Soon, all new TVs will be able to connect to the Internet. The latest trends support this, with TV equipment experiencing marked progress in 2013. Today, the world of smart TV already incorporates a wide range of interactive services: web browsing, video platforms, catch-up TV, VOD, applications, games, multiscreen, and more. Tomorrow’s offer will be even richer, with more interactive services and deeper synergies between all connected devices (like tablets, smartphones, game consoles, and more). The TV experience is rapidly changing, and content is decreasingly restricted to linear consumption, which will deeply influence how viewers use and interact with TV content. TV networks, manufacturers, Internet Service Providers and app publishers face many different challenges: technological innovation, ad formats, partnerships, economic models, and legal aspects, to name a few. Consequently, Digital Analytics helps the different market players better understand their users, position their offers more effectively, and build and optimise adapted services.
A future-facing market and intensifying usage
There are many players in this young market, each with their own, different challenges. There is still no real technological convergence. According to a study published by GFK Médiamétrie, 48.7 % of French households possess a TV that connects to the web via the TV set itself, ISP Internet TV box, game console, or digital media players like Apple TV. And compared to last year, use of smart TVs has grown by 26% (CCM Benchmark). Certain trends – even if limited – are starting to appear when it comes to how people are using smart TV. Replay, or catch-up TV, is one of the most prevalent activities in the smart TV realm, making up 73% of smart TV usage, according to CCM Benchmark.
How are viewers connecting through TVs?
A key question is which equipment viewers are using, and this is directly linked to the different technologies available. It’s important to distinguish:
- Services available in IPTV (through the ISP Internet TV box),
- and those developed in HbbTV (standard controlled by TV networks and accessible via Digital Video Broadcasting, or DVB).
Today, it’s estimated that 1 million TV sets in France are connected via HbbTV, with more than 20 million TV sets projected in 2017.
Should smart TV activity be measured in the same way as web browsing?
Yes and no! No, because of the all-important remote control – one of the main differences with the web. The remote elicits certain usability questions when it comes to the TV experience: How is the “OK” button used? Which buttons should we favour – those with arrows, or those with colours? In short, all of these questions contribute to improving this first gateway to the world of smart TV.
And, Yes: We should measure the other elements as we would with web browsing: landing pages, search queries, ad banners, calls-to-action, etc. The measure and standard analysis of pages, pageviews, clicks, and traffic sources remains essential.
Other dimensions are measurable, too: manufacturer brands, screen resolution, year of manufacture, and even the version of the ISP’s Internet TV box. These various dimensions allow us to evaluate the performance of certain equipment and anticipate the launch of future connected applications.
France Télévisions: a pioneer of smart TV
We tend to think that smart TV represents a threat for TV networks, as it radically changes the way TV content has traditionally been consumed. But in reality, smart TV presents networks a true opportunity to expand their service offerings and strengthen their multi-channel strategy while generating complementary revenue.
For several years, France Télévisions has been committed in its innovative approach to the launch of its suite of smart TV services. A pioneer in this domain, the French media group has made its goal clear: address as many users as possible, across as many platforms as possible, in order to offer the public an optimal, comprehensive service.
France Télévisions has collaborated with AT Internet on several smart TV analysis cases to help improve and evolve audience tracking for this new media: