It may seem obvious, but a recent study proves what many smart marketers have seen on the horizon for a while—connected TVs are increasing in importance for consumers. It’s quickly becoming a channel that should be on the radar of anyone looking to take advantage of highly targeted ads delivered via screens big or small.
The most important feature consumers are looking for when buying a new television is that it connect to the internet and that it streams the best content for as little money as possible, according to a recent study by the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence.
So-called smart TVs have another set of devices right on their heels – TV connectable external boxes (such as a Roku, Apple TV or Google Chromecast) that allows households to stream the content they want to their biggest screen.
The NPD Group expects the number of connected devices to double to 204 million by 2017. And more of those devices will be turned on and actively consuming content.
“The term ‘watching TV’ has grown to mean the viewing of any long form content on any screen,” added Laura Cowan, director of analytics and insight at MEC, which conducted the CRE study. “The program grid is continuing to diminish in importance as consumers adopt technologies that allow them to design their ideal viewing time and place.”
The CRE study, which was conducted over a 15-week period from November 2013 through April 2014, monitored 50 households in the Chicago area and tracked online and in-store video purchases via self-reporting, behavior and usage surveys, and follow-up questions based on incoming data.
“We learned that consumers want to watch content on the best available screen — typically the screen known as the ‘TV’ most often found in the living room,” said Bryon Schafer, who chairs CRE’s Digital Research Committee and serves as senior vice president, Warner Bros. Media Research & Insights. “We also learned that kids in many ways are the gatekeepers due to their ability to grasp and advocate new viewing technologies.”
Here are the highlights from the study:
Children, teenagers and “boomerang” young adults who have returned to parents’ homes influence both technology purchases and content consumption.
Consumers have moved from a single-source, single-device model to a multi-source, multi-device model.
Families watched together on a TV set on weeknights and move to laptops in their own rooms between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Multiple household members negotiate on where, when and how content is consumed.
Despite the potential, if you haven’t worked this into your campaigns yet, you’re far from alone. An April 2014 study by Mixpo found that about 60% of media buyers don’t know how to purchase ads for streaming video that often appear on Connected TVs.
If you look at social, the potential may go even further. Whether the TV is connected or not, many viewers are now integrating their social media and television watching behavior—for example posting about a TV show on Twitter in real time. An Annalect white paper takes a look at what that means for both.
Benefits are many and include access to a huge HD screen (with an average size of 33 inches and growing), the ability to interact with consumers, a chance to get creative with content, AND avoiding pitfalls like ads that fall below the fold. And consumers say they’d rather have ad-supported content than pay for subscriptions.
That’s good news for those trying to reach them via whatever device they’re using.