From Online to the TV and Back


With all the talk this week surrounding the appointment of Marissa Mayer as CEO and the challenges she faces in pleasing the stock market, it is sometimes easy to overlook that Yahoo! is a profitable business with a significant position in many areas. With a U.S. and global ranking as the fourth busiest web site, some 20% of Internet users view Yahoo! properties on a daily basis.

It also is a leader in original programming according to Comscore data, “With 21 out of the top 25 most-watched online series…..captures more than 57 million unique viewers a month who come to Yahoo! to watch video.” An example of original Yahoo! programming is the just released series, Electric City, created by and starring Tom Hanks.

Getting this original content to the television and being able to interact with it on four screens (tablet, smart phone, pc and TV) is the focus of Yahoo! Connected TV. In the above interview, Russ Shafer, Senior Director of Global Product Marketing for Yahoo! Connected TV, reports that Yahoo! Connected TV is in 135 countries, on 8 million televisions with over 3 million connected and 1.5 million users every month.

He explains that they have integrated their own automatic content recognition technology to add interactivity with a lean-back experience. Their platform allows for extension of the television screen to hand-held devices through a pairing mechanism between the shared screen and the personal screen.

He indicates that advertisers are embracing the new opportunities to get their message in front of their customers and prospects and provides examples of how big name advertisers, such as Fidelity, are using Connected TV to interact with their messages and create instant calls to action.  He discusses the motivation behind the open sourcing their device communications protocol to allow easy interconnection with their platform to any mobile open app.

[ViodiTV coverage of CONNECTIONS at TIA 2012 brought to you by Parks Associates]