Yahoo! and Samsung recently announced their extended partnership to create a more engaging TV viewing experience that allows consumers to react to content and advertisements in real time through the combination of Yahoo’s Broadcast Interactivity platform and Samsung’s 2012 Smart TVs.
“I think it’s a tremendous new opportunity for advertisers and marketers because it enables a direct response to a television commercial,” says Ron Jacoby, VP of Connected TV at Yahoo. “They’re able to see the results and measure them in terms of how many impressions were delivered. They’re able to see how many clicks occurred on their advertisement that is displayed on the screen over their broadcast television commercial. So it creates a whole new level of television ad buy where you can add this interactivity directly on the screen as that advertisement is occurring to the consumer.”
The intertwining of Yahoo’s content recognition SoundPrint system with Samsung’s televisions and SyncPlus platform drives the Broadcast Interactivity platform and provides additional real-time content alongside consumer programming. For example, in an attempt to promote its iPad app, Fidelity, one of the advertisers running on the platform, invites consumers to scan a QR code that allows them to download the app directly, Jacoby says. National Geographic Channel and Showtime Networks are content providers for the platform, he adds.
“In 2009 when we first released our Connected TV platform, our attitude has always been ‘we’re here to complement TV.’ Yahoo Connected TV is really about making TV better, not replacing the TV experience,” Jacoby says. “We always looked to provide these types of applications that would augment the TV programs that you’re viewing.”
Yahoo first announced its Connected TV platform back in 2009, for which Samsung was one of the original partners, says Jacoby. In addition to employing its own technological platforms, Yahoo adapted IntoNow’s technology—a mobile app that recognizes consumed content—and made it suitable for television after acquiring the company in 2011.
Jacoby says a few of the greatest technological challenges Yahoo faced include building a system that had enough power and could determine what content was being consumed through an intermediate device, such as a cable or satellite box.
“We really think it’s an exciting new paradigm,” Jacoby says. “We had a lot of work that we’ve done over the year experimenting with the technology and bringing some advertisers through the system, and we see that it is something people engage with. We think that the upside opportunity for this is just enormous to bring messages to people in real time while they’re experiencing content and advertising.”