Archive for the ‘smart tv’ tag
We thought that the Internet would bring with it a whole wave of new media disruption. We were unprepared for just how massive the disruption has been.
You needn’t look any farther than this one staggering statistic to understand the change that has been afoot in the past short while: Google‘s advertising revenue is larger than that of the entire print industry’s revenue. In the past short while, we have seen the rise in new ways for advertisers to connect with consumers like never before. You can’t throw a marketer down a flight of stairs these days without hearing the terms, real-time bidding, big data, retargeting and native advertising tumbling off of their tongues. It has become so pervasive that it’s beginning to make social media, mobile marketing and plain-old digital advertising seem somewhat antiquated. With this, we’re seeing an increasing amount of media budgets shifting from traditional channels to digital advertising. So, where do you, the business leader, place those ad dollars? Do you spend them with the latest and greatest shiny object? Do you stick to your traditional guns? Do you sprinkle it around in the hopes of hitting the jackpot on the advertising table of roulette?
It is time to create a media model that transcends these divergent ways that consumers are connecting brands.
What if we tossed away the terms we have used to date? What if we forgot all about traditional media, social media, mobile marketing, banner ads, QR codes and more and simplified the media creation process by simply asking if the media is active or passive? Passive media is any form of media where the consumer can’t physically do anything with it, except for consume it (newspaper, television, radio, etc…). Active media is any form of media where the consumer can physically engage with it (Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc…). But there’s a hook to this (there is always a hook, isn’t there?). We can’t just look at one aspect of the experience to see whether it is active or passive, we have to look at all four quadrants to find true equilibrium that will drive success.
Quadrant #1: The Consumer. When is the consumer active or passive with the media channel? Do all consumers want to tweet, share, chat and create when they are engrossed in a TV show late in the evening, or are they most comfortable sitting back and watching the drama unfold? We live in a world where television broadcasters are pushing at a feverish pace to make what was a very passive media channel (sitting back and watching) into an active one (adding widgets, encouraging tweeting and more). Understanding how the consumer best connects to the media is core to understanding what type of advertising they will best engage with. So yes, you can tell TV show viewers to follow along on Facebook, but how many of them simply want to watch the TV show and go to bed?
Quadrant #2: The Media. How do you think Google – as a search engine – would be performing if the sole form of revenue was driven by banner advertising on the search results and not the contextually relevant format of AdWords? In fact, banner advertising is a very simplistic and non-active type of media. Online publishers replicated the print model by creating these little boxes that resided on web pages that had content on them back in the mid-nineties. The model was simplistic: "we have content on a web page, why not put an ad next to it like we do with magazines and newspaper?" While banner advertising still generates billions of dollars in media advertising, the truth is that it is a very passive advertising format that was simply copy and pasted over to the a very active new media (the Web). We could talk about how "interactive" these banner ads are (or were promised to be), but the analytics don’t lie: banner ads couldn’t perform any worse. Over 99% of banner ads fail to generate any kind of click. They are passive forms of media that are pasted into very active digital channels.
Quadrant #3: The Channel. Are you the same person on Google as you are on Facebook as you are when you are reading this post on Harvard Business Review? Digital consumers are not only different, but are both passive and active in the digital platform depending on which channels they are using. When you are doing a search on Google, you have a very different intent and mindset than when you’re on Facebook and connecting to friends or catching up with acquaintances. It becomes abundantly clear that you’re also in a dramatically different media mindset as you read these words than when you’re creating a board on Pinterest. Understanding how these channels operate and which types of advertising matches the consumer’s intent is critical to building a successful advertising campaign.
Quadrant #4: The Platform. Is the platform an active or passive one? Think about digital books as a medium. Do readers really want links, embedded video, extended audio interviews, sharing capabilities and more? Will they, intuitively, turn what has traditionally been a very passive medium into an active one, simply because book publishers feel they are competing for attention with everyone from YouTube to Twitter? As we watch the "smartening" of the television, it will be interesting to see just how many viewers truly deep dive into the myriad of new ways that television is hoping the viewers will. Most newer televisions are Internet enabled, but what is the true number of households that actually connect their TV sets to the Internet and engage with channels like Netflix and beyond? According to eMarketer, nearly one quarter of US households now have a TV connected to the Internet, so we’re about to find out just how active this typically passive platform can become.
It’s not a zero sum game when it comes to active and passive media.
