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INTERNATIONAL | TECHNOLOGY  
The Nitty Gritty of Connected TV
 
YuMe's latest report finds Smart TVs are poised to become a major trend, as well as a key platform for advertisers. Why is this so? And how can brands take advantage of the highly engaged connected TV audiences? Here are the basics.
 
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23/08/2012 11:59:00 a.m.
According to YuMe's report, Smart TVs stand to grow at a yearly rate of 60% in the following years.
 
An increasing amount of TVs are getting "smart" these days, as connected TVs are making major headway among consumers. Smart TVs stand to grow at a yearly rate of 60% in the following years, which makes it evident they're here to stay. But what does it mean for advertisers? How can they make the most of the TVs' new features and the new viewers than come with them?

To answer these pressing questions, YuMe and Frank N. Magid Associates conducted an in-depth consumer research to analyze the five basics of connected TV: who is watching what, when, where, why and how. The study's main conclusion is connected TV has become a valuable tool for both video distribution and advertising. And here are the viewing preferences and habits advertisers must be aware of to roll out an effective brand strategy.
 
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THE FIVE Ws. First of all, there's who and how. According to the report, families are the main connected TV viewers, which can additionally be divided into four categories: gamers, movie fanatics, entertainment junkies, and trendsetters. Moreover, 45% of these viewers connect their TVs to the Internet through multiple devices, and 55% use a standalone game console, Blu-Ray™ player, Smart TV, or set-top box.

The content itself is also a key ingredient, since it determines when, what and why viewers turn on their connected TVs. YuMe's survey concludes the main reason why connected TV is so popular, is viewers are able to watch the content of their choice -mainly that which is not available on cable or broadcast TV- whenever they want. And said content is mainly short-form programs during the week from noon to 6 PM, and TV shows on weeknights and weekends.

ADVERTISERS' PLAYING FIELD. So, how do advertisers come into this equation? Basically, because connected TV viewers relate to the ads they see in a pretty particular way, which presents an unparalleled opportunity for brands to generate consumer awareness and drive audience engagement. As stated in the report, the great majority of connected TV viewers (90%) recall seeing advertising, with the majority of ads noticed by these users being pre-roll (57%). More importantly, approximately 70% of connected TV users have actually interacted with a relevant ad; and 19% even purchased a product as a result of an ad they saw on connected TV.

Finally, among YuMe's findings there's one that may come as a surprise to most people: the fact that more than half of connected TV consumers (60%) don't mind advertising in their content, and actually prefer ad-supported content to paid ad-free content. According to the survey, they see it as "a win-win" situation: they have access to high-quality, free programs and in exchange, they welcome ads.

As it seems, the report shows connected TV users stand out among other TV consumers as a highly engaged and attentive audience, which not only pay attention to advertising, but are actually willing to watch them in exchange for free content. YuMe says it best:  "Advertisers need to move fast in order to make the most of this burgeoning opportunity; and first movers will undoubtedly realize the biggest benefits."


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