Monday, June 23, 2014, 10:54 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
In case you missed it, last Thursday Twitter acquired SnappyTV, a cloud-based video platform that allows content providers and brands to quickly create clips from live video and then distribute them through social media. It's a highly strategic deal for Twitter, further positioning the company to "win the moments that matter" for both audience and monetization.
"Win the moments that matter" is a phrase I first heard from YouTube executives a couple of years ago and it has great relevance for the Twitter-SnappyTV deal. The massive trends around mobile devices, social media, content syndication and video have created a sweet spot for TV networks and rights-holders to drive huge traffic spikes by making highly newsworthy moments readily available to fans.
Increasingly, people expect these "moments that matter" to be instantly accessible and shareable on their mobile devices. For example, for many sports fans, it's already old school to wait until later to watch the clip of the game-winning home run on Sports Center. Instead, they expect their social feeds to push the clip to them in near real-time, so they're continuously up-to-date. (The first great example I wrote about for SnappyTV was video of Lindsey Vonn's horrific crash in February, 2013. Here's another great example).
Moments that matter cut across all genres - sports, news, entertainment/culture, politics, etc. On any given day there are a plethora of these moments that are critical and must-see to the super-fans of these genres as well as those whose interest is piqued.
Twitter was already well onto this concept with its Amplify initiative, and now through the SnappyTV acquisition Twitter will obviously be better able to fine-tune SnappyTV's product to further support its goals.
The other big piece of "winning the moments that matter" is advertising. Not only do these moments create a huge surge in video ad inventory, these are ads that are short and less likely to be skipped. Video ads on mobile devices in particular also have less risk of user distraction to other windows, etc.
An element of capturing the advertising potential in these moments is fulfillment via programmatic. As Curt Hecht, The Weather Company's Global Chief Revenue Officer explained earlier this year, monetizing usage spikes via programmatic is one of the key reasons that programmatic has grown to 1/3 of the company's online ad revenue. Curt observed that direct sales approaches can't fully capitalize on these spikes, but selectively exposing this inventory for programmatic buying means very high fill rates.
No doubt Twitter and SnappyTV completely understand all of this. For everyone in the video ecosystem, the key takeaways here are that "winning the moments that matter" are going to become an ever-bigger part of online video success. Real-time, short-form clips are nuggets of gold whose value is just starting to be tapped.