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How Smart TVs Just Got Even Smarter

For marketers, we understand that data is a critical asset to delivering relevant marketing campaigns to the right audience. This same information is also key to getting a clear return for all marketing investments. So it may come to no surprise that Smart TV companies have now started to prioritize user data in the same way that digital platforms do.

In fact, according to reports in The New York Times. Smart TVs are monitoring viewers’ watching habits to send targeted ads to other devices in their homes.

Sharp, Toshiba, Sony and Philips are amongst the TV manufacturers that allegedly agreed to insert the technology into the operating devices of their smart TVs to track viewing habits. When people set up their TVs, a screen urges them to enable a service called Samba Interactive TV, saying it recommends shows and provides special offers “by cleverly recognizing onscreen content.”

The software can capture data on the adverts, programs, channels and genres viewers are watching on their Smart TVs. The software uses this information to target adverts at viewers through the TV, computers or smartphones in the house. According to reports in the Telegraph, Samba TV software can also use a viewer’s smartphone microphone to listen to what is on nearby television sets.

While under scrutiny, Samba TV claims it has adhered to privacy guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission. Advertisers can pay the company to direct ads to other gadgets in a home after their TV commercials play, or one from a rival airs. They can also add to their websites a tag that allows them to determine if people visit after watching one of their commercials.

What does this mean for the future of marketing and advertising? We now have the opportunity to analyze TV viewing habits with online activity and adapt messages to achieve maximum return on investment. In other words, understanding our target audiences just got a little bit easier — which means creating more quality content people care about.

Have questions on how you can utilize data to achieve maximum return on investment? We're here to help. Just ask On-Target!