Tablets are hot right now. So much so that a recent Techvibes article proclaimed that “Tablets are the New Black,” citing recent sales figures that show explosive growth in the number of tablets on the market:
In less than a month—from mid-December to early January—the amount of Americans owning a tablet nearly doubled, from 10% to 19% in just a couple of short weeks. Now, 29% of Americans own one or more tablets or e-readers, up from 18% in December, according to data from Pew Internet and American Life Project.
That's not all: new projections suggest that worldwide tablet shipments will top 100 million in 2012
. Of course, much of this growth is driven by Apple’s iPad, the tablet that defined a new market category and has been called “unbeatable
” by industry experts.
Sales figures are proving that statement correct. The Apple iPad outsold every PC
competitor last quarter. Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray is predicting that the Cupertino company could sell 1 million new iPads
in a single day
. Broadcasters, networks, studios, online media companies and other content providers will have more ways than ever to deliver and monetize their content.
People love their tablets, and they love to watch TV shows, sports and movies on those tablets. Recent data from the Ooyala Video Index
found that tablet viewers are among the most engaged audiences for online video, and that the device-specific plays will grow five fold in the coming year.
So we have an exploding device category with highly engaged viewers. All media companies have to do is start making some digital dollars, right?
Well, there is certainly a huge opportunity to tap new revenue with online video. But in order to succeed, companies should develop an effective tablet strategy. Here are three ways to ensure that broadcast-quality video content performs perfectly on tablets.
Optimize Content Delivery
Make sure your content is optimized for both iOS and Android tablets. While the iPad dominates the tablet landscape now, Android devices will continue to hold a significant share of the market. And let's not forget about the Kindle Fire. Your video needs to play on any device on any network at any time. Viewers want to access their videos fast. The last thing they want to see is an error message or a loading screen. Take the time to encode redundant data streams for multiple video codecs. Speedy tablet playback is the first step in a successful tablet strategy.
Use the Whole Screen
Tablets have more real estate than smartphones, so they offer more ways to engage and entertain audiences (and more ways to monetize video views). Consider placing static and video banner ads alongside your menus, in addition to pre-roll and in-stream ads. Incorporate social sharing buttons to improve your content’s visibility on Twitter and Facebook. Keep your UI big and bold, and leverage existing tablet touch gestures for continuity. Tablet screens present unique opportunities for dynamic and interactive experiences to monetize video content. Take advantage of them.
Measure and Refine Your Results
Video analytics let video publishers track their content’s performance across all devices. These insights let you tailor your tablet content library to the viewing habits of your audience. For instance, recent iPad video data from Ooyala found that a third of Pad video plays
occur between 7PM and 11PM.
Knowing when people watch most is key to engaging your viewers. It's also key to matching ads and sponsored content to viewing habits. For example, people watching iPad videos at home, in the evening, are probably more attentive to messages related to family, and domestic products.
The Big Finish!
Tablets are hot right now. And they’ll only get hotter in the coming years, in what's being billed as the "post-PC era." But in order to tap the growing tablet video audience, media companies must: (1) deliver video content flawlessly, (2) use the whole screen, and (3) accurately measures viewer engagement with robust online video analytics.