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The next big step in the Internet of Things is likely to be Smart TVs, such as the new Roku 4K TV released earlier this month. The Roku 4K is one of the first fairly-priced 4K Smart TVs (some other models can cost up into 5 digit figures!) to hit the market. The Roku TV has an especial emphasis on HD content delivered generally not offered via the traditional methods of satellite or cable.

More and more, research is showing that most Americans utilize a second screen while watching television – close to 87%. Even more important, the people planning on buying a 4K TV increased by nearly 10% from 2014 to 2015 – a full year before the lower-priced Roku TVs were even released. Are you looking to develop a TV shopping app like QVC? Contact team@sdi.la to get started.

More importantly, there is a growing trend (especially among younger people) to ditch cable/satellite altogether in favor of Netflix & Hulu-type platforms. Additionally, there are other features that are desired by consumers, such as ChromeCast and AppleTV. These are features not available via standard broadcasting companies but are a huge component of web-capable TVs. Here are some more facts:

• Globally, traditional TV viewership is down 13%;

○ even sports is down almost 10%;

• Over a third Millennials (aka the world’s biggest tech market and the future movers of the economy) are moving to non-traditional methods of TV that do not involve traditional Broadcast companies;

• Not even a third of Satellite Broadcasters offer streamed content while only a quarter of Cable companies offer the same (though this is undeniably changing rapidly).

So those are some of the broad facts, but we want to narrow this down a little. We want to specifically talk about those shopping channels. We all know what I’m talking about – Oxy Clean, (RIP Billy Mays!), the Ginsu Knife, all of those products that we know and love. While the jokes may abound about Shopping Channels, there is one undeniable fact: They make a ton of money.

Not only do they make money but unlike other traditional retailers, Shopping Networks like the well known OVC consortium have kept up with the times. They’ve handled the switch in consumer habits from physical purchases to online with far more flexibility, leading to growth when brick-and-mortar businesses were struggling. Ready for some more numbers?

• From 2009 to 2013, QVC had a 12% increase in online sales (from 29% to 41%), accounting for nearly half of the company’s entire revenue stream;

• The company’s revenue generation overall during those same four years increased by nearly 5% overall, due to that increase in online sales;

• QVC channels reach nearly 100 million houses throughout the U.S.;

• ⅓ of QVC’s revenue is generated overseas – which means they have a global reach;

QVC’s revenue hovering at about 20% of the entire sales made – almost 3 times what Amazon can make and over double the biggest Brick-and-Mortar businesses.

So how does this apply to a tech company? Well, QVC and others have a problem. The same problem outlined for the major cable/satellite companies we discussed above: both the second screen experience and “cord-cutting” is representative of some serious threats to the home shopping industry. While TV shopping companies have handled the online phenomenon better than most, they are still at risk.

Currently, almost 65% of all orders for QVC fall within an older demographic (35-64 years old). If these companies want to survive the upcoming years, innovation will be necessary. SmartTVs and their associated apps represent the perfect opportunity for such innovation. There are two big approaches that TV shopping networks can take here:

1. The Second Screen Experience is a chance to expand a company’s ability to push a product. With nearly every SmartPhone owner in the U.S. using another device while watching TV., an interactive app that connected to a shopping network provides several avenues for growth. This includes offering additional information, saving products for further perusal, pushing products to a user’s phone, and so on.

The vast majority of all orders QVC saw in 2013 were made on a second screen – and the products purchased hadn’t even been broadcasted that day. In other words, most home shopping consumers (70%) purchased a product that they’d seen days before. With a second screen, consumers will be able to easily save orders. Good UI means playing into a consumer’s previously established habits. Basically, figure out how to go with the tide instead of against it.

2. Streaming is the future. As previously established, more and more consumers are getting onboard the cord-cutting bandwagon. Previously, one of the biggest obstacles to streaming was the lack of streaming live-action sports. However, more sports than ever are streaming, and sports fans are increasingly switching to streaming options to watch their favorite games.

Other obstacles to streaming include the tech associated. Over ⅓ of those who stream TV relate some sort of performance-related issue, from audio lag to video stuttering to excessive buffering. But these problems can be easily avoided by developers who know what they’re doing:

MPEG-Dash and Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) is specifically designed to stream high-resolution videos. By segmenting a video file, both provide content at differing bitrate levels. This allows the technology to provide content based on the quality of the network being used at that particular time. When combined with Smooth Streaming media delivery, a file is broken down into small chunks and delivered to a user without decreasing performance.

Want to learn more about the best ways to deliver a valuable, useful app for all sorts of TV watchers? Why not give Silicon Valley’s top App development company a call at 408.621.8481. We know how to leverage all of the opportunities a Smart TV poses, to get you to profitability as quickly as possible. Contact us and get a No-obligation free quote. You can also email team@sdi.la. anytime: Thanks for stopping by!

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