Posted January 12, 2009 2:24 pm by with 21 comments

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Yahoo is finally doing what so many of us have been begging them to do: something Google hasn’t already done. According to BusinessWeek, Yahoo is working with Intel and television makers to bring TV widgets to home viewing.

Yahoo made the announcement last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Yahoo and Intel announced a range of televisions and related products that would be loaded with the software, in addition to hardware partners and TV-friendly sites.

So what type of widgets can you expect? Have you ever found yourself sitting in front of your TV, your laptop on your lap as you attempt to watch LOST while answering emails and twittering about the latest twist? Imagine the ease of doing all of those things right at your TV.

Yahoo anticipates the TV widgets will go live later this year, complete with about 20 different widgets. Outside developers, including Twitter, the New York Times and MySpace, will be featuring widgets, in addition to the standard Yahoo applications (i.e. weather and stock tracking). Yahoo says that widgets will not be limited to the big brands, and invites any content creators to develop their own widgets.

What can marketers do in anticipation of this release? John Ellett of nFusion offers this advice on his blog, Marketing Has Changed:

How will this affect marketers? For one thing it will open the doors for video content to be produced, sponsored and delivered directly. Think beyond YouTube and more Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom without the network. Consumers love to be entertained and informed. If you can offer this to them in a way that builds affinity for your brand, and do it cost-effectively, you have a chance to separate your brand from the pack of slow movers.

Do you think Internet TV will finally take off? How long do you think it will take Google and MSN to release their own Internet TV platforms?

  • PS3

    My ISP has just announced that it is going to upgrade to 50mb broadband very soon, that would certainly help with streaming and internet TV/video such as this. Great to see Yahoo taking the lead for a change too.

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  • Woo hoo! I’ve been wanting something like this for a long time now. It’s frustrating to sit in front of the tv and not be able to pull up additional info on something you’ve just seen. Or, for the example that I’d love to see, buy the gizmo that was just advertised.

    I’ve always wondered why the cable companies never used interactive tv to implement home shopping. For example, they have 60+ music channels but no way to buy the cd they’re playing or download the track from iTunes.

    A button that downloaded the track would be sweet. Or when there’s an ad for some toy my daughter wants, a “buy from Amazon” button would be cool too.

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  • This is actually a really good idea. I’ve been doing a combination of this already. I have multiple monitors, so I’ll watch a missed television show or movie on one while I am working on the other. This would totally make my TV-time more enjoyable! lol.

    I’m getting giddy just thinking of it!

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  • Finally. This is one piece of modern technology I could not understand why it wasn’t released. Way to go Yahoo, getting one up on Google and mainstreaming television media and Internet. Can’t wait to see this release!

    BTW first stop at your blog. I really enjoyed the style and writing tips. I have bookmarked for easy return.

  • Internet TV isn’t going to make it big. I can see some small mixes between the two but the point of the matter is, people HAVE laptops now, and so, internet is readily accessible without having to go on the tv.

  • It has been a long time coming and it should take off like a rocket.

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  • hopefully not just yahoo intel upgrade but also our broadband speed connection, streaming is a pain with all those buffering, etc.

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  • Fantastic. Now I can be berated with ads in every way, shape, and form on my television.

  • I guess soon we will be needing even faster broadband.

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  • This seems like a great idea. I wouldn’t mind something like this especially for shows like lost that I watch all the time during the evening while I am trying to do work on my computer. It would either make me more productive or just have me watching the entire show on my laptop.

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  • great idea, I want one of those!

  • Interesting. I have liked the idea of Internet TV for sometime now. Not that I watch a lot of TV at all really, but there are 2 shows I really like, and occasionally it’s nice to pass the time. As we start seeing more of this, we will start to see more discussions on net neutrality too. How’s Hulu doing?

  • Much as I’m happy to see Yahoo! doing something new and being the first ones to make a certain change, I doubt it’ll take Google long to match, and eventually, overtake them even in this new endeavour… They’ve probably already begun work on a competing product and are simply waiting for Yahoo! to release theirs so that they can outdo it and launch one in return

  • I am sure Google will be piling into this feet first at some stage, maybe targeting mobile TV. Mobile is where it is all heading after all, and people spend much more time with their mobiles than in front of the TV.

  • Finally! Let’s hope they make it available worldwide and not only in the US.

  • It’s cool that they’re going to be integrating widgets with TV

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  • I am sure the most of us have been dreaming of it for a long time. Modern technologies give us newer and newer opportunities’ to ease our lives. Now the main question is when we should expect the release.

  • That sounds really neat, a little creative genius finally flowing from Yahoo!

  • That is a great idea!

  • I love my TV, it is the centre of my entertainment lifestyle, so anything that expands on that is welcome by me. I frustrate my partner by flicking channels whenever adverts come on, but I refuse to watch adverts when I have 200 more channels that may have something interesting on. Now I could have various widgets to keep me occupied. Everything being streamed through one portal is the way to go in my opinion. Being able to pull up info while watching tv would be awesome, and shopping online sat on my sofa is surely more tempting than you and your partner squeezed round a laptop.