Keith O'Neill

The Chromecast Opportunity...

As Chromecast celebrated its first birthday in July of this year, Google announced that it had already sold millions of units and powered more than 400 million casts. Those are impressive numbers for a dongle whose new form of simple and affordable content streaming earned it the number one spot on Time magazine’s list of the Top 10 Tech Gadgets of 2013.

Chromecast gives consumers the power to easily take content from a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or even a desktop computer, and “cast” it onto their TV in all its big-screen HD glory. Unlike most streaming devices, it doesn’t come with a remote control, menu, or pre-installed applications. Instead, it lets the consumer use their own apps and mobile device to control the experience. Add to those features a price tag of just $35 and you can see why so many consumers are adopting it. But what does all this Chromecast buzz mean for brands?

At L4 Digital, we have been working closely with Google and several major brands to create new Google Chromecast “Cast Ready Applications” and we are excited about the consumer engagement possibilities Chromecast delivers. It goes without saying that almost every video content provider either now supports Chromecast or has it on their roadmap. Adding a cast button to an iOS or Android app or Chrome website lets you create the kinds of visual experiences that really connect with customers on the TV.

But the Chromecast SDK offers many potential applications for non-video content as well. If a developer decides to create a “custom receiver application” (rather than use the Google out of the box receiver), they can style any web experience for the big screen. These HTML5/JavaScript applications provide the interface to display the app’s content on the TV making it possible for games or even productivity applications to make the leap to the television. Custom receiver applications also handle messages from the sender application to control content and let consumers interact with the content from their mobile device.

For brands that are committed to delivering a unique and consistent experience as they transition across multiple channels and device types, the Chromecast SDK also offers total control over the look of an app including support for custom branding, optimal formatting for a big screen, and custom pages and views that don’t exist in Google’s default “styled receiver.” Google’s libraries also allow for maximum flexibility with their JavaScript media player library supporting a wide range of protocols including HLS, DASH, and Smooth Streaming. Switching between embedded audio and subtitle streams allows apps to be customized in just about any way a brand desires across many Android smartphones and tablets, iPhones and iPads, and laptops with Chrome for Mac or Windows.

Requests for Google Cast Ready Applications are coming in at steady clip here at L4 Digital, as brands strive to increase their presence across all digital media. These apps make it easy for your brand to interact with fans and provide a second-screen social experience to build communities around the content being streamed. Clearly, Google’s approach has paid off, with thousands of new TV shows, music, movies, and more now available through Chromecast and consumers are still hungry for more. By making it fast, simple, and secure for developers to tap into Chromecast, Google has ensured that the apps will keep coming. If you haven’t considered adding your brand to the mix you might want to reconsider.

Image courtesy of Rodion Kutsaev for Unsplash.

Keith O'Neill

Keith co-founded L4 Digital after more than a decade working with successful wireless and technology ventures. Keith oversees L4ʼs strategic partnerships, customer acquisition, and revenue goals. Keith is also responsible for company marketing initiatives and is the lead spokesperson evangelizing L4 products and services at industry events and to members of the press.

Share this:

More Posts

Want Alerts When We Post New Stuff?
L4 Digital. All rights reserved. All wrongs reserved. © 2008-2017