Yahoo! to compete with Google with 'Connected TV' move

MUMBAI: Yahoo! Inc. has partnered with CBS, ABC, Showtime, Ford, Mattel, and the Home Shopping Network to launch an "interactivity" programme for its Connected TV platform.

Yahoo! will be competing with Google and Apple to provide interactive TV entertainment services to television broadcasters and letting them connect with viewers in a better way.

Said Connected TV group director of product marketing Russ Schafer, "Google TV has been getting a lot of negative press with networks blocking their content. Our approach is very network friendly."
The company expects the number of their software "widgets" that link to particular websites, launched at the annual CES event in 2009 to go up significantly, once the models featuring broadcaster interaction enters the market.

Specific features are yet to be confirmed, though Yahoo gave some examples including Broadcast Interactivity, which allows viewers to learn more about an actor or a program by clicking buttons, or buy items, they see while watching live shows, Yahoo said at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Also, watchers of Showtime Boxing can find out player‘s information and also take part in surveys to determine the result of the match.  
Russ Schafer also said, "The key feature is to sense what you‘re watching and provide interactive content through a very subtle prompt. It‘s the truly interactive TV we‘ve been talking about for years."

"We think it is really going to change TV," he added.

According to projections from Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, targeted ads will total $11.5 billion in the US by 2015.

"We expect it to grow significantly," Shaw said. "By 2015, we‘re predicting that targeted advertising is going to dwarf standard display advertising."

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