Last week saw Google roll out its Chromecast TV dongle in the UK, letting people stream Netflix, YouTube, photos and the web form your smartphone, tablet or computer – straight onto the TV screen. The product, which many have called the internet giant’s equivalent to Apple’s TV, has been described by some as Google's latest attempt to gain a foothold in the living room.
Below industry experts give their view on what the new product could signal for the future.
Stewart Easterbrook, executive director Performance and digital development, Europe, Starcom MediaVest
It is obviously one of several ways now of turning your big screen into an on-demand streaming device. The difference is, this is cheap. No need to spend £1,000 upgrading your TV. £30 job done!The other really interesting thing is that this makes your smartphone/tablet your remote. It brings in a world of instant search, quick hopping between services and peer/social influence.In time, this change (whether through Chromecast or other similar) could have a really big bearing on where people spend their viewing time. In other words your viewing ‘curator’ is no longer an EPG or a broadcast channel but could just as easily be friends on Facebook or a search result. It could potentially pose a big disruption to the current model, although clearly small at the moment.
Carl Read, head of digital, OMD
Chromecast is a brilliant innovation for consumers and in the future advertisers. It’s beautifully simple; a consumer gets to benefit (more so when the available apps expand – which they will) from the now high quality content and importantly intuitive user experience found through your tablet, smartphone or PC. With content consumption around multiple devices becoming such an established norm Chromecast plugs the behavioural gap and delivers that content through your (probably) larger, flatter, crisper television without all that faffing through the ‘Smart’ interfaces and clunky search boxes. For advertisers this could get very interesting. Google will be able to track new behaviours and find out more about behaviours that were traditionally hard to track. More data means more understanding of their consumers which will lead to enhanced targeting and knowing that there is a mobile device powering the TV experience, I would hope richer connected ad experiences. Not bad for £30.
Luke Gaydon, vice president of media, EMEA, Brightcove.
As we’ve already witnessed in the US, Google’s Chromecast is a game changer – completely transforming how consumers access and enjoy content in their living rooms. Consider that previously every attempt at doing anything interesting with ‘interactive TV’ was driven by the notion that people keep set-top boxes for 10+ years. Chromecast throws out those constraints with a price point that makes it a flexible, disposable technology that the viewer can upgrade as frequently as they wish. What’s more, it makes the smart TV redundant by enabling viewers to enjoy immersive content on the main, ‘dumb’ screen, whilst enjoying search and discovery functionality on a tablet or mobile, using their personal device to control the viewing experience. But what’s most exciting is that it’s now possible to envision a world where all your content viewing is online, on handheld devices, and in the living room. Every TV set in the home can be enhanced with Chromecast, paving the way for more personalised, addressable TV experiences. Devices like Chromecast and its rival Roku’s Streaming Stick open up an entire world of ‘second screen’ experiences and personalised channels. At the same time, they boost monetisation opportunities for publishers. For content owners to be truly successful on Chromecast (or any streaming platform) it’s critical that they are able to deliver content to streaming devices and support dynamic advertising for both VOD and live video alike. In the long-term, it’s the ability to capitalise on streaming monetisation possibilities that will cultivate publisher commitment and ensure enduring, engaging consumer experiences.