Xperi Bows ‘TiVo One’ Ad Platform for Connected Televisions

Xperi May 21 launched its branded TiVo One cross-screen ad platform, aimed at connected televisions and automobiles with advanced forecasting, targeting and measurement capabilities.

Xperi has experienced rapid success with its independent media platform over the past year, which is seen through increased adoption and growing footprint for TiVo OSTiVo Broadband and DTS AutoStage Video Service Powered by TiVo. Each facet of Xperi’s media platform, which includes TiVo OS, TiVo Broadband, and DTS AutoStage Video Service Powered by TiVo, is focused on providing users with a personalized viewing experience while partnering with content providers to offer a diverse range of content options and monetization opportunities.

“As a key element of our long-term strategy for [TiVo], is offering a variety of ways to optimally engage with audiences,” CEO Jon Kirchner said in a statement.

This summer, Europe will play host to three months’ worth of international sporting events. Ahead of these events, TiVo is focused on helping its partners meet consumer demands. TiVo’s first OEM partner, Vestel, has smart TVs Powered by TiVo in retailers across most major European countries, under a dozen different brands. Argos, a major U.K. retailer, has deployed TiVo OS in its Bush house brand of smart TVs, which are available online and in stores now, and are one of the first smart TVs to incorporate Freely, the new U.K. streaming service delivering live TV over broadband. And Panasonic is also expected to launch smart TVs Powered by TiVo into retail stores across Europe and the U.K. this summer.

The connected-television (CTV) advertising market is projected to reach $36 billion by 2026, with nearly 63% of consumers expressing “high tolerance” for ads, according to TiVo. However, many smart-TV interfaces prioritize irrelevant ads, hindering the user experience, according to the company.

TiVo One can help brands optimize their advertising campaigns, analyze customer attribution across different channels and devices, and gain insights into which devices and distribution platforms drive maximum user engagement.

“By fostering an ecosystem that prioritizes choice, personalization and seamless integration across platforms, we aim to redefine how audiences engage with content in today’s dynamic environment,” Kirchner said.

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Study: U.S. Households Spend Almost 6 Minutes Looking for Content to Stream on TV

As U.S. consumers increasingly switch to connected televisions, finding something to stream in a sea of content offerings has become a challenge.

New data from LG Ad Solutions finds that the average U.S. household spends 5.7 minutes searching for content to stream. Although viewers are streaming more free ad-supported TV, nearly half of U.S. households aren’t sure what they want to watch when they turn on the television. And even if they know what they want to watch, 40% are confused on where to find that content.

“Consumers take almost 6 minutes on average to select a piece of content to watch after turning on the TV,” Tony Marlow, CMO of LG Ad Solutions, said in a statement. “This presents a great opportunity for streamers to leverage Smart TV homepages for content discovery.”

Marlow contends the data indicates that 39% of viewers have used recommendations from their TV’s homepage when they’re looking for something new to watch.

“We anticipate that number to increase as Smart TV adoption continues to climb,” he said. “The home screen is the new center of the CTV experience where consumers can search for specific content, and find recommendations when they aren’t sure what they want to watch.”

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The study, based on a survey more than 750 U.S. consumers in March 2023, found that almost one in two viewers (46%) have canceled a streaming service to save money. Further, 59% of viewers are willing to cancel a subscription after finishing their desired content, supporting the trend that subscribers are hopping between services to keep costs down.

Another 63% of consumers prefer to stream free content rather than paying for a subscription. Over the next 12 months, 32% of consumers will remove a subscription CTV service and 21% will add more free, ad-supported CTV services, according to the report.

Finally, 39% of survey respondents said they have searched online and 37% have visited a website after seeing a CTV ad.

“This means not only do streamers need to promote their content to lure overwhelmed consumers in, but they also need to have enough to keep them engaged and on the app or channel,” Marlow said.

NPD: Internet Access, Speed Impact Consumer Electronics Ownership, Including Smart 4K TVs

Internet access and speed are key to determining the amount and type of consumer electronics devices in U.S. homes, including connected 4K UHD TVs, according to new data from The NPD Group.

