TV: there’s an app for that

IPG Media Lab predicts the "appification of TV" to be one of the big trends for 2016.

In a world where PewDiePie’s YouTube videos are as accessible as the newest HBO drama and Apple TV is rumoured to be launching a network model of its own, marketers have numerous ways in which they can connect with viewers.

Each year IPG Media Lab puts out an annual trends report, aiming to provide a telescopic view into the topics that its team expects will explode in the year ahead. In its Outlook 2016 report, the lab points to the “appification of TV” as one of the top trends for this year.

The report defines the “appification of TV” as content moving further away from a traditional grid and closer to search-and-feed-based discovery. It says this trend renders device choice irrelevant, putting digital companies on the same playing field as linear TV channels.

The movement of some consumers to app-based viewing opens up new localized opportunities, but also means a loss to the mass reach available with traditional TV. Some of the new opportunities that IPG Lab suggests are available with app-based viewing are shoppable content, direct-response commercials and integration on mobile with couponing and loyalty programs.

The report points to future-facing examples like Hulu bringing interactive ads to its platform earlier this year, Amazon supporting shoppable ads at the platform level and QVC also demonstrating offering shoppable ads on its branded app for Apple TV.

Accurate real-time measurement and closed-loop attribution, allowing agencies and clients to track viewers more closely, will be among the benefits of the TV becoming more app-based, according to IPG Media Lab’s report. The ability to better track data was also a key theme throughout last week’s FFWD Ad Week.

To capitalize on the trend, IPG Media Lab’s report says brands should focus on building out new SEO strategies and looking into interactive video formats for ads and branded content, which wasn’t possible with traditional TV.

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