White paper: Advertisers starting to notice potential of connected TVs

Advertisers and broadcasters alike are beginning to notice the potential of smart and/or connected TVs to access Internet content and bring it to the big screen, according to a white paper written by Lisa Roner and Tom Sapsted for Smart TV Insider.

"With the new opportunities on Smart TV and across multiple devices, broadcasters, content owners, TV manufacturers and advertisers are changing their strategies, adapting to new technologies and offering new services," the report stated, concluding that this would mean "increased exposure for advertisers (and) new ways to reach the masses."

"Smart TVs offer advertisers a very powerful capability--the ability to make a national 30-second commercial interactive," wrote Michael Bologna director of emerging communications at GroupM in a contribution to the white paper.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the movement is only "tentative" because multiple questions need to be answered. Primarily, contributors to the white paper said, there's too much fragmentation in the delivery platforms.

"Advanced advertising on Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is different from advanced advertising on Time Warner (NYSE: TWC) versus DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) versus Dish (Nasdaq: DISH)" so that advertisers are "ultimately discouraged from campaign execution because it is costly to build the applications for all the different systems," Bologna added.

Then there's the matter of who's going to watch the ads if they do get placed, wrote Dietrich von Behren, vice president of digital media and investments for A&E Television Networks.

"While digital consumption is growing rapidly, the numbers are still greatly outweighed by broadcast," von Behren wrote.

That will become a secondary concern as more users adopt connected devices and the advertising industry and content distributors define standards and measurements, he added.

The white paper's contributors also agreed that technology is not the issue.

"Generally, there are no major technical difficulties right now. It's more an issue that there are not many examples yet," wrote Kemal Altintas, senior manager of business development and product innovation at LG Electronics, concluding that "this lack of experience is the biggest challenge right now."

Every contributor to the white paper agreed on one thing: smart TVs and their ability to connect to the Internet will change the advertising space.

When this will happen is still in question; that it will happen is a given, the report's authors concluded, because "connecting with consumers on their terms, in their time and in a format of their choosing is the 'holy grail,' if you will, for advertisers. Smart TV and multi-screen advertising promises to deliver the ultimate 'pull' scenario that all markets seek to drive a more targeted and tailored form of advertising to consumers."

For more:
 - see the white paper

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