In the category of “not dead yet,” Engadget has caught word from the Yahoo Advertising blog that the Yahoo Connected TV platform still has life left in it. According to a post from last week, the Yahoo platform will be embedded in TVs from Sony and Toshiba by the end of this year, along with a D-Link media player. More hardware from Samsung, LG, Vizio, and others will hit in 2012, and the former search giant also says it will “soon” roll out its own app store for the TV, a plan that was delayed back in March. Apps will range from 99 cents to $99 (?!).
As I said at CES, I’m fascinated by Yahoo’s “broadcast interactivity” technology that it’s planning to use in its Connected TV platform to enable interactive advertising. I’m not entirely convinced Yahoo can be successful with it, but clearly the company has hit on a valuable concept: the idea of “listening” in on a TV program and providing relevant commercial information. Shazam is working on the same thing, although it has raised money for a platform that centers on the mobile phone, which you can use to “Shazam” content on your TV for more info. The whole idea is far more interesting to me than just another app store for the connected TV. It’s something the cable industry has been trying to get off the ground for more than a decade, with little success. Perhaps Yahoo and others can succeed with platforms that are over the top, and over the air.