As the number of connected devices in the home continues to grow, search and discovery functions enabling personal choice will become more sophisticated. Enter digital entertainment tech company Rovi, which provides metadata and media guides for MSOs, consumer electronics manufacturers and websites. CableFAX spoke with Jeff Siegel, SVP of worldwide advertising at Rovi, about the next gen version of the guide and the company’s plans for the new year.
What is your main focus for 2012?
We’re focusing on expanding the guide. And as EBIF rolls out, how that fits into [it]… We just rolled out—with Cox—a new version of the guide. [There’s] a lot of advanced functionality, about being able to find actors and new information about what other movies they’re in, directors…the next iteration of how people find content. The iPad is certainly a focus for us in 2012. We’ve got applications on the iPad and we’re working with a number of operators to extend the guide experience into the iPad itself. Certainly as we do that we’ll also have advertising experiences as well.
What does the next generation of the Rovi guide look like?
[There’s] a lot of 2-way. A lot of that is also going into the consumer electronic space. Since you’ve got a lot of interconnected televisions right now, it’s about being able to find IP-based video as well as finding your linear content on your set top box. So you can find out what TV shows and movies are available. Samsung has done a nice job [with this]. They have a section called “Your Video.” Now you can search for any movie in the world… and find out where it’s available, whether through Hulu+, Vudu or anything else.
You’ve done some research in 2011 on consumer behavior with Smart TVs. What were your key findings?
In the U.S., almost 80% of the people who are on Smart TVs and surfing around the content notice the ads. We’re seeing a pretty high click through rate. The engagement with ads is high. We’re also seeing the people who click on the ads and interact with the content will spend a long time there. And once they spend the time there they’ll either continue to go deeper and watch videos or they’ll go online in many cases and do some kind of action with that advertiser. What’s happening is two things: One is the interest in them growing and the number of sets available that will be connectable will be growing, but also those people that have connected sets are connecting them in a faster rate. So it used to be 20-25% of people who would connect their televisions. Now we’re seeing rates in certain cases 50-60%, in some cases 70%.