Joining the screen journey

January 25, 2013 in -e.showcase

connected-tvThis year’s CES has cemented the arrival of connected TV in the homes of consumers.  Research and consulting firms are predicting a possible 1.6 billion devices in use by 2014. With new and larger screens being launched, along with features like facial recognition and gesture control already being introduced through services like Kinect, this developing technology offers countless opportunities for brands to target their audience more effectively than ever before, says Shirlene Chandrapal*.

As connected TV comes out of its infancy and consumers have changed their habits to interact with content on their smartphones and tablets, as well as online through on-demand services, advertisers have had to align their strategies to communicate their brand message. In fact, 23% of top brands have invested in an online video advertising campaign already, according to a recent study by Kantar Media, and this trend is expected to continue as advertisers understand the changes in the consumer viewing experience.

In 2012, we saw significant growth in connected TV traffic across our content partners at smartclip, as well as strong interest from advertisers. The global TV advertising industry was worth $188.5 billion in 2012 and some agencies are already appointing dedicated specialists for connected TV. Advertisers are waking up to the opportunities that connected TV can provide to make usage much more intertwined.

We now live in a multi-screen world and it is the norm for viewers to browse the Internet and watch TV at the same time. In fact, recent consumer research carried out by smartclip showed that nearly two-thirds of people use the Internet frequently while watching TV, and that most of this usage is social TV or email. It is extremely common for viewers to discuss what they are watching on television and to engage with TV advertisements by searching for featured products on the Internet. However, the idea of the second screen is already dated and we should instead start thinking in terms of a screen journey – depending on the situation, any screen could be the first screen. As a result, the user will be in full control of what he or she wants to see.

With this control to surf the web, watch video on demand, as well as access gaming, music, news, information services and social are no longer limited to a certain device – we can do everything everywhere and this shift in behaviour is bringing about fragmentation within the wider industry. With advances in hardware, better platform architecture, less complexity around input devices, additional interactivity, and improved computing power, consumer electronics manufacturers will be trying to maintain their profit margins through advertising. Many new players will enter the market, all contributing towards an increasingly fragmented ecosystem.

To cope with this consumer demand in this multi-device and multi-channel world, advertisers are focusing less on the kind of screen and more on how to reach their target group. Data therefore is becoming more and more important and advertisers are looking at how they can capture information that can help them and their content partners to build better platforms for the future and to provide a personalised and engaging experience for the viewer.

These changes are only the start for the connected TV market. We can expect to see more innovation around 3D and augmented reality as well as further developments in voice, gesture, and kinetics in general. These new ways for consumers to view and engage with rich content give us a glimpse into the future where content producers and advertisers alike are already exploring how to take advantage of connected consumers.

*Shirlene Chandrapal is vp of connected TV and mobile at video & brand advertising platform, smartclip

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