Twitter Ponders Self-Serve Option For ‘Amplify,’ Its TV Reach Extension Program

amplify-tvTwitter is in New York this week talking up Amplify, which is at the heart of the company’s monetization strategy around broadcast content.

The Amplify program offers audience extension for TV networks by letting them tweet short video clips such as sports replays minutes or seconds after their on-air broadcast. Broadcast advertisers can “ride along” with these clips via ultra-short preroll ads, with Twitter and its TV partners splitting the revenue.

Next up for the program: Twitter hopes to automate the onboarding of new broadcast content and advertiser creative.

Glenn Brown, senior director of Twitter Amplify, told AdExchanger this morning, “Eventually we want to have a version of it that’s self-serve, so the brand and the media partner can come together and execute a program. We don’t have to be in the middle of it.”

Taking Amplify self-serve is a natural progression as Twitter seeks to scale the Amplify program, which today has 20 advertisers across 16 sell-side (mostly TV network) integrations, according to Brown. Among the media partners are the NBA, The Weather Channel, Vice and Fox. Advertisers have included Heineken, Ford and the Columbia Pictures film “This Is The End.”

The self-serve plans are still nascent, and Twitter declined to say when such a program might be available to broadcast partners and advertisers.

Twitter + CBS

Word of Twitter’s self-serve intentions come as it announces a comprehensive deal with a big broadcast partner. CBS will begin amplifying short-form content from its properties, including CBSNews, TVGuide, CNET and Among the features will be a “60 Minutes In 60 Seconds” summary and CNET’s “Next Big Thing” shorts.

David Morris, chief client officer for CBS Interactive, told the audience, “What can you not like about … Twitter’s opportunity to target against this audience and send content of interest to audiences, and the advertiser’s ability to go along with this content against an audience that’s engaged?”

Morris declined to name specific advertisers, but said, “We couldn’t get the IOs done.” But he said interest is strong. “One advertiser asked us to package 20 shows in a huge package deal,” he said.

The question is, how much reach extension can Twitter create for partners like CBS?  Amplify uses Twitter’s special-sauce targeting to find likely on-air viewers and others who are disposed to content for the brand. A challenge, as with all forms of online targeting, will be to maintain a high standard of audience segmentation while still maintaining the highest possible reach.

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