March Madness is now underway, and if you’re following @MarchMadness on Twitter, you’ll discover a steady stream of “real time highlights” from games as they air. Expand one of these tweets, and you’ll see an embedded video player — displayed as a “Twitter card” — that automatically plays a quick pre-roll ad followed by a short highlight from the game. How real-time? As quickly as 20 seconds after it airs.
Here’s an example from today’s Indiana game:
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 22, 2013
SnappyTV is powering the quick-share technology, and Turner Broadcasting is picking the clips with help from SnappyTV’s real-time social analysis. While the technology isn’t new — SnappyTV has powered highlights before — the embedded Twitter player and the integrated sponsorships (AT&T and Coke) are new additions.
“Audiences have demonstrated a clear appetite for in-event highlights, but what has been missing from a digital perspective is the business drivers to derive real value from this audience behavior,” explained SnappyTV CEO Mike Folgner to Lost Remote. “This product is the triple-win for everyone involved: for the brand, they get to deliver an amazing experience to the consumer, for the media company, they get a new revenue stream and distribution channel for the content, and for the fans, they get to watch and share instant replays of the best moments on TV.”
“Instant replay plays to Twitter’s strength of news in real time and on mobile,” explains Twitter’s Glenn Brown, director of promoted content and partnerships. Twitter and SnappyTV have worked together before with partners like Pac-12 Networks and Fox Sports, but this year’s March Madness effort is attracting the most attention to date.
“This implementation is definitely a showcase for how powerful in-game highlights can be for both consumers and brands,” Folgner said. “Turner Sports has been a great partner, and we’ve done some exciting things together already, but the fantastic experience that they’ve built this year represents the furthest anyone has taken our platform.”
We’ve been following SnappyTV since 2011 when it rolled out its first social sharing product. The premise: as social media consumers watch compelling highlights from a show that’s currently on the air, they’ll be more likely to share it with their friends and subsequently tune in and watch. Over time, SnappyTV steadily grew its client base with the likes of FOX, MTV, PBS and CNN (which live-clipped the debates). The company has also grown its sharing network beyond Facebook and Twitter to additional social platforms like Google+ and Pinterest and video platforms like YouTube and Brightcove.
Now with advertisers integrated into social sharing — and Twitter’s increasing efforts to tap into TV dollars — expect SnappyTV to get a lot busier in the months to come.