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Why smart TV OEMs should pay consumers to “plug in”

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If TV OEMS are going to embrace smart TVs, they need a business model that fits this new paradigm. Up-front, one-burst revenue models are being replaced by longer-term, services-oriented relationships. The key to success in this new world is ensuring that new smart-TV owners are connected and engaged, and that they stay engaged for the life of the device.

Recent research shows that while consumers are buying smart TVs in droves, a large chunk of these shiny new boxes aren’t getting plugged in. Simply put, the promise of the smart-TV market is one in danger of going unrealized unless these dormant boxes plug into the network. One way to entice consumers to plug in and register their smart TVs is to reward them — not unlike getting a $100 check from Sprint for the purchase price of a new smartphone. While the $50 or $100 may seem like a lot for a margin-challenged device like a smart TV, the payback on these devices is over many years, not just on the day of purchase. For more strategies on saving the smart TV, see my Weekly Update at GigaOM Pro (subscription required).

3 Responses to “Why smart TV OEMs should pay consumers to “plug in””

  1. Instead of “connected and engaged” I see it as constrained and dependent. A smart TV does not have to have proprietary hardware and a closed network.
    The home theater PC provides excellent media center functions and an open environment for television entertainment. The right software can make it easy and popular.
    Marc Allan Feldman Founder and CEO, Openivo, Inc.

    • @Marc – Home theater PCs will never be mass- market as a consumer’s primary TV receiver. They just won’t. Consumers will trade less power and flexibility for integrated, easy and convenient any day.

      • @Michael – You may be right. Up to this point, home theater PCs required expensive hardware and were very difficult to install and configure. Even Microsoft Media Center, offered free with the Windows OS, has not attracted a large following in the mass market.
        On the other hand, the cost of HTPC hardware has been dropping dramatically. New computers like the Giada N20, Acer Revo, and Dell Zino HD are small, quiet, handle HDTV well and look great in the living room next to the TV.
        The challenge, as you note above, is to develop software that is integrated, easy, and convenient for the mass market.
        Maybe it is not possible, but at one time people thought that a home computer would never replace the simpler and easier typewriter as the primary home document printer.