Best practices for driving engagement on Google TV

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Android TV OS powers millions of TVs, streaming devices and PayTV set-top boxes. Google TV is a brand new experience available first on the Chromecast with Google TV, and will be available to more devices over time. When you build an app for Android TV OS, the app will work for all of the devices in the ecosystem including new Google TV branded devices.

All apps built for Android TV will work on devices running Google TV. That being said, in order to provide the best user experience on Google TV, we recommend applying a set of best practices:

Baseline requirements

  • TV App Quality: To ensure a great user experience, all TV apps must meet specific requirements for usability to be available for TVs on Google Play. See TV app quality for more details.
  • Google Cast: Google Cast enables you to extend your Android, iOS, and Chrome apps to enable audio and video streaming to Android TVs as well as Chromecast devices and Assistant devices. See the Google Cast documentation for more details.
  • Media Session: Media sessions provide a universal way of interacting with an audio or video player. By informing Android that media is playing in an app, playback controls can be delegated to the app. Integrating with the media session allows an app to advertise media playback externally and to receive playback commands from external sources. These sources can be physical buttons (such as the play button on a headset or TV remote control) or indirect commands (such as instructing "pause" to Google Assistant). The media session then delegates these commands to the app that applies them to the media player for which it is transparent where the commands originated. See Using a media session for more details.

Content discovery across surfaces

  • Media Actions Feed: By providing a JSON media actions feed to Google, your content can be discovered through Google TV recommendations as well as other Google surfaces (e.g., Google Search). The deep links you provide let users jump directly into playback of your content to increase engagement. The feed also enables on device search and the ability to play media via Google Assistant voice commands. Currently, Google is working with a limited number of providers at a time to integrate each provider into the feature. You're welcome to read the documentation until we can open it up to more providers. See the Media Actions documentation for more details.
  • Play Next: Play Next allows users to re-engage with the content in your app. When users leave your app partway through a movie or with a TV series in progress, you can surface that content directly on the Google TV home screen via Play Next. The user can select a tile from Play Next to deep link directly into playback within your app. Note that a Play Next integration must be certified for quality to show on Google TV devices. See the Play Next documentation for more details.

Voice and engagement

  • Account Linking: Account linking provides seamless linking between a user's Google account and your app's account in order to facilitate a streamlined user experience for your app existing and new users. Account Linking is a prerequisite for other capabilities such as Frictionless Subs, Entitlement Sync, and Voice Casting.
  • Entitlement Sync: If your Media Actions feed includes media with entitlement requirements (for example, a user needs to have a particular subscription to access content), you can support entitlement sync to declare which subscriptions a linked account has. See the entitlements endpoint documentation for more details.
  • Voice Casting: Voice Casting allows your users to initiate media playback on supported Cast devices through Google Assistant. You can enabled this functionality by providing a Media Actions documentation feed, supporting account linking, and creating a Cast receiver.
  • Cast Connect: With Cast Connect, your Android TV app can act as a Cast receiver. This lets you provide a richer experience and support interaction with the remote control. See the Android TV Receiver Overview for more details.

User acquisition

Google TV feature evaluation

An app built for Android TV OS works for all of the devices in the TV ecosystem, including new Google TV branded devices. To know whether or not the device offers the Google TV experience, for instance for analytics, you can evaluate or filter on the following system feature: