-time commenting on television programming, creating the only reason to watch a TV show at air time. Twitter has made TV watching an interactive experience (or a competitive wit-off), when people all over the world sit down to watch a show and have a conversation. Now, with the purchase of Bluefin Labs, Twitter is validating that TV is part of its culture and its future.
Bluefin, founded in 2008, studies social TV viewing. They analyze how people use social media as part of their TV watching experience and use those data to inform advertisers and content producers. How much did Twitter want Bluefin? It’s their biggest buy yet. Twitter paid nearly $100 million for Bluefin Labs. It’s likely that the motivation behind the purchase of Bluefin was, of course, advertising. Twitter can take advantage of the same model that has been used for traditional TV ads: a captive audience using a specific device at a specific time.
Bluefin is not the only demonstration of Twitter’s love affair with TV. They’ve recently partnered with Nielsen to create the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating. According to Nielsen’s press release, “Nielsen and Twitter will deliver a syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter, slated for commercial availability at the start of the fall 2013 TV season.”
What does this mean for entertainment? Will Twitter data be sold to develop new, crowd sourced programming? Will advertisers enter the conversation rather than just push products? There’s a lot of speculation at this point. What we do know is that the age of the passive viewer is waning, and the conversation is increasingly part of the joy of sitting down with your favorite show.