Ahead of the start of CES 2018 a new blog post has gone live on behalf of Google detailing some of the Android TV developments being discussed at this year's event. While on the face of it there are no major Android TV announcements coming through from Google during CES, the posting notes how Android TV is "taking center stage" and largely thanks to a number of new third-party devices being announced that are powered by the platform.
The Medium post is penned by Rachel Berk, a business development manager for Google Play, and generally speaking is more aimed towards developers as it focuses on the benefits of developers opting to bring their offerings to the Android TV platform. In particular, the article looks to detail the latest benefits on offer with Android TV's upgrade to Android 8.0 (Oreo) – an upgrade that is slowly in the process of rolling out to devices. The posting specifically explains how the changes on offer with Oreo will look to improve "retention, engagement and re-engagement" on Android TV. Like for example, the new channel-layout which is designed with a content-first approach in mind. Providing users an easier and quicker way to see a wide variety of content they may be interested in, from the specific channels (apps) they are most interested in. While this in itself is likely to increase engagement the post further elaborates on how this is also as beneficial to developers who now have the ability to "target people with the content you know they'll want to binge." Other aspects that are picked up on as ways to further increase levels of engagement include the use of Video Previews (clips that automatically play when hovered over), and an improved setup procedure – allowing users to download their favorite apps more quickly and easily.
What may be of interest to existing Android TV users is the blog posting provides some insight into Android TV in general as well as its consumption by users – data that is not often provided. For example, the post notes how 87-percent of Android TV users are active every day and on average there are 15 apps installed on an Android TV device. According to the posting, TV apps are seeing (on average) 1.8 to 3 times the amount of minutes watched each month compared to the level of consumption through the same apps on mobile. Highlighting that the TV form factor is helping to further drive TV-related app engagement. At the device level, the posting explains that at present twenty operators in fourteen different countries offer Android TV while "8 out of the top 10 set top box OEMs build for Android TV." Below are images representing some of the changes coming with Oreo and further highlighting the key 'benefit to developer' points.