SAN JUAN, PR – Smart-TV startup Telly aims to change the value proposition for consumers by offering them free televisions in exchange for seeing advertisements. The promise for marketers is that campaigns have a greater chance of being seen – Telly’s set has twin screens, the lower of which shows unobstructed ads and information.

“They’re watching television on a theater display like they would normally, and they’re watching them for four or five hours a day,” Bob Ivins, head of data strategy at Telly, said in this interview with Beet.TV contributor Rob Williams at the Beet Retreat San Juan, “Then they’ll turn the top screen off and they’ll keep the second screen on, and it acts like a tablet where they get news and sports updates.”

Telly is currently raising money for the next stage of its growth plan. Last year, it began taking orders online and started shipping its initial batches of twin-screen sets. As more people use the sets, Telly is gaining deeper insights into their behaviors and attention to advertising.

“It really is great for our business model because we’re selling advertising on that second screen during that whole time,” Ivins said. “We’re in the market to raise some capital, and we’re going to really accelerate our production in the second half of the year.”

Its ad-supported business model is rooted in comprehensive information about its viewers. Marketers can harness the data to help identify target audiences.

“To get a television, you’ve got to take a survey … and give us close to 100 variables about your household,” Ivins said. “We know your name and address because we’ve got to ship you a free TV, but we also know your general demographics and your psychographics and your brand preferences.”

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