As with all things, understanding the quadrants and then matching your marketing to best meet the needs of the consumer will be paramount for success. That being said, it is not a zero sum game, and the ways that consumers engage with different forms of media is not an absolute. While some will claim that Twitter is useless unless you’re constantly tweeting and retweeting, there is a large user base that is simply interested in following celebrities (these people are very passive in an active channel). And, for every person who watches The Voice while building up a hearty Doritos stain on their jammies, there is a ever-growing segment that will tweet, share, chat and follow every move that that Team Usher makes (these people are very active in a passive channel). So, instead of worrying about social media marketing, mobile marketing and more, why not sit back as ask yourself these questions: when are our consumers active or passive with our brand? Is our advertising active when they’re active and passive when they’re passive? Are the channels that we’re advertising on active when the consumers are active or passive when they are passive and more? And, lastly, is the platform – in and of itself – a predominantly active or passive one? From there, you can truly start to better understand what a proper advertising mix can look like and you will also be better at defining which opportunities could potentially work against the others that are woefully flawed.
Active media. Passive media. Active consumers. Passive consumers. The world of media continues to change.
The above posting is my twice-monthly column for the Harvard Business Review. I cross-post it here with all the links and tags for your reading pleasure, but you can check out the original version online here:
Google is getting ready to sell off Motorola Mobility’s cable television assets later this year, according to a report by Light Reading Cable published today.
Google purchased Motorola for $12.5 billion nearly a year ago to obtain some intellectual property patents crucial to its business strategy for Android. However, Motorola’s patents accounted for just $5.5 billion of the total sale to Google — meaning it isn’t necessary for Google to hold on to all of Motorola’s other assets.
In an effort to recuperate some of the money from the Motorola sale, Google could sell off Motorola’s Home division, which includes cable modems, set tops, video processors, and some other related assets. Light Reading’s report indicates that Google has hired Barclays Capital to manage the sale, which could take place as early as November, with bidding beginning in October.
The real question about the sale is whether Google will chose to include some of the valuable IPs related to cable devices. Motorola hasn’t exactly let its cable division become stagnant in terms of innovation. The company debuted a new DreamGallery software to eliminate crappy TV user interfaces back in May. Still, the cable/home division’s IP could prove useful in the future for Google, which is growing its own smart TV platform, Google TV.
Light Reading’s report states that Google can expect to bring in about $2 billion from the sale of the home division, provided that some IP is included. Depending on the level of interest, the search giant could split up the sale of the home division into a few parts. Such a move could attract interest from Pace, Juniper Networks, and Ericsson AB, according to the report.
Motorola cable box photo via WingedMammal
Vizio quietly posted that it sold out the Vizio Co-Star Stream Player pre-order in the first 12 hours that it was available.
The Co-Star, a cent shy of $100, uses Google TV and turns “any HDTV into the ultimate smart TV,” merging live TV and streaming entertainment, with apps and full-screen Web browsing.
You can watch a commercial for the Co-Star Stream Player, complete with the world’s most annoying soundtrack, here:
It was only a few weeks ago that we first heard about Angry Birds coming to Samsung’s Smart TVs, and it would appear that one of the most popular games in the world has now become available on select models.
You see, Angry Birds has been revamped to work with Samsung’s Smart Interaction feature, meaning that the user will sling birds without a remote control or touch interface, as the game is entirely gesture-controlled.
The Angry Birds game will work on Samsung’s 2012 LED 7500 Smart TV and up, along with the Plasma 8000 models.
The company first debuted the game on the 75-inch ES9000 LED Smart 3D TV. As you can expect, this model comes with all of Samsung’s new “smart” additions, such as Smart Interaction, Smart Content and Smart Evolution, which lets you control the TV with your voice or gestures, share content across devices, and upgrade the TV.
If you already own one of the LED 7500 (or ups) or the Plasma 8000, the Angry Birds app is available as a free download from Samsung’s Smart Hub. If, for some reason, you’re interested in the 75-inch ES9000 LED Smart 3D TV that Samsung’s just recently debuted, which packs Angry Birds right on the device, it’s expected to hit shelves in August starting $9,999.
[via Big Picture Big Sound]
Apps are coming in a big way to your Internet-connected television, or Smart TV, pretty soon. And Boxpay will be there to help you buy them. It will do so by setting up a way for you to make purchases on your smartphone touchscreen and billing it through your phone carrier.
