Why You Should Be Keeping an Eye on Smart TVs

Smart TVThe TV has been an integral part of American (and global) culture since it became widely adopted decades ago. Almost the whole world has access to television now. Heck, when I spent two years abroad with the Peace Corps, every home in my mountain village had at least one TV!  Then along came the internet and a divide was quickly created in the marketing and advertising world between the internet and television. But will all of that change soon?

The Smart TV

If you Google Smart TV, the first link you’re provided with is Wikipedia. When Wikipedia is the first organic search result I take that as a completely unscientific sign that people are looking to learn more about Smart TVs rather than looking for where to buy them.

Still, Smart TVs are steadily being purchased by American and other consumers. This is great news for online marketers and advertisers because theoretically, Smart TVs give them the same access to people that TV advertisers get.

Smart TVs are simply television sets with an internet connection, the ability to stream content, and the ability to browse the web and integrate and work with social media and other technologies like cell phones. They are primarily entertainment hubs (like old TVs were) but are now taking the advantages of computers into their design and are becoming more interactive and useful to consumers.

Advertising and Smart TVs

Smart TVs provide an avenue for content and online advertising to reach the consumer in the traditional television method. This gives online brands a chance to compete with larger brands and also implement more targeted advertising. As Kristina Knight writes for BizReport, Smart TVs “will not only increase the amount of time spent with television content, but…it will deepen the engagement of viewers at the same time.”

As Smart TVs become more adopted in the general public, brands will have great access to more people. More importantly they will have greater control of their advertising and marketing, just like they do with analytics on their online marketing and advertising campaigns. A good sign which Kristina also reports about is the fact that “most (67%) feel [Smart TV] ads are less interruptive than traditional television ads.” That means consumers are already more receptive to Smart TV advertising.

Another voice, Jemima Kiss for the Guardian, recognizes the value in smart TV advertising. She quotes Samir Arora from the DLD13 conference in her recent article on advertising and Smart TVs. Using Smart TVs to bring smart, targeted advertising, which has been used effectively online for years, “will make advertising something people want, targeted and packaged carefully” for them. You can’t do that on normal TVs; you can only do it on the internet. Smart TVs aren’t quite there yet, but they will make that possible change a reality.

The Samsung Example

Samsung, one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world, has been a strong champion of Smart TVs, as they should be. Their ability to make various products like smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs, and other devices means they can sell an entire connectivity suite of products that work together. That makes life for the consumer easier.

Smart TVs are just a part of their strategy moving forward. They recognize the value of the Smart TV and the future of entertainment and technological interaction. Furthermore, they recognize the importance and value of advertising on Smart TVs and any platform with online access.

Samsung has an excellent plan set for encouraging advertising on their platforms. Their Samsung AdHub claims that “Smart TV is opening up a new paradigm of user interaction and excitement.” It looks like Samsung believes it too. They’ve gone to great lengths to demonstrate the capabilities and types of ads possible on their Smart TVs. Some of their ideas include:

  1. Premium Interactive Advertising which allows users to click to an application, web page, landing page, or video.
  2. 3D Advertising which they are touting as a “truly differentiated TV advertising experience” and a “new and unique way to reach viewers.”
  3. In-app Advertising which provides the chance for developers to “monetize on their content” and for marketers to have “a new way to reach consumers.”

Smart TVs Could Bridge the Online and TV Divide

Smart TVs and the changes they are bringing with them are coming whether we want them to or not. I think it’s a welcome change in technology and I hope the changes come sooner rather than later. There’s a great opportunity here for Smart TVs to revolutionize content and how people interact with technology.

For advertisers and marketers to get the most out of this coming change in TV they must “collaborate closely on technology, standards and transparency in order for marketing in this new ecosystem to take off” says analyst and CEO Ashley Swartz on Beet. I definitely agree with that, and I think it will be interesting to see how this continues to develop.

Smart TVs – if embraced – will allow us to unify the methods with which we access content. Targeted, effective advertising and content will no longer be the domain of the internet. To me, that’s the most significant reason to keep an eye on the Smart TV market and be ready to move into it when the time is right.

What do you think about Smart TVs changing the advertising and marketing world?


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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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