Many consumers no longer strictly watch cable television. There is a huge hype around connected television with Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Roku. eMarketer predicted in June of 2014 that more than 113 million people, which is 35.5% of the United States population and 45% of Internet users, would use a connected TV regularly during that year, and in 2015, the majority of Internet users in the United States will access the Internet through these devices.
Graph retrieved from http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Majority-of-US-Internet-Users-Use-Connected-TV-by-2015/1010908.
With this much use of the connected TV, it is questionable whether marketers should really buy into it. Is this really a great avenue for advertisers and marketers? According to Mark Goldman, the co-founder and CEO of ExtendTV, advertisers should not yet buy into all the connected TV hype because it does not have an audience for advertisers.
He wrote in an Advertising Age article that Apple TV offers around 50 applications and open platforms like Roku offer more than 1,800 channels. But no matter the number of channels, connected TV users still only watch programs from a few content creators and curators channels, such as Netflix and HBO Go, which are subscription based models that do not have advertising options. He also went on to say that this narrow-use of these platforms is due to poor navigation and content quality.
Photo retrieved from http://www.techjournal.org/2012/08/connected-tvs-an-explosive-platform-for-video-ads/.
Of course, there are other opinions that marketers should capitalize on this potential emerging media, and some are caught in the middle.
While it is true that these connected TV platforms can be hard to navigate, there are still some benefits to advertising. There just has to be some strategy behind it. With some research, advertisers should be able to find where their target is on connected TVs. Linking with the right content might be the best way for marketers to take advantage of this trend. And it seems that right now might be the time to do it. Many brands are not on there, so those that are will definitely be standouts.