Canadian Companies Bell and Shaw Strike Partnerships with Twitter

Last week, Shaw Media broke the news that they will be joining up with Twitter to co-sell advertising. Twitter is developing their new Amplify program for clients and users who want a unified process for advertising on television and on mobile devices also known as the “second screen.”

One day later, Bell Media also joined up with Twitter to focus on researching analytics initiatives relating to social media and television. Both Canadian broadcasters and the social media giant are trying to understand the social media habits of Canadian television viewers. The facts gathered will go the distance in helping to develop the all-new product known as social TV.

“We are committed to measuring, sharing and applying knowledge from passionate social conversations to help our advertisers’ brand campaigns become even more effective,” said Bell Media president Kevin Crull. “Our content drives engagement, and Twitter amplifies the conversation.”

The Twitter Amplify program allows media companies to offer video clips embedded in tweets, such as instant replays or behind the scene footages. These features are currently done along side sporting events and reality television such as Big Brother Canada.

“We’re tapping into a revenue stream that we currently don’t offer,” said Paul Burns, vice president of digital media at Shaw Communications. “We’re going to create this kind of social TV love child.”

The days of sitting on a couch and watching our favorite shows have changed. Neilsen reports confirm that 85% of mobile users watch TV on their tablet or smartphone once a week and 40% watch it daily.

“The way social and traditional TV media is bought and sold is fragmented,” said Burns. “The advertisers are looking for the connective tissue that makes delivering a brand message more connected.”

Twitter’s own analytics firm Bluefin Labs says that 95% of television conversations on social media occur on Twitter. After learning about actors and learning about shows and movies, shopping is the most popular activity on second screens according to last month’s research by NPD Group.

“Twitter is TV’s social soundtrack,” said Kirstine Stewart, who transitioned from CBC to the country director of Twitter Canada “Working closely with Bell Media, we will be able to accelerate the development of analytic tools mentioned and we look forward to sharing the findings with clients and industry.”

Social media, television and advertising are all changing and Twitter Amplified is embracing the evolution of entertainment and marketing. The concept is still in its primitive form and will continue its metamorphosis over months and years. For now the second screen experience is mostly only available for mobile and Web applications built by broadcasters. Only time will tell what this new concept can do with Twitter’s assistance.

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