TV apps - who's going to benefit from them?

While we haven’t really yet seen the TV Apps trend take off into the stratosphere like we’ve been expecting, there’s little doubt in the industry that when connected TV hits the mainstream, it’s going to usher in a seismic industry shakeup.

Developer Tech spoke to Andy Eardley, director of the international TV app development specialist company, The TV App Agency, in order to answer some of the industry’s burning questions. The TV App Agency specialise helping businesses get onto connected TV with the help of application and cross platform software development and app store submission.

How big an impact will TV apps make on the industry?

Eardley explains how the consumer will be able to define what they want to watch and when, with catch up TV on demand soon to be accessible. “There are very few apps out there for connected TV at the moment,” he says. “But this is going to be a huge revolution as we’re going to get consumers new content available.”

“It’s really going to shake up TV and the whole broadcast space in the same way that apps are shaking up the mobile phone world.”

Eardley’s top TV app challenges for developers

  • Fragmentation – Different operating systems released each year means your app will have to be updated each time to suit.
  • Approval – Getting your app approved could take as long as a month, as each TV manufacturer has its own process to go through.

Top tips for TV app strategy

  • Shared experiences – Defining whether your app is ‘personal’ or ‘shared’ will help your strategy into which device to work with. Images and video tend to be seen as a shared experience, which belongs on a TV. Ensure that the content is what people want and if it looks good on TV.
  • Experience – Don’t make your app too big to begin with or focus on the end result. Build up the app, start with version one and get it live on TV. You can then improve your app as you start to get data and work on version two, three and so on.
  • Examples – Ask people for examples to see if they can build TV apps before working with them. Many people know how to build apps but very few are doing it, so have a look at what they can do.
  • Efficiency – Find out what tools are available to make your app accessible on a multitude of platforms, because apps need to be developed for large access.

Businesses can use TV apps to market and monetise their brand or products. It gives them the ability to build their own TV channel, and potentially open up premium subscriptions. Once consumers have used a free app, businesses can give them the opportunity to upgrade and pay for a premium app. In-app purchases are also looking to be a big opportunity, where sectors can promote services within the app, and consumers can make purchases through the app.

"Each manufacturer has a different operating system released each year, and that’s one of the biggest challenges that developers will find,” says Eardley. “They’ll look at it and think they have to develop their app for all these different devices: how do I resolve this and get my head around all these? This is one of the things we’ve solved and we’ll talk about it at Apps World”

If you want to learn more about the benefits to be gained from the TV apps trend, Andy Eardley will be appearing at Apps World Europe on 29-30 November alongside a host of experts representing some of the industry’s leading brands. For more information on how to attend, visit the Apps World website.

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