Why Smart Advertisers Should Look To Smart TV

Many marketers are starting to realize the potential of advertising via smart or connected televisions (Internet-enabled), but according to eMarketer, 60% of media buyers still don’t know how to purchase video ads for a smart TV or a TV connected to a streaming device, like a Roku.

Validated by the projection that in 2014, there will be 397 million connected TV sets worldwide, and that online video viewing via connected TV has quickly climbed from 2.3 hours per week in Q1 of 2013 to three hours in Q1 of 2014, brands are eager to capitalize and reach their target audience through this nontraditional channel. Most savvy marketers understand that to leverage the rise in connected TV consumption and deliver the highly personalized and unique ad experience every company covets, will require technology -- and smart technology at that.

But what are the real benefits? What should advertisers consider before taking the plunge? How can they properly arm themselves and prepare to take advantage of the rise of the smart TV?

From a format and content perspective, it’s hard to beat a smart TV ad. Think highly personalized, targeted, HD quality ads with stereo sound, all delivered via a super large screen. Research shows that television screens have doubled in size in the last ten years and the average TV set is now 33 inches wide, with technology experts predicting that one third of screens will be "jumbo sized" by the end of the decade.

The format also provides the opportunity for viewers to interact with the ad or brand, allowing advertisers to get creative with their content and providing more opportunities for engagement. Because the adoption of connected TVs has not been as rapid as many industry analysts first anticipated, many of the households who currently have a broadband-enabled television are wealthier, highly educated consumers who aren’t afraid to buy-making them an ideal target for marketers. Additionally, advanced targeting capabilities, personalization, and the potential for engagement are key components in the value add of connected TV buys. In fact, majority of consumers have said they would engage or would consider engaging with a smart TV ad if it is advertising a product or brand they’re interested in.

Also, when comparing connected TV video ads to more traditional formats, some common fears of marketers are alleviated, including the less desirable auto-play and below-the-fold inventory, and fraudulent traffic. Many in the online video advertising ecosystem are working toward creating the most “TV-like” experience, via desktop and connected devices, and smart TVs provide the perfect medium to accomplish this initiative.

Research has also found that connected TV consumers prefer ad-supported content to paid, ad-free content, an ideal scenario for OTT content providers and advertisers. Furthermore, when taking a look at the connected TV video ad space as it stands, it’s very uncrowded and in its infancy, with few advertisers fully leveraging this platform yet. I expect that as connected TVs continue to infiltrate the market, we will see more advertisers looking to capitalize through video ads, with those embracing the medium in its early stages, seeing great ROI and success with their campaigns.

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