A radical change in television is right around the bend. What one name is likely to be used to describe it?
By now, those of us in the advertising industry know that the “next big thing” in television is going to be TV that’s directly connected to the Internet, and along with that connection comes the same kind of interactivity that we currently perform on our desktops and portable devices. According to Business Insider, adoption of this kind of television is already spiking with predictions of surpassing 10 billion units in use worldwide by or before 2016.
Business Insider claims that one-third of US homes already own these kind of TVs, but that of these households, about half have to rely on devices that enable the TV to access (stream) the Internet. Business Insider also predicts that by next year (2015), 17 million more units of these new TVs will be shipped than traditional TVs.
In the business sector, the common vernacular for this type of TV could be considered, “Connected TV,” but exactly how well is that term known among the consumer audience that actually has to buy this new kind of television (and through which advertisers will try to reach these consumers)? What do these consumers call it? Will they be shopping for a “connected TV” or looking instead for industry alternative names like “Smart TV,” “Hybrid TV,” or “Addressable TV”?
With widespread adoption of this kind of next generation TV propelling towards us, I’ve been asking myself just what single name will the consumers wind up using. After all, when browser-enabled mobile phones hit the market, we didn’t all call them “smart phones,” but now that’s pretty much the only name everyone uses:
With no clear standout a winner in my mind, I decided to conduct a consumer survey.
When I consider Business Insiders’s findings of one-third U.S. households already accessing the Internet by their TVs, my findings show that apparently more work needs to be done on the part of TV manufacturers in building awareness of and for “connected TVs.” In a survey of 1,051 U.S. respondents, nearly half (48.3%) answered that they didn’t know/had no opinion of which term is most likely to be adopted by the mainstream public as the next generation TV. Of those who had an opinion, the clear winner was “Smart TV” (33.5% of respondents). The runners-up weren’t even close – in consumers’ minds, even “Hybrid TV” scored higher at 7.3% over “Connected TV” at 6.9%.
Some other interesting survey insights:
More marketing to women needed
West and Midwest need marketing to if top vote-getter “Smart TV” wants to win the awareness game there too
“Smart TV” also a more popular name with urban dwellers
Name Selection Varied by Household Income
- Smart TV’s top segment = $50K – $75K
- Hybrid TV’s top segment = $100K – $150K
- Connected & Addressable TV’s top segment = $75K – $100K
My Vote’s with “Smart TV”
Apparently, “Smart TV” has an edge with Business Insider, too. In its “The Internet of Everything” presentation, it mentions “Smart TV” 18 times while “Connected TV” got only 11 mentions. “Smart TV” has also garnered way more U.S. Google searches than any of the other next gen TVs combined:
And of the Top Two most popular brands currently selling “Smart TVs” in the US market (Samsung and Vizio), both already use the term to describe their products (perhaps that’s one reason why they’re selling so well?).
My instinct and all this data combined has me putting my smart money on “Smart TV.”
C’mon ad/marketing industry: drop all the other jargon-y contenders so there’s a single term both business and consumer can use and that we all understand. These days, advertising is complicated enough.