In the old days, we talked about all the new things in TV – color, remote controls, cable – the world was our oyster in TV viewing. But there was no Internet then and there were no connected TV sets back then. How did we live without those? Now two-thirds of the US, with access to the Internet, connect their TV to the Internet in one way or another.
One of the predominant ways that people connect their TV to the Internet is thru Smart TVs which are traditional TVs with full Web and Internet connectivity and interactivity. You can watch a “regular” TV show from broadcast or cable outlets, or you can watch YouTube or look at Facebook or watch Netflix NFLX, all on your Smart TV. As Dave Morgan, a long-time advertising expert and the Founder/CEO of Simulmedia, a television advertising technology company based in NYC, said, “Connected TV is a big tablet.”
The current pandemic is giving people a lot of time for a wide variety of activities (if they aren’t busy working or schooling their kids) such as watching TV, including their Connected or Smart TVs. Alphonso, a TV measurement and data company based in Silicon Valley, issued a study recently looking at Web traffic attributed to viewing of Over-the-Top (OTT) content, which is traditional TV content delivered over the Internet not through broadcast or cable. Much of the OTT content is distributed through Connected and Smart TVs.
Below is a chart that shows visits to Websites promoted by advertisers on OTT content climbing dramatically as the country began to “stay at home.” This was analyzed across eight different industry sectors.
This sort of data will certainly encourage more brands and agencies to purchase advertising inventory on OTT and Connected TV. This data is evidence that OTT content is a viable vehicle for building brands.
Allen Bush, the CMO of Alphonso, commented on the future of advertising on Connected TV programming, “Connected TV advertising is still a small fraction of overall TV spend today. Advances in measurement will help double that spend over the next few years as more brands find the right balance between performance marketing and brand marketing.”
Bush explained the increase in Website traffic due to OTT advertising, saying, “In addition to more streaming content being consumed by more households, there’s the simple fact that people are more likely now to do things online (since they can’t go) to at a brick and mortar location.” Alphonso data below shows the huge growth of OTT viewership since the lock-down.
An early proponent of Connected TV and OTT content is Christy Tanner, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS News Digital. CBSN, the 24-hour streaming service of CBS News, has allowed CBS “to deliver critical and timely information during this crisis,” Tanner said. She went on to say that she expects the growth of streaming audiences, consuming OTT on Connected TVs, will continue “at a rapid pace.”
It use to be that people said, “I want my MTV.” Now the data suggests that people are just as strongly demanding their OTT content and their Connected TVs.