In the first three months of its connected-TV ad trial in the U.S., Rovi found that viewers clicked on ads that appeared in the guide 13% of the time on average -- more than 10 times that of typical Web banner ads.
Initial advertisers in the trial, which kicked off in April, included cruise-line operator Carnival and Unilever's Hellmann's mayonnaise. The ads were displayed on Internet-connected televisions and Blu-ray Disc players from Samsung Electronics and Sony.
"We really feel we're starting a new advertising vehicle," Rovi senior vice president of worldwide advertising Jeff Siegel said.
By the end of 2011, Rovi expects about 4.5 million to 5 million connected units to be part of its ad network, and more if the company signs up additional consumer-electronics partners for the advertising network, Siegel said.
The click-through rates are based on tracking reports from 24/7 Real Media. Siegel said those ranged from 10% to 17% depending on the ad.
Rovi has enlisted Nielsen to conduct two research studies. The first will measure user perceptions of the connected-TV ads, and the second will focus on ad metrics such as aided and unaided recall. The Nielsen sample will represent 2.5% of connected homes in the U.S.
"We're going to do a deeper dive to find out why some ads get better engagement," Siegel said.
Rovi also is kicking off a connected-TV advertising trial in Canada. The company has signed BMO Bank of Montreal as its initial advertiser and will deploy, manage and evaluate BMO campaigns across the Samsung and Sony CE devices. The initial BMO Bank of Montreal Smart TV Field Trial campaign focuses on BMO SmartSteps for Parents, an online program to help parents educate children on money management.
In Canada, Rovi's third-party measurement partner is Vision Critical. For its trial planned in the U.K. covering Europe, the company is working with Decipher Media Research.
Down the road, Rovi has other features on its road map for connected devices, including Facebook integration and the ability for a viewer to enter an e-mail address to request more information from an advertiser.