Last updated: 8 December 2014
Television has historically been a preferred media consumption platform for Brazilian customers, and recent developments have allowed these devices to offer purchase methods to its viewers.
In this article we will look at the current options for television commerce in Brazil, and point out platforms that can provide advantages to new players in this business.
TV in Brazil
The Brazilian public has grown acquainted to television content for decades, since its early developments in the country. The heavy investment in publicly distributed channels and the appeal of the media as a cheap and ubiquitous media for entertainment and information broadcast led to substantial penetration of television sets in Brazil’s households over the years. Recent surveys suggest that over 90% of Brazilian families own some sort of television set.
Relations of the Brazilian customer with television changed somewhat with the introduction of the Brazilian Digital TV, or SBTVD system, in 2007. The new standard for broadcasting in the country, which allowed for the transmission of High Definition content for public channels, generated a substantial increase in sales of HD-capable sets, which became the majority of televisions found in Brazil over the years.
During SBTVD development, television was thought to be the primary source of interactivity for Brazilians in the future, considering the very low penetration of personal computers and mobile devices in its planning stages. This scenario, however, changed with the abrupt expansion of smartphones and PC’s over the last few years, which are now comparable with television in terms of presence in Brazilian households.
Over-the-top content, or OTT, IPTV, Everywhere Television and other recent spread of television technologies are engaging Brazilian viewers to a whole new type of interaction with their devices, of which on-TV purchases are likely to become a trend.
TV commerce platforms
Current Brazilian television commerce platforms offer multiple ways for viewers to shop using solely their television sets and showcase a definitive potential for this market.
One of the most talked-about features of the Brazilian Digital TV System, or SBTVD, is the inclusion of an interactivity middleware called Ginga. The Brazilian-developed system allows for the installation of apps and content reception from digitally broadcasted channels, and became mandatory for all televisions manufactured in the country since 2013.
Real-world uses of middleware, however, are limited to a number of pioneering efforts from channels and technology developers. SBT, the country’s third most-watched publicly-available channel, is the only one to offer an interactivity portal with access to their online store, where branded products from their shows can be acquired directly through television sets.
Smart TV’s and Game Consoles
Smart TV’s have experienced a recent surge in sales in the Brazilian market, with reports suggesting that over 20% of all television sets commercialized in the country carried smart functionalities. Two of world’s largest television manufacturers, Samsung and LG, have an edge on sales for these devices in the country.
Smart TV apps for these manufacturers are mostly focused on free content and ports of services available on other platforms, such as social media apps and weather forecasts, most of which does not enable commerce outlets of any kind.
Of the largest Smart television platforms available in Brazil, LG is the only one to offer purchasable content, in the form of installable apps. Multiple types of games, like the popular Where’s My Water and Plants vs. Zombies, content streaming and news apps are obtained through credit card payment in their store.
Video game consoles like Playstation and Xbox are also expanding their reach to Brazilian consumers, and provide means to purchase content directly from televisions.
On demand video platforms
A growing trend for Brazilian subscription television operators, such as Net, Sky and Vivo, is the offer of On Demand video content accessible through their proprietary receivers and other multiple platforms, like smart devices. Most of these efforts have focused on the availability of content on other connected platforms, as added value for subscribers with access to its linear content.
The only major operator to provide On Demand portals with content purchasable solely through receivers is Net, on its Net Now portal. These purchases, however, are not charged instantly, but rather added to the monthly subscription fee paid by its customers.
Second Screen Engagement
There have been several successful second screen projects that merge television content with advertising showcasing the potential of this platform for commerce in Brazil. Campaigns by digital publicity agency Boo Box, showing additional content provided by Heineken during the European Champions League Finals and in depth background information for the 2014 elections campaign are some recent projects engaging the viewers using second screen in the country.
The opportunity for second screen commerce, or offering products simultaneously with television content and infomercials, seems highly promising. Recent data suggests that as many as 73% of all Brazilian mobile device users check smartphones and tablets whilst watching television.
The TV Commerce revolution might start in Brazil
TV Commerce is still very much on a conceptual level but just like the global social media revolution started with Orkut in Brazil, the Brazilian market seems to be an ideal market for TV Commerce.
Brazil has entire television programming relating to commerce, including shows with religious content devoted to moving people from being passive TV viewers to active shoppers. Developments in this sector could allow advertisers and content producers to gather real-time performance metrics about shopper behavior and modify both content and programming based on the best possible ROI.