Twitter took centrestage at this conference on the television industry. Delivering the ‘Thought Leadership’ talk on day two of Afaqs’ Tv.Nxt 2014 event was Rishi Jaitly, India market director, Twitter.
Speaking on ‘Twitter and Television’, Jaitly remarked, “Think of Twitter as the world’s town square. We (Twitter) are live, public and are about conversation. In many ways, television is also live, it’s public and it’s conversational.”
Jaitly revealed that 40 per cent of Twitter users around the world just consume content with the other 60 per cent contributing as well as consuming content. He credited the nature of the platform itself as responsible for the statistics. “You don’t go to YouTube and think ‘I must upload a video’. You don’t go to Wikipedia and think ‘I must edit the page before I get out’. But on Twitter people feel this need to tweet, which is fantastic!”
He stressed on Twitter being a content consumption service. In context of TV, he cited studies that show that 75 per cent of the impressions on Twitter occur within an hour of the tweet being published. “So if you’re in the business of ‘live’, an important question you can ask about mobile and digital isn’t just what the reach of Twitter is but what the live reach of Twitter is,” he stated.
The speaker revealed that 76 per cent of IPL-related tweets were sent during match times. This, he said, demonstrates the rise of multi-tasking and made the point that Twitter is a companion to whatever media the audience is consuming. Jaitly credited the ‘virality’ of content on Twitter to the noticeable presence of personalities from the media fraternity on the platform.
Jaitly further spoke about an independent Nielsen study that tried to understand causality in the context of Twitter and television. The results showed that TV shows that are popular drive conversation on Twitter. And, nearly a third of the time, buzz on Twitter can actually drive ratings, he claimed. The microblogging medium also claims 95 per cent of the world’s online public conversation about TV, according to the Twitter India head.
The genres conducive to use of Twitter to drive tune-in and more are non-fiction entertainment (particularly competitive reality shows), sports, news and (increasingly) drama, he added.
On how broadcasters and content creators could utilise the unique nature of the platform, Jaitly emphasised, “Succeeding on Twitter is the result of personifying yourself, your content, channel, which is why it is very important to have executives, talent, mascots, machines on the platform. You can win on Twitter with a collection of voices together. Your conversation is your asset. When you get someone to tweet about your show, you’ve made a viewer a marketer.”