Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Friday, October 23, 2009

Demand for Internet TV Widget Applications

The Diffusion Group (TDG) has studied a wide variety of widget-based Internet TV applications. TDG's new report "Widgets Gone Wild - Separating Killer Apps from Losers in the Age of Web TV" offers new perspective on this emerging market.

"To date, it has been impossible to introduce Internet applications into the TV environment and make them stick," notes Michael Greeson, TDG founding partner and report author.

"There are a number of culprits involved, ranging from the lack of network-capable TVs and poorly conceived user interfaces, to a genuine lack of consumer interest in the applications offered."

However, a forwarding looking view of the market opportunity paints a very different picture.

Colin Dixon, TDG senior partner and a former member of the Microsoft Web TV team, argues that the age of Internet TV is only now beginning in earnest, having been touted prematurely nearly a decade ago, long before technology and consumer vectors were in alignment.

Today, however, the circumstances are different. "For one, the technologies needed to deliver a rich Internet TV experience are being put in place. Second, today's consumer understands the value that specific Internet applications can bring to their TV experience. Third, a new user interface has emerged that offers an intuitive and easy-to-use means of engaging the web on TV. It is now a question of identifying which specific Internet TV applications are most valued."

TDG's new report includes consumer assessments of 26 different widget-based TV applications covering TV/video, music, photos, on-demand information, social media, interactive advertising, online shopping, and a myriad of other apps now under consideration by CE OEMs and service providers.

Widget applications evaluated in the study include:

- TV and video applications such as access to online TV sites and movie recommendation services.

- Photo and music applications such as TV-based access to Flickr and Pandora.

- Real-time e-commerce (eBay) and interactive advertising for specific TV shows and movies.

- On-demand information such as breaking news, business, weather, sports, and traffic updates.

- Real-time media clipping for ringtones, wallpaper, TV-based instant messaging and access to social networks such as Facebook.