TVApp Church

The Future of Our TV Apps

As I think to the future of TV Apps I get extremely excited. This is essentially a computer connected to our TV and anything we do with our computer we can do with our TV. This means video conferencing, payment transactions, customized screen layouts and dashboards and the list can go on. Honestly, I think we can’t even fathom some of the opportunities that will be possible with TV Apps as a decade ago we couldn’t have dreamed that our phone could manage our bank, be our primary camera, unlock doors, start cars, control our AC and even make phone calls ;). While it’s hard to imagine this technology in the next 5-10 years I can give you some insights into where we are headed when it comes to development around the TV App:

  • Automations - we want you to focus on ministry and we want this technology to be as automated as possible saving you time and making it as easy as possible to launch and manage your TV App.
  • Customization – we want to be different and think you do too. While we are currently limited by platform flexibility, but believe this will change significantly and we want to give our users as much customization flexibility as we possibly can.
  • Integrations – whatever media platforms you currently use or want to use in the future we want to integrate seamlessly into your TV App for you. Beyond just media we plan to integrate other tools such as email marketing platforms, social media, donation processing, database integrations, etc. Whatever might create the best app experience for your ministry we want to help facilitate that happening.
  • Transcriptions and Translations – with new technologies and the opportunity for every ministry to have a global impact we believe translation functionality will be critically important. This is a priority for us in optimizing this platform to accomplish your ministry goals.
  • Distributions – we want your ministry to be on every TV platform possible. We plan to expand to platforms like X-Box, Oculus, Samsung, Vizio and more in the near future.

Moving forward we make these promises to you:

  • We will ALWAYS listen to you. We want to hear where you desire for the technology to go, what distribution channels you want to add and what integrations you need to have.
  • We will NEVER stop innovating. Our development and support team will always outnumber our sales team. Our goal is to build great technology that sells itself by maintaining the highest quality standards while living on the cutting edge.

If you haven’t already signed up to get a TV App, I hope you won’t wait another day. We would love to partner with you in launching a Global TV ministry! You can learn more about our solution at TVApp.Church.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Your TV App

One of the things that was so important to us when creating TV App was creating the best analytics opportunity possible. When we first launched our TV App all we were able to measure is how many people downloaded our app. We never knew how many people actually used it or if they used it, how they used it. That is all different today as we integrated Google Analytics into the platform which we believe provides that most effective analytics that your ministry needs to measure the effectiveness of your app. Here are some of the things to pay attention to:

  • App Downloads
  • First Time and Returning App Visitors
  • App Sessions
  • Top Videos or Content pieces consumed
  • Viewing time on various content pieces

When it comes to how often to check your analytics, if possible I recommend once a week. At a minimum I would review monthly though and provide a report to your key stakeholders on a quarterly basis.

Promoting Your TV App

You might be surprised to learn this, but TV Apps don’t promote themselves. It’s actually harder than any other platform as you cannot just send someone a link to get your app and click on the link. You have to coach them in how to effectively find your app in each of the different App stores (which are all different). Generally, the best direction you can give is to go to each app store and search the title of your TV App which is most likely the name of your church or ministry. Consistent messaging around this is key.

Here are a few suggestions to help you effectively promote your TV App:

  1. Email Announcement to Your List
  2. Video Announcement in Your Worship Services and on Social Media
  3. Clearly displayed on your ministry website
  4. Demo in Your Lobby or Ministry Space
  5. Press Release
  6. Ask to Rate

Even after your app is released continuing to mention this can be extremely helpful as the adoption rate for people getting a connected TV device continues to grow daily. Constantly creating awareness will increase engagement in an ongoing basis.

Setting Up Your TV App

As I shared before it is possible to setup your TV App in a matter of minutes. Here are the steps to take in setting up your TV App:

  1. Choose Your Platforms – whether you want to be on Apple, Amazon Fire TV, or Roku is up to you. I recommend all of the above, but you have that control and flexibility. They are all unique and different in their own way.
  2. Define Your Content and Navigation– decide what content you want on the channel and how you want to organize it. One quick suggestion that many don’t use is a welcome section in your navigation that simply welcomes people to your TV App and gives them a little direction as to what all of the media is that is available.
  3. Connect Your Integrations – utilizing your existing media platforms simply follow the steps to integrate into your TV App with automations established (ex. Vimeo On Demand Player or Stream Monkey Live Streaming Service)
  4. Create Your Graphics – this is probably the most time consuming part, but keep it simple and know that everything except your app icon can change at any time. Simplicity in design on a TV goes a long way.
  5. Submit Your App – Once everything else is done, simply hit submit and wait for the news that your app is live. Roku and Apple often take about a week and Amazon Fire TV takes less than 24 hours generally speaking.  

It really is that easy and can be done in a matter of minutes. Once setup you shouldn’t even have to login to your account as it should run function through all of the built in automations. We think you will want to login regularly though because it’s just fun to be able to instantly make changes to an application that lives on your TV. The more you use it, the better you will understand how to optimally set it up for those who are using your TV App.

Creating Content for Your TV App

As you take the first steps in creating your TV App, there are 3 questions you need to ask yourselves:

  1. Who are we creating content for?
  2. How are we going to create the content for our TV App?
  3. What content are we going to distribute to our TV App?

The first question that you have to answer is who are you creating content for. Many people want to use a TV App as a front door to their church or ministry, but often it lives in the middle of your ministry funnel. People don’t often stumble up TV Apps, but as they connect with your ministry they value the opportunity to consistently consume your content in the most effective and convenient way.

As you consider the how you are going to create content for your TV App, quality cannot be undervalued. When it comes to mobile video, quality is often not as important; but when it comes to TV video this becomes a bigger issue. A low resolution video can look great on a phone, but when expanded on a large screen television it can look very pixelated. Also, audio quality is critically important on a TV as the large speakers on a TV need a fuller high quality audio mix. Know that these are all things that can be created inexpensively, but mostly require an attention to detail and a higher value on quality.

So, as you consider some of the content that your ministry might create, here are some suggestions:

  • Live Streamed Services/Events
  • On-Demand Messages
  • Small Group Resources
  • Stories
  • Worship Music
  • Announcement Videos
  • Training Videos

This list could go on. My encouragement is to not put any and every video that you make on your TV app. Be strategic to put the optimal content for those viewing on a TV. The navigation on a TV is different than a website and you want to keep things as simple as possible limiting the clutter.

One of the great things about the TV App platform is how flexible and dynamic the platform is. When you want to make a change in even your menu layout and navigation you have that control and it does not require an app update. It is extremely simple and very easy to manage.