How the Evolution of Smart TV Will Change Advertising

A panel of industry leaders discussed the implications of innovation in “The Current and Future State of the Smart TV Business,” a conversation in the Variety Intelligence Platform Streaming Room presented by Vizio Ads.

The speaker lineup included Mike Bloxham, EVP of global media and entertainment at Magid; Devin Fallon, director of media insights and analytics at Vizio; Nicole Whitesel, EVP of Advanced TV and Client Success at Publicis, and Andrea Zapata, Head of Research Data and Insights at WarnerMedia. The panel was moderated by Andrew Wallenstein, president and chief media analyst at Variety Intelligence Platform (VIP+).

To kick off the discussion, Wallenstein presented a deck filled with data that illuminated how much growth Internet-connected TVs have amassed both in the U.S. and worldwide in recent years. That led to a conversation about the implications of getting market traction for smart-TV technology that will enable marketers to go beyond simply promoting their products to facilitating product transactions on screen.

“We’re going to need to see more campaigns that lean into the newer capabilities of smart TVs, more agencies getting their hands dirty and getting the experience and learning from that,” said Bloxham.

Zapata agreed that experimentation will be crucial to advance innovation.  “Those who lean in and see the opportunity I think there’s just a ton of white space and opportunity there,” she said.

But Fallon cautioned that it won’t be just about quantity of experimentation, but the quality as well. “It’s not enough just to chase a shiny new object which in this case could be a new targeting methodology or a new interactive ad unit,” he said. “We have to do it in a way that is thoughtful about the core experience of our audience.”

Whitesel made clear that the first step to reaching a future where marketers can move further down the funnel is making sure there’s more efficiency and transparency in the ad-buying process.

“Because if we want to scale more dollars, we’ve gotta figure that out,” she said. “Right now, it’s a problem across all of the partners and all of the landscape.”