How Android TV is going to change our viewing behaviour

How Android TV is going to change our viewing behaviour

A few weeks ago I started talking about Android TV and business. And I know some of you won’t believe this is going to change the game until it happens. But you are going to have to trust me on this. It is going to be huge.
It is going to change what we search for, what we find, and where our attention goes next.

I’ve had access to it for about 5 weeks now, and I keep pinching myself that this is what I think it is.
Google have just won the home for so many people.

And it is all about video.
Gary Veynerchuk knows the future is video. He is all over it.
I am not sure he has seen Android TV yet though, but he will and when he does he will ‘get it’ too.

This is what I’ve been learning, and how it changes everything…

1. Voice Search – you know how you ‘sometimes’ use voice search on your phone – well, on Android tv you will hardly ever not use it. Tippy tappy typing, and controller use are a pain in the ass compared.
The Search is super intelligent too. It waits to see what you say next, then adjusts the words you just said to make sure it gives you the right option.

2. There is no delete history (sorry John!) – I’ll save the hilarity of what I’ve done on my best mate’s account (remember that beach pool party I had, John?) but in essence, as you log into it from your Google One account, all the searches are very much going to influence the future content that appears.
Without a quick and easy ‘delete history’ option, your love of Taylor Swift (I mean, who doesn’t want to ‘shake it off’ and ‘bad blood’ once in a while, no? just me. ok) will stay on record, potentially influencing future suggestions.

3. Ads a highly targeted and pre-roll – I have been hit up by the HTC One phone ad with the coolest guy on the planet narrating, Robert Downey Jr, about 10 times. And then something about ‘Permission Marketing’ too. I felt the ads were for me.

4. Suggestions of what to search for – this is super interesting. If you wait before talking after you click to Search, you will get a load of suggestion like, ‘Best Sci-Fi movies’ and ‘Pictures of Jennifer Lawrence’… yes, really. And it will be video results, of course. There are no web page results. Sometimes is feels like ‘follow the white rabbit’. And Google may well start to act even more like a serendipity engine, helping you to connect the dots…

5. No annotations – yes, on the videos there are none. Zero. Zip. This means the videos that you have covered in annotation need to be rethought if that is a central part of your approach i.e. to have people click through, and take action.

6. No description – yes, this whole area does not show, even though the videos are pulled from YouTube.
So, if you are thinking ‘description’ links, then think again.

7. No thumbs up, or down is shown – again, this is a big shift. You won’t see the social indicator when on Android TV, you will just see the video suggestions.

I think this is significant as to me a ‘good result’ with a load of down thumbs would move me onwards on a desktop.

TIP: Videos will need calls to action that work in that environment – so, what you need to do it think about calling to action IN THE VIDEO itself, as you cannot rely on the old tools.
Start thinking about this NOW as you amplified content will end up surfacing when Android TV really kicks off end 2015, into 2016.

8. Apps, Apps, Apps – I talked about this before, but Apps are the new websites for Android TV. Without an app, people simply won’t be able to access your content via the device. And it is all about video, not web pages. (with the exception of e.g. wikipedia bios being pulled in).
Once you’ve downloaded and engaged in an app, even just once, your featured suggestions will be influenced.

This is an opportunity to get top of mind, again.

9. Trey Ratcliff and Roman Guy are going to become household names – oh, this is the same as a Chromecast, but know that these top dog photographers have their G+ photos appear when you are not active.
10. Imagine that the algorithm starts to judge you…
I was searching for anĀ Elton John song (again, John, apologies for the somewhat dubious searches done on your account) and I swear the Search function wouldn’t let me choose it. It was like ‘Try Searching again…’ about 5 times.
I gave up and listened to the Script instead.

p.s. before you get too excited. My buddy John has a wife and kids in the house so we have a Safe Search approach on the devices to prevent dodgy content.

11. Social gaming – this is already massive online, but with Twitch built in, it is going to take off in the Home, on the big screen, for so many more people.

12. Social watching – I am not certain where this is going yet, but ‘reviews’ on movies in the Play store are being pulled in.
They are kinda fun. And people who want to be ‘heard’ will start using this more and when when they realize eyeballs are on them, and they can influence whether people take the next step to watch/purchase…


Android TV is a natural extension to the Google eco-system. And businesses are going to have to start thinking:
top of mind awareness and calls to action in everything they do. The game has already changed and you may not have know it…

Update, June 2016 – Android TV add spotted in South Wales on the back of a bus.