Tweeting From Your TV And Yahoo’s Big TV Play

August 10, 2009
By David Siteman
The Rise to the Top

Yahoo! has been making waves lately with the changing of upper management and dealing cards with Microsoft, but their biggest play may be Yahoo! TV Widgets also known as Yahoo! Connected TV. I think it is a fundamental game-changer for the future of television and content. Also, it will be something that content-producing AND consuming entrepreneurs are going to want to keep an eye on.

There have been many ill-fated attempts to bring the Internet TV. These have failed for numerous reasons including bad partnerships, poor distribution and most importantly crappy user-interfaces that felt like a browser on your TV.

In nutshell, Yahoo TV Widgets allows you to connect your TV to WiFi and bring up customizable widgets on your screen such as Twitter (Tweet from your TV!), Netflix, Flikr and original programming. Original programming is more interactive than regular TV and always on demand. The Rise To The Top is fortunate to be launching worldwide on Yahoo! TV widgets this fall (as well as ABC and many other sources) but this is something I’m excited about not just for the wonderful opportunity we have been presented with but how it will effect you as the entrepreneur, content-provider or simply consumer.

Yahoo is definitely onto something with their new offering and here is why:

1. Strong Partnerships: Yahoo! TV Widgets was formed jointly with Intel. This means that the technology is actually in TV’s from LG, Vizio, Sony and Samsung and they are all on board with it. When you get a new TV from these manufacturers (and a backwards compatible box will be available soon) everything is ready for you to just plug ‘n play.
2. Interactive: You can Tweet out right from your TV. Tell people what you are watching or if something interesting happens. This isn’t just when you are watching programs on Yahoo! TV widgets but also while you are watching regular cable or a DVD.
3. Ease-Of-Use: Remotes that come with the new TV sets have easy-to-understand buttons. Press one button for cable, one for DVD or whatever else you have hooked up and one for Yahoo! TV widgets. Plug the navigation is extremely simple and easy.
4. Doesn’t Interfere: You can bring up your widgets or chose not bring up your widgets as you watch regular cable or a DVD. The experience is simply controlled by you.
5. More Than Just Shows: A much richer experience. For example, when we launch worldwide on Yahoo! TV widgets this September, you will be able to watch all of our shows, bonus footage, see a calendar of upcoming events and check out the blog right from your TV in a concise and beautiful interface.

Season #2 of The Rise To The Top launches this September and on the first episode we have numerous fantastic guests and one I’m excited about is Brian Powell, founder of Widget Realm. Brian is developing TV Widgets for Yahoo! and is going to explain much more and why it might be the perfect time for your company to create its own TV widget.

Like any new technology, it will be interesting to watch how this catches on. My guess is it starts with the younger techies and forward-thinking entrepreneurs and then spreads to the mass population over time. I think advertisers are also going to absolutely love what is possible as the widgets bring in brand new trackable experiences and new ways to bring On Demand messaging, promotions and much more (that would be a whole new article). As an entrepreneur, you may have a chance to launch your content via TV sets worldwide and there is no way you can argue that isn’t an exciting possibility.

Make sure to check out Yahoo! Connected TV and we will be launching on it this fall. I would highly recommend checking it out as once you actually see it and play with it, you will be hooked. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts and also watch this potential revolution…and then Tweet out about it from my TV.