New broadcast interactivity features, mobile device connectivity and new TV apps are among the key features of Yahoo!’s forthcoming play in the connected TV arena.
The new Yahoo! Connected TV platform will launch with a number of US national broadcast and cable TV leaders and top brand advertisers. In addition to working with ABC, CBS, HSN, and Showtime on content for a pilot program in the first half of 2011, Yahoo! has confirmed that it will work with Ford, Mattel and Microsoft to deliver interactivity with their TV advertising. Yahoo! is also working with connected TV distribution partners including Broadcom, D-Link, Haier, MediaTek, Sony and Toshiba to enable the broadcast interactivity pilot on their devices in 2011.
With its new broadcast interactivity functionality, Yahoo says that TV programmers will be able to create TV apps that let viewers vote for a reality-TV participant, get more information about characters, or make e-commerce purchases while watching a show. As they do so, advertisers will be able to connect in real time with TV viewers during commercials or other branded entertainment experiences.
Yahoo! already offers more than 100 TV apps encompassing social networking, music, games, news, weather, finance, and shopping, and providing access to more than 50,000 movies and TV shows on demand.
Explaining the strategy for the move, Ron Jacoby, vice president, Yahoo! Connected TV: “Our collaboration with leaders in television and brand advertising, combined with the innovative technologies we’re pioneering, signals the beginning of a new era of highly personalised, Internet-enhanced television. Imagine an immersive, real-time TV experience that brings people even closer to the programs and brands they love by enabling them to play along while they watch their favourite shows.”