Casting marketing to the right screen

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Casting marketing to the right screen
Casting marketing to the right screen

If you are like most people, you prefer to binge watch a favorite program series on Netflix or Hulu rather than wait for each episode to broadcast. But with multi device households growing, it's also not unusual to cast a program from your tablet or smartphone. Casting is now the new black for TV watching.  Marketers can take advantage of this key activity to better align content and digital media.

Google Cast received new attention as Google announced dedicated pages for analytics measuring Google Cast usage.   Google Cast is a software that allows users to cast entertainment and apps from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop onto a TV or speakers. This emphasis on the software opens doors for programmers to come up with unique apps and features that can enhance casting. Casting in general helps marketers understand how best to pay attention to viewers, with many home entertainment options coming from subscription-based streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

If you stop and think about how you watch a show or movie these days, technology has slowly infused the expectationthat you can watch at your convenience. Think of around-the-clock programming of cable, the capability of watching a DVD on a laptop, rear-facing monitors in cars to allow children to be entertained on a road trip.   The cloud nature of subscription-based streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu has certainly advanced that “view anywhere” notion.

The impact is apparent to research firms across the technology field.  According to eMarketer, for example, a Hub Research report found that subscription-based streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus (a premium version of Hulu) were the most common way of viewing digital movies and TV shows among US digital video viewers from 2013 to 2015.  Ars Technica reported how Netflix is influencing TV watching among viewers.

It's all a far cry from the familiar American image of a family gathered at the TV during prime time, and a huge shift from the concept of prime time television itself.

At the heart of this movement are cast devices--small USB plugins that fit into televisions. These devices are designed to broadcast programming from one device to another.  Most are aimed at allowing smartphones and tablets to share their screen on a large screen TV. The ones from Google, such as Chromecast, come with the Google Cast software included.

The announced Google Cast Analytics shows metrics related to cast device and tablet/smartphone usage: device usage, sessions, and average playback. The data is shown in an adjustable timeline that can display one-day, 7-day, 14-day, and 28-day periods. Users familiar with Google Analytics will recognize these selections as similar to that for the average user in the average user reports.  Marketers can use this to their advantage by developing windows of comparison of trend differences.

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