While household internet and speed can vary widely from state to state, or even county to county, there are a number of consumer electronics devices that have reached parity levels among connected households in rural and urban U.S. markets. Those include TVs, video game consoles, smart watches, activity trackers and tablets, according to NPD.

However, NPD found that wider gaps exist in ownership levels of devices that are more dependent on an internet connection, such as 4K UHD TVs, where a broadband connection is required for high-definition streaming, and smart home devices, where higher download speeds are needed for live video streams.

In the United States, 50% of households do not currently have a broadband connection (25Mbps per second download speed or greater). In addition, 15% of homes in the United States have no internet access, while 10% use a smartphone-only solution. Based on NPD’s findings, this lack of internet access or lack of internet speed has the biggest impact on rural markets. As a result, in rural markets ownership of 4K TVs and home automation products have trailed ownership levels reported in urban areas.

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While other factors also influence the CE ownership gap, such as income levels, one theme that is consistent across 4K TV ownership for connected households in rural and urban markets is that as home internet download speeds increase, so too do household ownership levels. The same can be said of smart home devices, such as internet security cameras that require higher download speeds.

“Consumers with slower internet speeds have less incentive to purchase 4K TVs,” Eddie Hold, president of NPD Connected Intelligence, said in a statement.

Hold said consumers with slow ISP speeds present a challenge for manufacturers that need usage data and advertising revenue to help sustain manufacturing.

“The internet is essentially the lifeblood of all consumer electronics products,” he said. “Understanding where coverage gaps exist can help explain trends and identify future opportunities.”

Parks: 63% of U.S. Internet Homes Own a Smart-TV, 87% Subscribe to at Least One Streaming Service

New Parks Associates research finds that 63% of U.S. internet households own a smart-TV, up from 38% in 2015. The Dallas-based company highlights how companies such as Roku and others have transformed the role of the TV in the home by marrying entertainment with connected home functions. Roku announced at CES it would manufacture its own line of smart TVs this year, and many companies showed off new TV technologies.

“Smart-TVs are part of the modern home; this device will be a key element of an integrated whole-home entertainment vision going forward,” analyst Elizabeth Parks said in a statement. “New applications and integration are bringing together the smart home and entertainment ecosystems to further monetize its user base and have more control of the data in the home.”

Parks finds that 87% of U.S. internet households have at least one streaming service. At CES, many companies announced new smart-TVs and seek to leverage the operating system (OS) as much as the hardware for future applications. TV manufacturers and tech giants, such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung, are building smart home controls into the TV, transforming this device into a home control platform.

Conviva: Smart TVs and Roku Dominate Global Streaming

Roku continued to hold the top spot among big-screen streaming video devices (connected TVs, smart TVs and gaming consoles) in the second quarter, ended June 30, generating about 30.5% of viewing time, down less than 1% as compared to Q2 2021, according to new data from Conviva.

Amazon Fire TV finished as the No. 2 streaming device with 16% of big screen viewing time. Samsung TV (13.7%), Android TV (7.8%) and LG TV (7.3%) rounded out the top five devices for big screen viewing time. Google Chromecast, Xbox and PlayStation all saw a decrease in share as compared to the previous year.

Data analyzed for the Q2 2022 State of Streaming report was primarily collected from Conviva’s proprietary sensor technology. Currently embedded in 3.3 billion streaming video applications, it measures more than 500 million unique viewers watching 180 billion streams per year and nearly 2 trillion real-time transactions per day across more than 180 countries.

The report shows continued growth in the global streaming market, including gains of (14%) in Q2 2022 as compared to Q2 2021. Asia and Latin America saw the most growth — 90% and 70%, respectively — while North America, the most mature streaming market in the world, also grew 5% year over year.

