If you’ve been reading this blog- or any blog related to online media- you’ll know that with the advance of technology, online video viewing has become ubiquitous. It’s easier to access and of higher quality than it was just a few years ago. As a result, more and more people go online to watch their favorite shows instead of watching them on live TV. This has led to a groundswell of interest in web-enabled TVs.
Companies such as Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, and others brands have put internet-enabled TV on the market with the purpose of bringing both Internet and Web together. TiVo, pioneers in changing the way we view our TV, has had internet search for nearly two years. Now we have GoogleTV, a set-top box scheduled to be released this month, that is set to “revolutionize TV as we know it.” We also have Apple TV, Steve Jobs’ little side hobby that too will “revolutionize TV as we know it.” (In both cases, it remains to be seen, as we’re not positive they’re adding anything to the mix that isn’t already there, but they certainly have added to the conversation.)
Though web-enabled boxes have been in the market for awhile now, we are now at a place where internet connections are fast enough to stream videos effectively. Another crucial piece of the equation is the advent and immense popularity of social networks. Facebook, Twitter and the like are the way people are communicating online. The combination of the two makes for a unique viewing experience. Just think back to the interactive love-fest that was the Obama Inauguration. This phenomenon, viewed through a web-enabled TV, would allow far more interactivity.
According to iSuppli Corporation 28 million web-enabled TVs will be sold worldwide this year. By 2014 the number would increase 428.6% to 148 million units sold. This means that US internet users are ready to embrace the Web-enabled TV technology that is currently being offered by TVs, set-top boxes, Blue-ray players, game consoles and others.
Web-enabled TV should be roundly welcomed by marketers. Because of online viewing, marketers have the opportunity to better target viewers. Moreover, they will benefit from more effective results tracking. Essentially, Web-enabled TV’s will give consumers the opportunity to find the content they want to see, when they want it, and marketers will be able to target them and find them when they do. Now that’s a win-win situation.