Marketers Can Use the Pipeline of TV Viewing and Mobile Behavior

What will the connection of Smart TVs and mobile devices mean for marketers in the future? Cynopsis asked Matt Tubergen, Digital Turbine’s EVP of Global Strategy and Corporate Development, to look into his crystal ball.
 
Should we expect Smart TV apps to eventually resemble mobile ones? Will mobile apps make the jump to the big screen? In which categories will this most likely occur?  
 
In both the short term and long term, Smart TV apps are not likely to fully resemble mobile apps, in the same way Apple CarPlay and Android Auto apps don’t really resemble their phone counterparts. They’re different experiences designed for specific use cases.  Fundamentally, consumers still see and prefer the TV to be eight to ten feet away. Phones are often that many inches away sometimes! 
 
Developers who win in Smart TVs know that ‘lean-back’ experiences are what consumers want from their TVs. Categories like video, news, sports, and weather all do well. Categories like gaming, social, search do not do well or haven’t cracked the code yet. 
 

What is the likelihood that consumers embrace more personalization of their Smart TV experience through data sharing? How should privacy concerns be handled?

Connected TVs (CTVs) are not one-to-one when it comes to the relationships users have with their devices. As such, data sharing and data privacy do not directly resemble that of mobile. Data, tied to search and consumption, is limited to the CTV platform in a fashion much different than mobile. Consequently, the breadth of data and targeting on CTVs isn’t as useful or valuable as it is compared to mobile. 
 
There are, however, interesting use cases starting to emerge where audience data from mobile devices is tied to CTVs. Ad targeting taking relying on that data is still in its early days, but it is promising. In most cases, this enhances the  user experience and isn’t a detriment as it’s more aligned with user expectations

How can we encourage interaction with consumers through apps on their Smart TVs? How should marketers play a role and what can they contribute to the experience? 

To the earlier point, audience data and user destination is only just starting to stick when it comes to  TV and mobile. Marketers should look to areas where this data can be matched and market accordingly. 
 
Smart TV advertising, on the other hand, won’t replace mobile, or desktop, the same way previous media shifts have moved massive amounts of money from one medium to another (print to radio, radio to TV, etc.). Good CTV solutions are simply another channel to reach consumers who are now connected everywhere they go.


What mobile behaviors can you predict will translate into TV with these methods?

Location and IP will continue to play a role in CTV, much as they have since everyone’s computer was tethered to a desk. It’s already material today, but it will continue to grow and scale as more local advertisers are turned on to CTV buying. 
 
Demographic and audience data matching from mobile devices to TV ID will become a thing of the future as there is very little usable audience data that can or will be collected on CTV today. It will come from aggregated and contextual mobile data.


Should Smart TV walled gardens be expected or will there be interoperability early on and continue on given the number of companies connected to Smart TVs?

This is tough to predict. Every manufacturer wants to own their own customer experiences, which typically means “app store.” All these Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) try to differentiate and compete by adding new features, services, and content. As a result, this tends to lead to walled gardens and a non-interoperable infrastructure. A side effect of this is that it makes easily transactable advertising more challenging than it should otherwise be. 
 
With that said, Google is doing a decent job of deploying a simpler version of Android TV that could lead to more interoperability. Time will tell!

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