Yahoo and several television networks have launched a pilot interactivity programme for its Connected TV on the eve of the opening of CES.
“This is the next phase of where television is heading and we think we have a strategic advantage being out on the market for two years now,” said Russ Schafer, senior director of product marketing at Yahoo Connected TV.
Television sets embedded with Yahoo software ‘widgets’ that link to specific websites launched at the annual CES event in 2009 and are now in about six million households. Yahoo expects that number to rise to eight million by March, when 2011 models featuring broadcaster interaction begin hitting the market. Broadcasters will be able to send discrete on-screen messages prompting people to take actions.
For example, people watching a sporting contest could be enticed to predict winners or those viewing dramas invited to learn more about actors. Advertising will be individually customised based on what is being watched.
“It allows a real-time dialogue of sorts between creators and viewers,” Schafer said.