Ever since Twitter filed the official documents for its initial public offering, there has been a spotlight on the company’s growth plans — and one big component of those plans revolves around being the “second screen” for TV shows, providing the kind of social experience (and ads) that networks are looking for. But what if shacking up with your television set isn’t the road to riches that Twitter and its investors are hoping for?
That’s the prospect that Travis Winkler of Hulu raised in a recent blog post, in which he argued that Twitter’s focus on a tight integration with the television industry limits the company’s potential valuation. Why? For the simple reason that the television world is in the process of being disrupted by a series of systemic forces, including time-shifting, downloading, streaming and fragmentation of the overall market. As he puts it:
“This type of TV consumption behavior eliminates Twitter’s value proposition to users and limits Twitter’s value to the networks. Very few, if any, viewers will engage in Twitter conversation about an episode they just watched that came out days, weeks, or months ago.”
Winkler is clearly riding a different horse in this particular race, since he...