Twitter paid a handsome price back in April for the exclusive streaming rights to next season’s slate of Thursday Night Football games. To make up that cost, the online media giant is charging advertisers an enormous price to get their brands positioned within the stream. In fact, some of these advertising packages are so expensive that they may even exceed the cost of a TV commercial during the Super Bowl.
Twitter’s sales plan has it supplementing those in-game spots with sponsorships on its Amplify video advertising program and positions in its pre- and postgame shows around the Thursday night games.
While the advertising industry expects Twitter’s ad prices to drop significantly, many say they are more interested in Twitter’s Thursday night offering than Yahoo’s single Sunday morning stream from last year. That was when Yahoo originally tried to get $200,000 per 30-second spot for its Sunday morning game between the Bills and Jaguars in London last October. While the game ended up with 30 advertisers, pricing dropped to about $50,000 per 30-second spot, and positions were available the week of the game at prices even lower than that, sources said.
Ad buyers say they are more intrigued by the Twitter offering because it goes beyond a traditional media buy. Advertisers consistently said they are interested in the social media company’s ability to provide detailed information on its audience.
"We are not viewing this as a media play," said one ad buyer who asked not to be identified because he was trying to negotiate a contract. "The real value for us is in trying to figure out more about their audience, and Twitter has a good understanding about what this universe is saying about our brands."
Anheuser-Busch and Verizon have both already signed contracts with Twitter to fill out their ad space. With the advantages in consumer information gathering that come with working with a globe-spanning social media platform, I expect more giant companies to soon follow their lead.