As our collective affection for apps on smart devices grows, the Internet-connected TV app marketplace has become another big opportunity for publishers, advertisers and individual developers. Industry analysts project that by 2014, global sales of TVs with Internet access will reach 123 million sets. And as flat screens in our homes come online with Internet capability en masse over the next few years, we know that bringing Web content to your set in a personally relevant and easy-to-use way will be the key to making it the magical, convergent experience the industry has fantasized about for, well, decades.
Yahoo! has been at the forefront of the burgeoning Internet-connected TV landscape since 2009, when we first introduced Yahoo! Connected TV. We currently power the TV app experience for more than 8 million households on leading brand TVs including VIZIO, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and LG. We created a personalized TV experience by combining your favorite Web content with the TV programming you’re already watching. This contrasts with other approaches that make you search for that content using a PC browser model. We want to bring you more of the content you love, and as the world’s premier digital media company, we are uniquely positioned to make that happen in partnership with our global developer and publisher community.
Today, we’re introducing more than 30 new TV apps available across the Yahoo! Connected TV platform, bringing the total to more than 120 available TV apps. Connected TV apps range in purpose from fun to functional, including social networking, streaming music, casual games, personalized financial quotes, locally relevant news, weather and sports, and more than 75,000 movies and TV shows on demand.
New TV apps recently made available on the Yahoo! Connected TV platform, represent a variety of top brand and more niche, long tail content. Examples include:
- NHL GameCenter™ – The free NHL GameCenter™ app makes a great companion to watching live NHL hockey on television. People can keep track of live playoff scores, stats, news, and highlights from around the league without leaving the game they are watching. Full-length archived and classic games dating back to the 1960s can also be accessed by linking an NHL Vault™ or NHL GameCenter LIVE™ subscription.
- Vimeo – Host your videos in high quality on Vimeo.com and watch them with the Vimeo TV app, along with thousands of other inspiring works from talented creators.
- BIGSTAR Movies On-Demand – People can stream from a selection of thousands of feature-length independent movies and foreign films, all for less than 17 cents a day through a monthly membership.
- Home Shopping Network – HSN Shop by Remote interactive shopping gives you the ability to purchase items using just a remote control. It's easy, secure, and the fastest way to buy HSN products.
- SGNL by Sony – SGNL by Sony provides a close-up look at Sony's gadgets, games, music, and movies.
- Joomeo – View Web-based photo and video albums in a Joomeo space on the TV.
- Ford – Ford Edge, 2012 Ford Focus, and Lincoln MKX – these Ford TV apps display information and videos about the hottest new cars from Ford. As a broadcast interactivity pilot program partner, Ford plans to integrate these TV apps with live TV commercials later this year.
- TVO Kids and TVO Internet TV – Quality educational video content for kids and grown-ups from TVO, Ontario’s public educational media organization.
- Trinity Broadcast Network – Watch full-length feature films, specials, and TV programs from the world’s largest religious network and America’s most-watched faith channel.
- Local TV stations (20) providing on-demand local weather, news, and sports from the following markets and more:
Today, app developers can create free or paid TV apps for the Connected TV platform. The Yahoo! Connected TV Store, featuring a gallery of for-fee TV apps, is expected to launch in the near future. Yahoo! is also preparing a pilot program for a new feature called broadcast interactivity, which will sync TV apps with live broadcast content, as announced at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.
Stay tuned for more updates soon.
Ron Jacoby, VP Yahoo! Connected TV