Sky signs up to Twitter Amplify to take content and sponsorship fusion online

Sky is the latest brand to sign up to Twitter’s Amplify ad format as it looks to fully integrate its content and sponsors in an online environment.

Speaking at an IAB Digital Upfronts event, Sky head of futures David Fisher said the new partnership will enable Sky to bring content from across its portfolio, including sport and entertainment, in front of the Twitter audience and create opportunities for the Sky brand, the rights and partner sponsors.

“At the heart of our business is our content business, but sponsorship is at the heart of it as well,” he commented.

“For a long time we’ve been building a very smart activation model around sponsorship and making sure that our sponsorship is multi-platform and reaching as many people as possible. If you take those sponsorships onto the online environment then Twitter Amplify is the next evolvement of that.”

The Amplify platform, which launched in May 2013 and is now live in 10 countries, has more than 70 partners including ITV and BBC, and enables media companies and brands to take TV content and distribute it to fans and audiences across Twitter.

Sky is already working with NFL as part of the new partnership and is currently in talks with sports rights holders to ascertain the most appropriate to work with going forward.

For entertainment, Fisher revealed that the broadcaster is interested in posting trailers, snippets of programmes and "the making of" style content – something that has not yet largely been done on Twitter Amplify, with the majority of content relating to live sporting events or broadcasts.

Speaking to The Drum, Glenn Brown, director of promoted content and sponsorships, Twitter, suggested that episodic TV and scripted content actually has the most potential for growth across the platform.

“We’ve seen some work with scripted television and we think there’s a lot of promise; it’s the area with the most room for growth. In some ways it’s much easier than something that’s live because as a broadcaster you know when that most tweetable moment is in advance.

“The really interesting thing is this idea of two-screen storytelling [viewers engaging with both TV and mobile] where you can imagine alternate points of view being shown or outtakes or behind the scenes content.”

Brown remained tight lipped about new technological advances and ways that Amplify might be used in the future, but hinted that trends around “radical or innovative points of view”, such as using drones and GoPro could become more prevalent.

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