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As the global streaming industry matures, streaming success is getting more complicated. Device fragmentation is growing, and viewers’ quality expectations continue rising in concert with an ad-supported streaming world, according to the report. Streaming publishers are challenged to deliver a consistent and positive experience. Whether in Africa using an Android phone or in Texas on a Smart TV — viewers expect a quality picture, instant access to content and zero glitches, according to the report.

“The race is on to see which publishers will meet these expectations … providing the best experience when it’s most important,” Keith Zubchevich, CEO of Conviva, said in a statement. “Those who do will quickly eclipse the competition. Most importantly, those who make it a priority to obtain real-time actionable insights about their customers’ (real-world experiences) will undoubtedly separate the leaders from the pack.”

Conviva found bitrate rose globally in Q2 2022 across all screen types and devices, but often at the expense of other quality metrics. For example, Smart TVs saw the largest increase in bitrate of all screen types, up 15.1% year over year. However, to provide this more high-definition experience, Smart TVs saw noticeable increases in video start failures, video start time and buffering. Conversely, PlayStation and Roku were the only big screen devices to both decrease video start times (down 10.7% and 12%, respectively) and increase bitrate (up 4.6% and 12.9%, respectively).

To date, the iPhone has been the primary device for mobile streaming, especially in North America. In Q2 2022 the gap closed, with iPhone and Android phones capturing nearly identical global market share, 35.8% vs 33.2%, respectively. In addition, Android phones outpaced the iPhone by 10% in year-over-year growth in streaming viewing hours. In Apple’s favor is its quality — as the iPhone currently beats Android phones in every quality category, according to the study. As streaming publishers expand into newer, less mature streaming markets outside of North America, optimizing the streaming experience for the Android mobile device market will be of increasing importance.

Roku Launches Branded TVs in Germany

Roku announced the arrival of branded Roku televisions in Germany, with Metz blue and China’s TCL as the first partners to launch the branded internet-connected models. The launch follows Roku’s entry into the market last year with its streaming players. From October, consumers will be able to purchase a Roku TV model from Metz blue or TCL, in sizes varying between 32 and 65 inches in HD, 4K and 4K QLED.

“People transition more of their entertainment time to streaming, while continuing to watch a significant amount of broadcast TV, so [the] launch offer[s] a great experience for both,” Arthur van Rest, VP international at Roku, said in a statement.

Metz blue or TCL consumers get access to the Roku Channel Store, which offers free and paid streaming channels. Roku TV models work with the Roku mobile app, which can be used as a remote control, for voice search and control, and for private listening. Roku TV models are compatible with various voice assistants, including Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. To share media from a mobile device to a Roku TV, consumers can use the app or mirror their screen using Airplay 2 or Miracast.

Leichtman: 46% of Adults Watch Video Daily via Connected TV Device

New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group finds that 87% of U.S. TV households have at least one internet-connected TV device, which includes Smart TVs, streaming devices (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast or Apple TV), video game systems, and/or Blu-ray Disc players. This compares to 80% with at least one connected-TV device in 2020, 69% in 2017, and 38% in 2012.

These findings are based on a survey of 1,902 TV households in the United States.

Overall, 46% of adults in U.S. TV households watch video daily on a connected TV — compared to 40% in 2020, 25% in 2017, and 4% in 2012. Younger individuals are most likely to use connected-TV devices. Among ages 18-34, 62% watch video on a TV via a connected device daily — compared to 54% of ages 35-54, and 24% of ages 55+.

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The report also found that 71% of TV households have at least one Smart TV — up from 58% in 2020, 41% in 2017, and 11% in 2012. About 50% of all TV sets in U.S. households are Smart TVs — an increase from 39% in 2020, 24% in 2017, and 7% in 2014.

Almost 60% of TV households have at least one standalone streaming device — up from 56% in 2020, 40% in 2017, and 4% in 2012. On a daily basis, 28% of adults watch video on a TV via a standalone device, 27% via an internet-enabled smart TV app, 12% via a connected game system, and 3% via a connected Blu-ray player.

“The data in this study indicate that there are now nearly 500 million connected TV devices in U.S. TV households — up from 300 million in 2017,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Along with this increase, the percent of adults in the U.S. using connected devices to watch video on a TV has significantly increased — growing from 25% to 46% in the past five years.”

