Data and Apps Fuel Innovation in the TV Industry

The TV industry is sailing into an uncharted ocean of innovation. Already, some of the most innovative TV services leverage data and apps to deliver exciting new content experiences. The following trends could help inform how your organization pursues innovation, too.

1. TV companies are investing in data

Turner, ESPN, and Cablevision have something new in common. They’re all investing in data management platforms (DMPs). Here’s what execs from these companies have to say about it:

  • Talking about Turner Data Cloud, Stephen Kim, Chief Data Strategist at Turner said, “We want to build a central repository of information around consumption, tastes, geography, demographics and profile information for our viewers, and use that to deliver better value.” (via AdExchanger)
  • Regarding the proprietary ESPN DMP, Zachary Chapman, VP of digital and publisher sales at ESPN said, “There’s no reason that we shouldn’t have a DMP in place that allows us to analyze the data in a much more fluid way, and share with our agency partners.” (via MediaPost)
  • Discussing Cablevision’s Total Audience Application, or TAPP census-data platform, Ben Tatta, president of Cablevision Media Sales said, “This is a window into what lies ahead.” (via AdAge)

Expect more investment in data management from TV companies in the near future.

2. TV apps already proliferate in Apple’s App Store

This month, we estimated that roughly 60% of brands representing TV channels have distinct apps in the App Store. We counted over 150 TV brands with one or more channels on a leading cable network of which over 90 brands had an app in Apple’s App Store. This fits right into a prediction made here last month by TDG Research’s Joel Espelien who predicted that every meaningful TV brand will have its own app.

Already, hundreds of TV brands have the ability to look at every single button press and view happening within their apps. They can collect this data and use it to inform new innovations and make the viewer experience even better.

3. TV apps will soon proliferate on Google Play

We expect apps for Android TV on Google Play to grow by double this year or better. There are currently 46 apps for Android TV. Sony, Philips, Razer and Nvidia have Android TV devices on the market and Sharp has devices coming soon. As consumers purchase these new devices, it will lure the developers of existing TV apps to port their apps over to Android TV. App ports alone could double the number of apps on Android TV this year.

The Android TV user experience may delight consumers that struggle to find the right content across various siloed TV apps because it provides recommendations and voice search features that span all installed apps. According to TV Connect, Thomas Riedl, Google’s Global Head of Android TV Partnerships says, “When in the Android TV home screen, you’ll see a row of content recommended for you. These recommendations come from all the Android TV apps you have installed on that device and is based on which apps you’ve used on that device.”

It’s anybody’s guess where innovations around data and apps will ultimately lead. However, we’re pretty certain that DMPs and the proliferation of TV apps all have important roles to play in the future of TV.

Campbell Foster

About Campbell Foster

Campbell Foster is Marketing Director for Adobe Primetime, leading global efforts to drive adoption of Adobe's video publishing, monetization and optimization technologies. Before Adobe, Campbell headed global Product Marketing for Google DoubleClick, managing ad serving, video, RTB, and rich media products. He served as a founding member of the DoubleClick Ad Exchange management team. Campbell earned an MBA, with Distinction, from NYU Stern School of Business and received a BA in English from Cornell University. Campbell is dedicated to exploring the intersection between technology and BBQ, and is actively developing the world's first automated barbecue smoking hygrometer.

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