We've had mixed feelings about Yahoo's Connected TV platform, but Samsung appears to think that its the next big thing. The two mega corporations announced a multi-year partnership on Monday that will bring the restructuring internet company's interactive television software to Samsung's 2012 lineup of smart TVs. Far from the traditional clunky Facebook and Twitter smart TV apps, Yahoo's setup brings interactive content to the programming that you're watching, such as trivia, program statistics and other types of playable games. You'll also have the option to use your smartphone or tablet as a surrogate remote control to view and share additional interactive content. As promising as this may sound, our biggest concern here is that this feature also recognizes commercials and may offer additional advertisements on top of the ones that you're already viewing. Programming partners currently include: Showtime and National Geographic, which makes us wonder what kind of ad suggestions will run during episodes of Dexter -- knives, duct tape and plastic wrap, anyone?
Yahoo! and Samsung Form Multi-year Partnership to Deliver Interactive TV
Partnership to Provide Real-time, Enhanced Entertainment and Advertising to Homes Across the United States
SUNNYVALE, Calif. and RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. - Nov. 5, 2012 - Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Samsung today announced an expanded multi-year partnership to integrate Yahoo!'s Broadcast Interactivity platform into Samsung 2012 Smart TVs. Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity, powered by its automatic content recognition (ACR) technology, SoundPrintTM, will be deployed in Samsung's SyncPlus platform, enabling new opportunities for intelligent content discovery, advertising and engagement, bringing an unprecedented level of interactivity in the living room.
With this agreement, Samsung Smart TV owners will receive real-time, actionable content that runs alongside and complements TV shows and commercials. TV viewers will see subtle, on-screen prompts informing them that additional content can be accessed. With the touch of a remote, connected tablet or phone, Samsung Smart TV viewers can easily surface content or offers related to the TV shows and commercials they are watching.
In addition, TV programmers can provide complementary content like trivia, additional show insights, commerce or interactive gaming to extend engagement. Showtime Networks and National Geographic Channel are two of the initial TV programming partners.
The partnership also creates new forms of advertising by extending traditional 30-second commercials into immediate actions. With Broadcast Interactivity-enabled commercials, advertisers can embed calls-to-action for downloading apps or digital media, providing coupons, ordering samples, reading reviews or viewing product information.
"By combining watching TV with engaging content, we can change the way audiences are entertained and informed," said Ron Jacoby, vice president of Connected TV at Yahoo!. "We are thrilled that our expanded partnership with Samsung extends our platform's footprint, enabling our content partners and advertisers to reach many more consumers. Content owners can augment their programming and advertisers can create compelling calls-to-actions that allow audiences to engage on marketing messages the moment they are delivered."
"Today, consumers are engaging in interactive TV program experiences more and more," said Eric Anderson, vice president of content and product solutions at Samsung Electronics America, Inc. "Samsung's SyncPlus service combined with Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity and SoundPrint will provide consumers with a very entertaining experience. We are very pleased to partner with Yahoo! and we look forward to a successful collaboration in the years to come."
Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity leverages Yahoo!'s patented SoundPrint™ technology which enables real-time identification of live or recorded, cable, broadcast and satellite television through audio fingerprinting. Combining SoundPrint, the largest index of television audio matching, with Yahoo!'s Connected TV platform creates a full suite of capabilities for audiences, broadcasters and advertisers.
Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity and Samsung SyncPlus will be delivered in the latest firmware update to Samsung's 2012 Smart TVs in the U.S. Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity will be integrated into future models of Samsung TVs.
To learn more about Broadcast Interactivity, visit http://connectedtv.yahoo.com/developer/broadcastinteractivity/.
More information about advertising opportunities is available at http://advertising.yahoo.com/connected-tv/.