At CES 2011, Yahoo! announced it is introducing broadcast interactivity on its Yahoo! Connected TV platform, which brings internet-enhanced TV to viewers over the networks they’re watching (it works for both live and on-demand video). Yahoo! is collaborating with ABC, CBS, HSN, and Showtime on content for a pilot program in the first half of this year, and is showcasing examples of the broadcast interactivity feature at CES (Booth #36201, South Hall 4, LVCC). Here’s how it works: Yahoo’s software identifies unique signatures in TV audio and matches it against widget content, displaying the content in an overlay as you watch.
Brand advertisers Ford, Mattel and Microsoft are also planning to work with Yahoo! to deliver interactivity with their TV advertising. Yahoo! is working with Connected TV distribution partners including Broadcom Corporation, D-Link, Haier, MediaTek, Sony and Toshiba to enable the broadcast interactivity pilot on their devices in 2011.
With broadcast interactivity, TV programmers will be able to create TV apps that let viewers vote for a reality-TV participant, get more info about characters, or make e-commerce purchases while watching a show.
For brand advertisers, broadcast interactivity will let them connect in real time with TV viewers during commercials or other branded entertainment experiences. Yahoo! provided examples:
Viewers of CBS’s “Hawaii Five-O” could view fun facts about the show and learn more about the actors, characters, and setting by using their remote controls.
Viewers of an ABC primetime show could access actor information and view photos and videos during certain scenes right from their TVs while watching the show.
“Showtime Boxing” fans could access detailed fight information including photos and videos, test their knowledge of the boxers, and vote for the boxer they think will win the match.
Viewers watching HSN could directly purchase an item highlighted on the live show and take advantage of specials of the day, using their remote.
Viewers watching a Lincoln commercial could find local dealers, customize their dream cars, view Lincoln luxury lifestyle videos, and more.