SUNNYVALE, CA — With more than one million monthly users, Yahoo is aiming to expand the reach of its connected TVs this year and is planning several new feature rollouts in the coming months.
That includes tablet features that will let viewers watching videos on their mobile devices "flip" them up to connected TVs for viewing there, said Russ Schafer, senior director, worldwide product marketing for connected TVs at Yahoo, in an interview with Beet.TV
That new tablet capability should go live at the end of this quarter, he added. It follows recent connected TV rollouts this year, including one for "broadcast interactivity" introduced at the 2012 CES show.
Broadcast interactivity delivers real-time Internet content that complements what's on TV or in commercials, Schafer said. It's available on Sony Bravia TVs. "It brings content to a consumer's attention while they're watching TV. So if you're watching Showtime Boxing, we'll look for related content, such as voting on who's going to win the fight," he explained.
He added that 60% of consumers browse the Web while watching TV, while online consumers browse more than 75% each week. The goal with broadcast interactivity is to make the searching easier, so the related content can be presented to the viewer instead via connected TVs. Schafer added that more than 8 million consumers have purchased TVs with Yahoo Connected TV capability and Yahoo counts more than one million monthly users for connected TVs, a number that is growing quickly, he said.
Advertisers can also use the interactive tools to enable purchasing in real-time or feedback, for instance. A number of brands such as Ford, Sony, Mattel, Toyota and Fidelity are experimenting with connected TV ads, he said. Fidelity has used connected TV ads to help push adoption of its iPad app using a QR code.