Speaking to Marketing Week at the Cannes Lions 2014, Glenn Brown, Twitter’s senior director of Amplify, said most of the activity around Amplify has so far focused on live events such as sports matches or gigs. However, he sees the most “room for growth” in scripted programming, both from brands looking to tap into the popularity of TV shows and the content producers themselves looking to engage with consumers beyond the TV content.
He cites the example of The Simpsons, which started out as a segment within the Tracey Ullman show. He hopes content producers might find new and innovative ways of bringing content relevant to a programme to viewers via Twitter, for example launching spin-off shows or the opportunity to find out more information on the show and its characters.
“The element of real-time might not be there as much as it is in sports or live awards show but the idea of programming across two screens, I feel like we’re just scratching the surface of that right now and we’ll start to see interesting new forms of storytelling playing to this strength,” he added.
Twitter is also looking to work more closely with news programming, which Brown described as a “sweet spot”.
Twitter launched Amplify last year to offer brands the opportunity to sponsor real-time; dual-screen video clips embedded within clips tweeted via broadcasters. It has now signed up more than 70 partners including all the main US broadcasters, having added ABC towards the end of 2013.
Earlier this year it signed its first UK brand in ITV after the broadcaster tested the service during the BRIT Awards in an exclusive brand partnership with V05. ITV is now partnering with Paddy Power for its World Cup coverage, tweeting highlights from upcoming matches including England’s next two group games.
The deal will see both ITV and Paddy Power publish promoted video clips of gameplay including throughout the competition after a successful trial in the opening match. This will then be amplified by targeting the tweets to Twitter users that have shown an interest in the competition through their interests, the content of their tweets and their location.
Brown said Amplify’s performance so far has been beyond Twitter’s expectations, creating high engagment rates among users. He believes the reason for that is that it is focused on providing users with content they want to see, rather than feeding them ads.
“Whether its sponsored or not, dropping relevant content into a conversation at the moment it is peaking is going to have a multiplier effect. Amplify does the same thing but lets you refine how you target it. We wanted instant replays in tweets and to make it feel like the TV is tweeting at you and then realised that is an opportunity for brands and brodcasters.
“But first and foremost its about getting great content for users. They don’t see this as an ‘Amplified Tweet’, they think this is a really great replay of a goal. It’s new enough so users still think its cool and wonder how we knew they wanted this content. It’s a gift of great content brought to you by a sponsor rather than advertising,” he added.