The idea is to use the convenience of paying via mobile phones to lower the friction that gets in the way of Smart TV app purchases. Buying apps on Smart TVs is still a nascent activity, but it is expected to grow as hundreds of millions of Smart TVs are sold each year. Boxpay showed its system off at the Casual Connect game conference in Seattle this week.
Boxpay’s software development kit (SDK) works with Google’s Android operating system, which is becoming more and more popular in Smart TVs. The problem is that registering online to make a purchase is a hassle, and nobody really wants to enter a credit card number into a TV set, particularly when the input device is a remote control. Boxpay gets around that hassle by allowing you to simply type your phone number on your smartphone’s touchscreen. Then you can verify and pay for your online purchases or in-app commerce via text message.
“It’s quick and convenient,” said Iain McConnon (pictured right), co-founder of Boxpay, which is based in Dublin, Ireland with offices in San Francisco. “We feel this is the start of something big.”
Makers of TVs, Smart TV app developers, and Android app creators can integrate the SDK into their systems quickly and easily. This opens the market for Smart TV apps to more consumers, including those who don’t have credit cards or won’t put up with the hassle of entering their card data.
Boxpay customers can make a mobile payment using carrier billing since Boxpay has relationships with 280 carriers in 65 countries. Boxpay is now looking for both Smart TV manufacturers and app developers.
“We are still in the early days of Smart TV,” Gavin McConnon said. “But the vendors are interested.”
The McConnon brothers have been around for a dozen years running a ringtone company and direct-to-consumer business in Dublin, Ireland. Two years ago, Iain and his brother Gavin (pictured left) started Boxpay and began working on their mobile payments system. They launched it in January and are now making the SDK widely available. They have 1,500 merchants using the system.
Rivals include Zong (part of PayPal) and Boku.
Though concrete evidence of Apple’s long-rumored foray into the Smart TV business largely boils down to a one-off comment made by the company’s late co-founder shortly before his passing last year, several established TV makers are taking no chances and are reportedly scurrying to form alliances with one another to help defend their turf from the booming tech giant.
Like many independent web workers, I sometimes find it tricky when people ask me what I do professionally. The day-to-day reality is that I research and analyse digital trends that I think are interesting and help like-minded clients work out if and how they are relevant. However, people don’t always find that helpful. So sometimes I say that I work with marketeers and brands that feel overwhelmed by technology. Which, I suspect, can sound patronising. But it shouldn’t. Feeling overwhelmed is a perfectly understandable reaction as, rather like the rain in the UK at the moment, technological change can seem unrelenting, which for many people is disturbing. I recall a session I ran earlier this year when an executive told me she was worried that the pace of digital change was eventually going to make her redundant. Not because her job was going to disappear but, despite being a smart, accomplished individual she felt she didn’t have the time to keep up with the latest bits and bytes. Once again, this is understandable and the individual in question is certainly…
…not alone if my experience is anything to go by. When it comes to the ever-changing web, like the current British weather, it is easy to be left meekly asking – ‘when will it end?‘. Just as a bright spot appears to offer the hope of respite from chaotic storms, the web and networked media may hold out a period of calm, only for another digital deluge to arrive.
One way to manage these endless online squalls maybe to ignore the technology altogether and focus on the behaviour of the people in the markets that are of interest to you. Not only does this involve less jargon but it may be a more efficient way to work out what is and is not of relevance. This is particularly true as larger, more sophisticated industries are drawn into networked media.
For example, recently I’ve been working in connected or smart TV, the latest area to experience the full force of technological change. Many of the tides washing through the business are familiar currents that other industries have been navigating for some time – such as changing purchasing behaviour.
One of the greatest challenges for TV companies is that their valuable content is being unbundled before their eyes. Cable or satellite packages offering one gazillion channels can feel like a super-comfy duvet under which to hide away on the sofa, until you realise that friends and neighbours are paying less-for-more through an online service. At which point said duvet can feel more like a smothering – and expensive – deadweight.
The difference with the TV business from other industries that have succumbed to digital tides is its sheer size and influence. Cash-bloated, top techno-predators such as Google, when launching an attack on the walls of Pay-TV, and possibly expecting a capitulation such as that which occurred in the newspaper, music, publishing, telephony and photographic industries, have found themselves effortlessly shrugged-off.
