Last year at MIPCOM, Twitter hosted its first ever conference session, designed to help TV execs leverage and optimise social TV. This year, as the company’s TV & media team gears up to return to Cannes, we spoke to Dan Biddle, Director of Broadcast Partnerships at Twitter UK, for a quick heads-up…
MIPBlog: What was your biggest learning/takeaway from last year’s Twitter session at MIPCOM?
Dan Biddle: That we needed a bigger room for the session! The interest from TV creators and distributors was overwhelming; a lot of people who turned up weren’t able to get into the auditorium. This year we have a bigger room, and we’ll be able to share more of the best practices and opportunities for TV creators, distributors and broadcasters to more people.
> How has Twitter’s relationship with TV evolved since then?
Twitter continues to build its natural relationship with television. It wasn’t designed to be the ‘second screen app’ for TV, but audiences, talent and broadcasters have used it in such a way that it continues to be the principal platform for sharing content and comment around TV shows. Whether live and in the moment of broadcast, or in the surrounding areas of promotion or VOD, Twitter is the platform where people discover and share their favourite TV. And now, with more ways to share video and images, create voting and polling moments, and even surface the conversation on Twitter on the EPG (as seen with XBox, Orange and Comcast), the signal of Twitter is more integral to the future of TV than ever.
> What has been your favourite TV + Twitter activation of the past year, and why?
That’s incredibly hard to say; there have been so many great uses of Twitter! Masterchef Brasil has brought audiences closer with Twitter polls and engagements in an incredibly effective way; Nouvelle Star (Pop Idol) in France produced a Twitter vote with sponsorship with Deezer; and X Factor launched their first Twitter vote in the UK with accompanying Twitter emojis of the judges. Not to mention the increasing success of Amplify – the monetisation of realtime video in Twitter across the world. Eurovision 2015 saw hugely effective uses of Twitter – hashtags on screen triggering millions of emoji flags on Twitter and Snappy TV clips sharing the big moments to Twitter as they happened live. A personal favourite was Eastenders Live, which saw over 1M Tweets sent around a special broadcast of the 30 year-old UK soap, driven by great content and story combined with strategic execution of onscreen hashtags #EELive, broadcaster and talent engagement and characters live-tweeting throughout the show.
> What, still today, does Twitter offer in terms of social TV interaction that no other platform (Facebook, Snapchat, etc) does?
Twitter remains the only public, live, distributed conversation for television. Media on Twitter travels at the speed of now to an incredibly broad audience, prompting loyalty and discovery. Whether it’s the show sharing video moments that have just happened on the first screen to a distributed audience on the second screen, or the stars of the shows connecting with their fans when the show is on, Twitter boosts the power of TV with must-see, must-tweet broadcast moments.
Dan Biddle will speak at “TV x Twitter: Media at the speed of #now” October 6, 15:00-16:00 at MIPCOM. Click for full session details.
Dan joined Twitter in 2012 and is responsible for the company’s broadcast partnerships in the UK. Previously he was Editorial Lead for Social Media for BBC Vision. Follow him on Twitter!