Sorenson Media Unveils Magid Research Revealing Positive Consumer Responses To New “Smart Broadcast” Features Enabled Through Smart TVs

At the NAB Show today, Sorenson Media – a pioneer in the field of Smart Broadcast – unveiled major findings from its new audience research, “Smart Broadcast – Consumer Perceptions & Attitudes,” conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates (Magid), a preeminent media industry consultant. The study showed positive responses to interactive and personalized TV features offered by broadcasters, and a greater interest in purchasing Smart TVs as a result of the Smart Broadcast functionality on offer.

The qualitative study, conducted in markets of varying size across the U.S., sought to better understand consumer perceptions of Smart TVs and the new consumer-facing functionality enabled by “Smart Broadcast.” Smart Broadcast refers to the ability to provide interactive, personalized, and localized overlays over the top of existing linear broadcast television and represents a fusing of digital and broadcast capabilities. This new technology is made possible through the large and growing base of internet-connected Smart TVs, which are predicted to be in over 70% of US homes by 2018.

The new “Smart Broadcast” functionality tested included: “Start Over,” which enables viewers to restart a program; “Push to Mobile,” which enables viewers to push information, such as a coupon or recipe, to their mobile device; “Interactive Viewer Polls & Surveys,” as well as localized “Weather Alerts” and “Broadcaster Catch-up Portals.”

Key findings include:

Smart Broadcast Functionality Is Positively Received by Consumers

Consumers enjoyed content overlays and interactive features enabled by Smart Broadcast, saying the features would enhance their overall TV viewing experience. The research found that the creative implementation of the overlay greatly affected how consumers viewed the functionality with key factors being size, screen positioning, and clarity of messaging.

Smart Broadcast Functionality Drives Interest In Smart TVs, As Well As Smart TV Brands

The Smart Broadcast features consumers experienced showed the potential to drive increased sales and connection of Smart TVs, with preference going to the specific Smart TV brands that offer the functionality. The Smart Broadcast features resonated positively with both consumers who haven’t yet purchased a Smart TV, and those who do own a Smart TV but have yet to connect the TV to the Internet.

Smart Broadcast Functionality Can Positively Impact Consumer Perceptions of Broadcasters

Overall, the research found that the Smart Broadcast capabilities would likely impact consumers’ decision of which channels to watch, with viewers stating they would be more inclined to watch programming from the broadcast station that offered Smart Broadcast.

“We are thrilled that the insights from our initial study with Magid have resulted in a better understanding of how consumers not only perceive Smart TVs, but also the type of interactive and personalized programming they desire from their local broadcasters,” said Marcus Liassides, president and CEO of Sorenson Media. “We anticipate an increase in Smart TV adoption as consumers become more educated about Smart Broadcast and how they can receive a more engaging and customized viewing experience.”

Through this research, Sorenson and Magid have set out to inform Broadcasters and Smart TV manufacturers how consumers view the interactive and personalized content overlay functionality afforded by Smart Broadcast solutions such as Sorenson’s SPARK suite of products. The qualitative research included consumers based in New York City, Chicago, and Nashville who participated in workshops to view and experience SPARK-enabled Smart Broadcast formats through live and simulated demonstrations on Smart TVs. Five innovative new Smart Broadcast formats were tested during the research including: Alerts, Push-to-Mobile, Start Over, Broadcaster Content Portal, and Audience Polls. After viewing or interacting with the demonstration, consumers provided their reactions to these formats, and responded to specific questions prepared in advance.

This is the first study from Sorenson and Magid’s partnership, announced in February 2015. Sorenson and Magid will be presenting details of the research to selected customers and partners at the NAB show in Las Vegas from April 13th – 16th. This research and future studies will continue to educate consumers, broadcasters, and TV manufacturers on the opportunities enabled by Smart Broadcast.