However, there are signs that even TV giants are struggling against the prevailing wind and rain. Despite the odd respite, their defences are being eroded slowly by the weather systems of networked media. And not only are these new fronts more powerful each time they surge but, crucially, they are also being driven by consumers (aka people) keen to find better value and choice.
In such a market, it can be tempting to try and follow every development and forecast the impact of each new application or incremental change. However, in reality this might simply not be possible, let alone helpful. A little like predicting the weather, it’s useful to a point and then the data becomes overwhelming. Which is why it’s important to watch users – not just engineers.
Matt Locke, longtime TV-agitator, expresses this very helpfully in his recent post: ‘Behaviours are one of the most important things to track in this fast-changing environment. If you don’t look for new things your audience are learning to do – like contributing to hashtag memes on Twitter, joining campaigns on Facebook, playing online games synced to live broadcasts, or funding projects they love on Kickstarter – then you won’t be able to see how this affects their ‘traditional’ relationship with your tv programme/film/book. Until someone else comes along with a product that ties these new behaviours to your content, and suddenly you’re out of the loop (as the Kindle did for publishers).’
At the moment, the idea that the TV industry may change radically seems strange. However, I am always struck at how fickle people are in their behaviour and attitudes. A good number of years ago I recall the rolling-eyes and raised-brows at a conference when I showed the attendees Wikipedia. Today, it’s pretty much a first port-of-call for even the most sceptical and crowd-sourcing is acclaimed as progress in some of the most complex markets. It’s not necessary to understand why and how these new systems work. It’s enough to see that people like and use them.
Silicon-Valley’s obsession with the nuances of technological change can sometimes appear to have turned us all into a bunch of widget-obsessed lunatics. However, the broader view is that markets are being changed not by technology itself, but by the manner in which it changes our behaviour and subsequent commercial choices. Often in ways that are positive, interesting or even fun. So next time the latest techno-storm leaves you feeling overwhelmed, try and ignore it and, instead, watch the people around you and how they are coping with the changing elements.
You’ve likely played Angry Birds across several different platforms by now, but you haven’t played it like this: Samsung today announced that it will be bringing the uber popular game to its Smart TVs with motion controls.
On Samsung’s Smart Interaction television sets, you’ll be able to send off those irate avians by making a slingshot motion with your hand. Additional motions will let you use every bird’s unique power.
In short, there’s no way this won’t look absolutely ridiculous.
Samsung says it’s been working with Rovio for a year to implement the motion controls. Angry Birds will be available for free on Samsung’s LED 7500 TV and higher models, as well as on the Plasma 8000, later this month.
Samsung initially announced that it would be offering Angry Birds back at CES, but there was no mention of motion controls back then. The company will also soon be offering an Angry Birds animation channel.
Additionally, Samsung announced its most baller television set yet: a 75-inch behemoth that retails for $9,999. The ES9000 3D LED set (below) brings Samsung into big-screen territory that’s typically reserved for DLP sets from Mitsubishi and a dwindling number of other manufacturers. The TV includes all of Samsung’s Smart TV functionality as well as a new feature called “Sound Share” that lets it connect wirelessly to Samsung’s home theater speakers.
The ES9000 will be available at retailers in August.
Angry Birds has been around for what seems like forever, topping over 1 billion downloads across all available platforms. But folks continue to come up with new and interesting ways for us to sling birds into poorly built structures with the sole purpose of needless destruction.
Samsung today officially joined that pack by offering Angry Birds on Samsung’s Smart TV, but pay no mind to the remote — the whole thing is controlled by gesture.
The idea is that you can aim birds by pulling back the way you would to use a slingshot. You can also activate the birds’ “talents” through gesture controls as well, making big black mamma jamma explode or sending yellow triangle bird into a b-line straight for the desired target.
Here’s Samsung’s official word on the matter:
Samsung Smart TV will become the first TV to offer the world’s most popular game and set a new standard in the industry by offering a game for Smart TVs controlled by hand gestures. Samsung will continue to develop various content that bring family members together in front of the TV, allowing consumers to enjoy new experiences via Samsung Smart TVs.
And just look at these little kids having fun:
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time that Angry Birds has been available for play on a big screen. Roku’s second line of streamers offers motion-controlled Angry Birds madness, however you need the remote to get your game on there. In Samsung’s case, the app is already built in to the TV and all you need are your glorious, bird-flinging hands.
LG heeft Smartclip aangetrokken voor de verkoop van advertenties op het LG Smart TV platform.