Future Today: Streaming Video a Family Affair

The proliferation of streaming video services and devices linking the internet to the television is bringing the American family back together on the couch, according to new data from Future Today.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based research firm contends that 94% of parents have upped their time streaming video together with family members in 2021. That data also underscores a prime marketing opportunity for advertisers, according to Vikrant Mathur, co-founder of Future Today.

“There is a misperception that the explosion in screens has created siloed TV viewing, with families watching from different devices and rooms,” Mathur said in a statement. “In reality, parents with younger children, in particular, are co-viewing more than ever. Co-viewing experiences help these families connect, while also allowing parents to more closely monitor media consumption for their children.”

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The analyst cited data that suggests ad-supported VOD viewership and connected televisions (CTV) are projected to represent 60% of all over-the-top video consumption by the end of the year.

“With co-viewing of streaming content more prominent, CTV and OTT can dramatically enhance campaign value for marketers, helping them reach the entire home on the largest screen,” Mathur said.

NPD: Only 50% of Homes in Continental U.S. Get True Broadband Access

A new “Broadband America” report from The NPD Group reveals that only 50% of homes in the continental U.S. have true broadband speed of 25Mbps download or higher despite the growing reliance on connected technology.

In fact, 34% of homes receive internet access at speeds of less than 5Mbps, including 15% that do not have any internet access, according to NPD.

Vermont, West Virginia, New Mexico and Mississippi are among the least-connected states, while New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maryland and California are among the most connected. In Vermont only 24% of homes receive broadband speeds, while in New Jersey 65% of homes do.

“The so-called digital divide is a result of many factors including availability of suitable internet services and the affordability of services that are available in more rural parts of America,” Eddie Hold, president of NPD Connected Intelligence, said in a statement. “But there is potential for this situation to improve relatively quickly, as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which are providing key subsidies for deploying faster internet services, as well as funding the Affordable Connectivity Program which provides subsidized internet service to lower-income homes.”

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According to the NPD’s “Rural America” report, more-rural and less-connected areas of the United States have far lower ownership levels of connected devices, as well as a higher level of price sensitivity for technology products ranging from TVs to streaming media players and beyond. In fact, while TV unit sales are roughly the same across rural and non-rural areas, the average price is 40% lower in rural areas. When looking at streaming media players, unit sales are nearly 60% lower in rural areas.

“The lack of higher-speed internet limits the opportunity for newer devices and services, as customers do not have the connectivity needed to generate a satisfactory experience,” Hold noted. “That has a ripple-on effect for consumer technology, limiting the need for larger, smarter TVs, streaming devices, or even tablets and newer PCs.”

Sling TV Added on Vizio Smartcast TVs

The Sling TV app is now available on Vizio SmartCast TVs.

The cable alternative comes with a three-day free trial on SmartCast. 

Sling features live content with free channels such as ABC News Live and premium cable networks such as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ESPN, ESPN2 and TNT, plus more than 150,000 on-demand shows and movies.

“Delivering on our commitment to provide endless entertainment options and enhanced consumer experiences, we are delighted to provide SmartCast users with access to premium channels like ESPN and Showtime as well as live sports, news and entertainment through the SLING TV streaming app,” Katherine Pond, VP of business development at Vizio, said in a statement.

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“With home screen access on Vizio SmartCast, we are able to deliver our premier service to millions of users across America,” Seth Van Sickel, SVP of product and operations at Sling TV, said in a statement. “Sling continues to be the most convenient way to watch the shows you love when you want, where you want, and on your terms across a wide breadth of device options.”

Sling TV joins streaming services such as Apple TV+, Discovery+, Disney+, HBOMax, Hulu, Netflix, Peacock and Prime Video already available on Vizio SmartCast. Vizio SmartCast also includes support for Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast built-in, allowing viewers to stream, control, and share content from their phone, tablet or laptop directly onto the big screen.