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Yahoo Connected TV Inches Closer to True Convergence

Submitted by on January 6, 2011 – 3:28 pm3 Comments

Yahoo Connected TV screenshotFor years, we have been hearing about a world where TV shows would seamlessly allow us to order stars’ wardrobes in the middle of an episode, sports stats could pop up on demand during a football game, and social media chatting about whether the alleged killer on CSI did it or didn’t becomes commonplace…all via Web-TV integration. Global advertising agencies are already preparing for such a brave new world, as they tear down the barriers between Digital, Traditional, and Strategy.

Yahoo’s recent deals with ABC, CBS, HSN, and Showtime for distribution…and Ford, Mattel, and Microsoft for advertising…bring gravitas which may finally move the ball a bit closer to the goal line. Additionally, this experiment may succeed because:

1) The distribution of 8 Million potential homes is significant (more than 3 times the size of TIVO’s).

2) The strategy is not focused on unrelated web apps on the bottom of the TV screen, but is instead focused on CONTEXTUAL content to what the user is watching. In short, looking at your unrelated Twitter feed while watching “Real Housewives” is a novelty, but being able to tweet about who just did what to whom on a program-related feed without having to pull out your smartphone or laptop may be addictive.

3) The technology doesn’t typically require an additional box on many TV manufacturers’ sets, due to the wide array of set brands with whom Yahoo has partnered.

For healthcare marketers, the growth of such efforts may be of particular interest. Once distribution becomes sufficient, it is feasible that such complementary technologies could house FDA-required Important Safety Information on pharma ads someday, allowing video advertising of the future to be far less cluttered due to ISI being “just a click away”. The immediate interactivity and legal information of the Web, combined with the motion and emotion of big screen video, will likely prove a powerful marriage.

Watch for a flurry of related and competitive announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show this month in Las Vegas. Clearly, Yahoo is in need of a hit, and this one at least has a shot at getting on base.

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  • Chris says:

    Great post, Dennis. I’m a Roku owner and thought Yahoo was all but irrelevant these days, as I watched both Google and Apple announce their presence in this space.

    Competition favors the consumer, and this has the makings of an epic battle of functionality oneupsmanship between fierce competitors. Loving it. :)

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