Report: Twitter faces challenges harnessing ‘second screen’ ad market

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Twitter has championed its success as the “second screen” people turn to while watching big TV events in its pitch to advertisers.

But recent studies show that there hasn't been as much growth in the social-TV phenomenon as Twitter and many others expected, AdAge's Cotton Delo reports.

Nielsen's SocialGuide charts a growth in tweets during the Grammy Awards from 12,732,800 tweets in 2013 to 13,778,900 this year; but tweets about the Super Bowl were down 3 percent year-over-year, and tweets about the N.B.A. All-Star Game saw a 21 percent drop.

Though the Super Bowl was this year's most-watched TV event, with an increase in TV viewers from 108.4 million in 2013 to 112.2 million, that increase wasn't reflected in the number of tweets about and during the game.

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Some relevant considerations:

—This year's game wasn't much of a match-up. But the most-tweeted moment in the game, according to Delo, generated 381,605 tweets compared to last year's most-tweeted moment (the blackout) which only generated 231,500 tweets. So Twitter users were more engaged when the game was exciting than they were last year.

—This year's N.B.A. All-Star game, which saw the steepest drop in tweets, gained a lot of television viewers, drawing 8 million, a 13 percent increase from last year's game.

The Golden Globes, which saw a 39 percent increase in social-TV conversation, and the mid-season premiere of AMC's “The Walking Dead,” which saw a 26 percent increase, are prime examples of growth in Twitter chatter. But:

—The TV audience for “The Walking Dead” increased by 28 percent, meaning the TV audience grew more than the Twitter audience.

—The Golden Globes audience only grew from 19.7 million to 20.9 million, but the number of tweets grew from 1.7 million to 2.4 million.

The point of talking up "second screen" is to sell advertisers in advance on a particular time and subject likely to trend on Twitter, a lesson television has already learned (which is why "event" programming has become crucial to networks' bottom lines). Twitter will need to figure this out to take advantage of second-screen users at big events in the future.

Read the full report here: http://goo.gl/F40tr0