June 25, 2012

Consumers are expected to adopt connected television in a big way—and soon marketers will have no choice but to join them. According to DFC Intelligence, 24 million North American households currently own a connected TV. That number is expected to nearly quadruple in the next four years, rising to 81 million households by 2016. And so, in addition to watching the steep incline in connected TV adoption, marketers will need to open their eyes to consumer behavior when it comes to connected TV advertisements.

Viewers have displayed promising behaviors when it comes to engaging with video ads on their connected TVs. According to a study by Tremor Video conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates, in December 2011, 38% of viewers visited a website mentioned in a connected TV ad; 36% percent considered purchasing a product or service mentioned in a connected TV ad; and 34% went on to look for a mentioned product in a store or online. Furthermore, one in three connected TV viewers told someone else about information mentioned in an ad.

Because connected TV is a relatively new technology, its users may skew more toward early adopters than average consumers—and these early adopters may be more likely to engage with connected TV ads, given the newness of the channel. Marketers should bear this likelihood in mind when planning connected TV efforts.

In terms of devices used to connect a TV to the internet, gaming consoles were still king as of the end of 2011. Popular connected consoles included Nintendo’s Wii, Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Smart TVs and internet-enabled Blu-ray players were also popular devices for accessing connected TV. Google TV and Apple TV captured only small slivers of the connected TV audience. Perhaps, over time, as the two technology giants refine their connected TV offerings and marketing strategies, adoption will increase.

As consumers catch on to connected TV, advertisers seem unsure what steps to take in response. A study by Adap.tv and DIGIDAY indicates that interest in connected TV ads by brand advertisers and agencies grew, albeit slowly, between 2010 and 2012. In 2011, for instance, only 8% of advertisers supported connected TV. By 2012, nearly a third of brand advertisers supported the channel.

With connected TV viewers telling Tremor Video they watched 12 hours of video through their connected device per week, marketers should consider opportunities to reach this audience. Not only are connected TV viewers spending a significant amount of time with the channel, they are engaging with advertisements in a promising way.

For more information at http://www.emarketer.com

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