Whether or not there’s money to be made with Twitter’s TV moves ultimately will depend upon attribution, said Ryan Bonifacino, VP of digital strategy for retail brand Alex and Ani. “The question is, ‘Can Twitter form the right partnerships with attribution providers ... to provide real-time value? I think they can.” Other data-driven partnerships between Twitter and Datalogix, for example, are beginning to attribute paid Tweets to in-store sales for some early CPG clients.
With Twitter’s move to acquire Bluefin and Trendrr in order to apply viewer data to execute media campaigns in real-time, one remaining question whether more buy-ups will come the crowded social TV space.
According to new data from venture-capital database CB Insights, social TV startups have raised a little more than $118 million spread across 46 deals since the outset of 2012. Investments and deal activity are shrinking, not growing, which could suggest Twitter is sucking the oxygen from the room.
Though “social TV” is comprised of a number of categories, ranging from TV content and discovery to data/analytics, social TV enablement and TV marketing, venture-capital funding to the space as a whole has dropped 62% year-over-year, with deal activity falling 30%, as reported in a Q2 report. In the first quarter of 2012, there was a “brief spike in funding behind several follow-on deals,” including Viggle’s acquisition of AdaptiveBlue (the maker of GetGlue), according to CB Insights.