Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I am planning on celebrating with the love of my life, my significant “other” – the one true constant that is always there for me. We laugh, we cry, we spend hours together curled up on the couch. My dearest love comes in the form of a little, black, sleek box that sit’s nestled beneath my plasma screen TV. It is my Apple TV. And I honestly don’t know what I would do without it (I mean I’d be fine, but I really don’t plan on taking up book club any time soon).
Most of what I watch with this love of mine is Connected TV content. Connected TV viewing has skyrocketed 65% over the past year and now represents 8.1% of total daily TV viewing for A18-49 in the US. Let’s take a closer look at what it is, why it is so important, and how marketers can take advantage of this TV trend.
First, let’s distinguish between Connected TV and Smart TVs. Smart TVs are TVs with a built-in internet capability, like the Samsung Smart TV. These TVs let people access shows, movies, music and games from their TV screen by using apps like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Spotify and HBO Go. At the end of the day, Smart TVs are “simply” TVs; they’re the boob tube of today’s generation.
Connected TV is bigger, and Smart TVs are a part of it. Connected TV (CTV) is a TV connected to the internet through a gaming console (e.g. Xbox or Playstation), blu-ray player, streaming device (e.g. Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku) or Smart TV.
People are moving towards consuming content this way at a rapid pace. As of today, ~60% of the US population use Connected TV1. This boom evidences that the days of passive TV viewing are coming to an end. People want (and expect) a controlled, individualized viewing experience. And so they turn to Connected TV, and further away from traditional TV. In fact, according to eMarketer, 24M people (cord-cutters & cord-nevers) are unreachable by linear TV (cable or satellite TV). That’s a huge chunk of your audience that goes dark if you don’t close the gap with Connected TV.
Simply put, because it combines the best of both worlds: TV + digital. And we can all assume what that means. But for clarity sake:
Quite simply, Connected TV is the next hot new channel for brands to engage with consumers. It represents the best of both TV and the online world, bringing captive audiences content from an ever-growing number of online sources – and bringing advertisers opportunities to reach their consumers with the same precise ad targeting available through all other digital ad formats.
As Connected TV is still in it’s adolescent stages, the types of inventory and opportunities is only going to grow. Marketers need to be prepared, for as consumers become more and more connected, and increasingly digital, Connected TV will need to play a crucial role in the video marketing landscape.
1. eMarketer, US ConnectedTV Users, by Device, 2015-2020; Oct. 2016
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