A Smart TV is an internet connected TV set that people can use to access video and other content via applications. Whilst some Smart TVs limit users to these applications, others permit users to access the whole internet via a browser.
Sales of Smart TVs in the UK have tripled in two years, from 115,000 in Q1 2010, to 358,000 in Q1 2012, and around 5% of UK households own a Smart TV.
Targeting Smart TV owners can be beneficial to brands. Owners are consistently more likely to follow and give advice across product categories, and they are also more likely to be Conversation Catalysts (12% vs 8%). One third of owners are from social classes A and B (vs 26% of all adults), and 57% are aged under 44 (vs 42%). Smart TV owners also tend to be early adopters, with 18% owing a tablet computer (vs 8%) and 70% owning a smartphone (vs 44%).
Despite the opportunity for Smart TV owners to watch video on demand via their sets, around half of owners’ sets are not connected to the internet, although there are signs this is decreasing. In addition, over half of Smart TV owners use alternative ways of watching VoD on their sets. This means that manufacturers need to better promote the benefits of Smart TVs through marketing and working more closely with vendors.
Benefits other than video on demand include gaming, music and social networking via Smart TV apps. Of these, gaming and music are most likely to be picked up by owners.
Ten opportunities and developments to be aware of
- Separate apps tend to be a barrier to use. Instead, a single interface will help encourage take up of Smart TV services
- Smartphones and tablets are compelling alternatives to standard remote controls for navigating content
- Searching for content will open up opportunities to advertise, based on what people are searching for
- Broadcast and channel brands will remain important for signposting content to users. These will continue to aid advertisers when placing ads and other experiences
- More granular data will become available about viewing habits. This should be used for more careful targeting
- More granular data will also provide greater opportunities for providing recommendations around content, and brand experiences
- Brands should create opportunities for people to explore content further and to find out more about products. Gesture control will facilitate this
- Opportunities will become available for brands to create their own channels on Smart TVs. Some brands are creating channels on YouTube to advertise their brands. Some of these can be copied over to Smart TVs
- Smart TVs will form part of the eco-system of devices people use during the purchase funnel, in addition to smartphones, tablets and laptop PCs
- Smart TVs are unlikely to be the only on-demand devices people use. Brands therefore need to make sure they divide up their activities across TV VoD services