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From apps to measurement: helping the connected TV ecosystem earn gold this summer

14 Jun 2012 |  Jeff Siegel 

Jeff Siegel, senior vice president, Worldwide Advertising, Rovi Corporation, says broadcasters, content owners, device manufacturers and advertisers will be paying close attention to how consumers are viewing, interacting and engaging with the broadcast and live streams of the Games as it will serve as a gauge to the industry for what the winning model is for the ecosystem moving forward...

Media Playground Thought Leadership

In just a couple of months, London will become centre stage for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, and the entire world will watch as athletes from around the globe compete in sporting events that span archery to track and field to wrestling.

It is expected that an unprecedented number of Olympic fans will be watching the competition from connected TVs and players as these platforms have now made their way into hundreds of millions of households worldwide.

Broadcasters and consumer electronics manufacturers alike are bringing new technologies to enhance the Olympic experience for viewers - mobile apps for watching the games live and keeping track of favorite athletes, smart TV apps for watching live streaming of multiple events and interactive functionality, and the first-ever 3D broadcast of the Games.

For brands and advertisers, the Games signal even greater opportunities for reaching target audiences across connected TVs, PCs, mobile devices and tablets. At the same time, challenges exist for advertisers as they strive to measure effectiveness of campaigns on new platforms and across a fragmented viewership. The Games will indeed be a barometer for the industry looking at new ways to bring content to consumers on connected TVs and devices, and new metrics to measure success on this platform.

High demand for video content apps on connected TVs

While it remains to be seen how popular apps such as the BBC Sport app for connected TVs will be during the Olympics, recent Rovi research in the UK suggests consumers are interested in video content apps on connected TVs.

The recent Rovi Smart TV Advertising Study, which was conducted by Decipher Research, found that Smart TV applications that deliver video content are among the most popular for UK consumers. The study surveyed 500 owners of Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players and found that video content delivery apps such as BBC iPlayer, BBC News, LoveFilm, and YouTube were among the most frequently used. Other findings revealed:

  • The average connected TV device household downloads at least nine apps
  • In addition to on-demand content apps, there was a cited desire for utility apps, including banking, betting and shopping services as well as informative content apps such as cooking applications
  • Parents also indicated an interest in games and educational applications designed for children

As part of the study, Red Bull Media House teamed with Rovi to explore how users react to advertising on connected TV devices and in order to drive awareness and downloads of its new Red Bull TV Smart TV app.

The advanced campaign for the Red Bull TV app features eye-catching banners within the content search and discovery areas of the Samsung Smart Hub. The adverts direct viewers to an interactive, rich media microsite where they can watch high-definition clips of some of the popular shows available on Red Bull TV and may directly download the application.

The campaign, which runs through June, has already generated millions of impressions for Red Bull TV and driven 81% higher interest in downloading the app within its target demographic.

The second phase of the Rovi study in the UK, based on online surveys of connected TV users and in-home interviews, tracked eight Smart TV advertising campaigns for leading entertainment and conventional brands. Other key highlights of the findings include:

  • Awareness: 68% of users exposed to areas of smart TV platforms with ad placements noticed the advertisements; one in three of those clicked through
  • Reach: Connected TV advertisements on select platforms delivered a claimed 6% incremental reach in addition to traditional media channels
  • Brand Favourability: Exposed versus non-exposed brands on the Smart TV platform produced favourability rates twice as high
  • Brand Association: 86% uplift in association with key brand statements for brands exposed on the Smart TV platform versus non-exposed control samples.
  • Engagement: two in five connected TV viewers exposed to Smart TV ads claimed to have watched the video featured on the brand's micro-site, with 79% of ad viewers claiming to have subsequently participated in additional product or brand-related activities

Measurement in the connected TV world: creating a new ad model

The London Olympics may very well be deemed the bellwether for where the industry stands in gaining traction with connected TV viewers as well as helping the industry gain insights into the success of advanced advertising campaigns. As connected TVs and devices continue to make their way into living rooms all over the world, the industry is in need of developing ad models that keep pace with the transformation in the entertainment landscape.

In response to the need for more advanced reporting and measurement capabilities and to help advertisers and brands comprehensively measure ROI, Rovi has created a new standard for television ad measurement with the development of Rovi Analytics.

Rovi Analytics is a new reporting tool that provides critical measurements for advanced TV advertising campaign performance across the multiple digital platforms that Rovi serves. This includes the reporting of key metrics such as uniques, impressions, and time spent as well as video views and user actions within micro-sites, enabling advertisers to clearly measure the effectiveness of advanced TV ad units.

Smart TVs enable advertisers to reach consumers while they are engaged and making decisions about what programs to watch - all while they are in "discovery" mode and before they are already immersed in content. And while a bulk of Olympic content will be made available to viewers online and with that advertising, the measurement of campaign performance on the web does not translate effectively to the smart TV arena.

The creation of a web metric-based approach for measuring campaign success in the connected TV environment will not work. The industry is in need of ad models that take into account the fundamental differences between the web and television experience.

Web ads are most effective as a means to improve search while mobile ads are ideal for location-based campaigns. Television ads, by the very nature of the TV's function, entertain consumers.

The television environment as a 10-foot viewing medium provides the elements of sight, sound, motion and emotion that all contribute to the building of a brand. In this sense, too, web metrics will not work for TV. TV cannot have as many ad units as the web due to the viewing distance. This equates to less clutter, more limited inventory and a greater opportunity to engage the viewer.

The start of the Olympics on July 27 will mark a technological milestone for the industry as the Opening Ceremonies are viewed by sporting fans worldwide on multiple connected platforms.

While all eyes will be on the athletes that compete, broadcasters, content owners, device manufacturers and advertisers will be paying close attention to how consumers are viewing, interacting and engaging with the broadcast and live streams of the Games. It will serve as a gauge to the industry for what the winning model is for the ecosystem moving forward.

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