- Category: Blog
- Created on Monday, 02 July 2012 13:51
The TV advertising market is going through a renaissance, with revenues up by 2.2% year on year, a record £4.36bn in 2011. Yet at the same time the TV market itself is facing its biggest challenge, as the next evolution of technology begins to impact the market. Smart TV or TV connected to the internet is opening up an entirely new opportunity for brands and services and it’s time for companies to start to engage with how they’re going to address the challenge. Many brands missed out on staking their claim in the mobile arena, brands have got to understand what they’re facing with Smart TV. Whether in broadcast, video, sports, travel, education, lifestyle, news, property, fashion, retail, FMCG, automotive, utilities, public sector or games, every brand should be thinking now about how to take advantage of the opportunity.
The power of branded entertainment using links to related information, images and other materials, could create far higher levels of engagement than traditional advertising, and it’s a growing market. Certain types of content are clearly best viewed on a TV and there are already several million smart TV’s in the UK – globally, market research suggests that consumer use of connected TV sets will jump from 82m in 2011 to over 890m by 2016.
For brands who want to be in the living room, but aren’t already a TV advertiser or even channel, that means taking full advantage of the connected opportunity. According to the latest Nielsen figures, 70% of tablet owners and 68% of smartphone owners, use their devices whilst watching TV. Most devices are personal but the TV is about sharing the experience, so content that's intended for sharing works best on a TV, it simply becomes richer. When you get it right, the response can be amazing. When Spanish TV company RTVE launched its first TV app, they received over 100,000 unique users in the first four weeks, and 10 to 12,000 unique users per day.
Of course, just like the early days of mobile, there are a multitude of platforms and the complexity of the market has been slowing brand adaptation. Brands can be paralysed trying to prioritise between iPhone, Android, Windows, Blackberry or Nokia. Similarly in TV the challenge has been to decide between Samsung, LG, Philips, Sharp, Opera and Google TV. But the technology exists today to overcome the complexity challenge. The TV App Agency’s Engine can use a single source code to create apps across multiple platforms, so the challenge is no longer the complexity of the market but how to create the best, and most engaging content.
Not all smart TV’s are connected, but it’s a high growth, early adopter market, and the right content will drive consumers to get connected. The TV apps built with a better structure for engaging and finding content, provide access to increased content when the consumer wants it. They can provide direct information and even direct services on a TV, even combining its use across dual screen with a smartphone or tablet for ease of use or to add in the commerce element.
RightMove for example, which has over 10 million website visitors per month, launched a TV app offering viewers the chance to review floor plans, browse property photos and search maps for their ideal home. Such easy content discovery, so accessible from the sofa, makes it perfect for house hunting with the whole family.
Where the greatest opportunity lies however, is in the potential to express brand messages as entertainment content. Doesn’t your brand deserve its own TV channel? As things stand, brands who want to launch TV channels must pay gatekeepers, such as Sky, which means significant sums of money just to get a toehold in the living room. But anyone with a smart TV can access an app and at the moment this is not a crowded market with only 87 available on the Samsung smart TV platform currently, for example. That means a point of entry to the TV experience in a way that completely captures viewers’ attention and it mean brands that really want to be in the living room can now be on the TV at an affordable price.
Like every leap we make in media, it’s not actually the technology that’s the challenge – it’s what we want our brands to be and how we want to communicate with our audience. Getting that right is how you don’t miss out on Smart TV.
Andy Eardley & Bruno Pereira, Co-founders, TV App Agency