How will advertising adapt to TVs connected to the internet?

Dominique Blanc *

Desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets … we spent the day browsing the web. It doesn’t matter the device or the screen size. The internet has taken over our daily lives and changed our habits of consuming information and content. This transformation marked the beginning of a new era for advertisers. However, another type of revolution is already being discussed: television connected to the Internet.

Advertising has always gone hand in hand with new technologies. I believe that television and internet deserve to be highlighted in this discussion. When the first televisions hit consumers’ homes, advertising adapted and exploited this new vehicle immediately. From the beginning, there were endless possibilities in terms of creativity and efficiency.

Decades later, the internet has introduced a channel of free entertainment, allowing users to access information in the most individualized way possible. For advertisers, the web has offered new ways to reach consumers. Although at the beginning it seems to be scientific scientific, in a few years, online advertising has become a fundamental part of the brands’ communication strategy.

The use of devices and the way in which users began to interact with the available content are also changing rapidly. Yesterday was smartphones. Today are tablets. And tomorrow, what to come? Be SmartTV’s turn. In all cases, technologies evolve to offer increasingly surprising applications and types of interaction.

As the number of TVs connected to the Internet increases, with different sizes and characteristics, such as touch screen and 3D, the content available to viewers becomes even more rich and interactive. Ultimately the user experience is the common denominator. If Wap on cell phones amazed internet users when it appeared, despite all the shortcomings, today we can already view, browsing comfortably, identical contents regardless of the screen of the device used.

However, television as we still know it remains excluded from this type of continuity, not offering interaction to the viewer. The TV came into our house in the first place, but it will be the last to connect to the internet.

There are a multitude of views and predictions about the future of television. Most say viewers will be able to search Google and read news on their favorite newspaper website. But that’s not all! Thanks to the “live” content and its new services available, there are many other advantages in consuming, radically differently, the new television.

Applications for smartphones will also become a reality on SmartTVs. And they will be responsible for one of the most important revolutions in the field of Internet-connected TV: tailored content accessible through apps. After being born analogue and becoming digital, television prepares to connect to the world wide web and then to become a fully customizable device. One of the consequences is the death of the remote control or, at least, zapping.

And content distributors should be aware. Let’s look at the example of films shown on TV. The television channels maintained the hegemony to broadcast them after the release in the cinema. This allowed some networks to achieve great success at a time when Pay-per-view did not yet exist. Currently, the viewer already has different types of films and programs by VOD (Video on Demand). But what does the future hold?

Connected televisions will allow us to watch movies through applications or directly on the web portals of producers and distributors, without necessarily going through operators. This plurality of choice opens new horizons for advertisers.

This phenomenon is reality on the internet. We do not access the content only through a browser, but increasingly through applications. The iPhone and iPad made this transformation possible and even created patterns. In fact, a portion of advertising moves across the internet through apps.

But how are brands coping with this rapid and profound transformation in the way they access content? They – as they have always done – observe and understand the behavior of consumers in order to offer them more adapted and personalized offers. The difference that today, advertisers must take into account the multiplicity of screens and the evolution of interaction options. Thus, they will be able to provide an environment in which the consumer will enjoy content with total convergence.

One of the main issues to be analyzed by brands is to understand the coherence between the screens. Today, there are online advertisements that are aired according to the searches we carry out. With the television connected – and thanks to the total continuity between the screens – we entered a new dimension.

As yet, there is no such total continuity between the screens of the devices. However, in a short time the applications will take over the connected television. This profound transformation in the way of consuming content opens the door to a new advertising world, representing a formidable opportunity for brands: reaching the consumer directly without the need for intermediaries.

It remains for brands to reflect on this transformation and adapt their communication strategies to this new universe of possibilities, taking into account, of course, the need to measure all of this.

* Dominique Blanc General Manager of MediaMind in France

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