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TV Widgets Must Enhance the Viewing Experience

A growing set of consumer electronics (CE) devices -- ranging from web-enabled TVs, to Blu-ray players and over-the-top set-top boxes -- now support TV application widgets. Among these TV apps are those that enable users to view YouTube videos, access Netflix subscription services, or obtain weather forecasts directly on the TV using a broadband Internet connection.

The rapid growth of web-enabled CE devices -- which In-Stat projects will to 83.4 million by 2014 -- is the foundation for a vibrant TV Widget Market.

Most CE device manufacturers are introducing software developer platforms that support application widgets. However, In-Stat research indicates only a modest consumer interest in performing PC-centric applications on the TV.

Consumers have higher interest in TV applications that enhance and/or augment the viewing experience, rather than simply provide information that is readily accessible via other screens.

"Consumers want more than simply displaying additional data on the TV screen, such as baseball statistics, consumers want new and unique TV functionality" Keith Nissen, In-Stat analyst.

For example, for live broadcast television applications --such as sporting events -- there is strong interest for TV widgets that let the viewer control the camera angle being displayed on screen.

Other findings from the In-Stat study include:

- By 2013, TV applications have the potential to generate over $1.7 billion in annual revenue.

- Households with adults under 40 years of age have the highest interest in using TV widgets.

- Screen control, news and entertainment information have broad appeal across all age groups.

- TV widgets, such as multi-session games, are highly valued by small user segments. These represent a significant revenue opportunity.

- There is substantial interest in TV widgets that enable local online purchases, such as pizza delivery or movie tickets.

- Viewing YouTube videos on the TV are favored only by households in the 18-24 age group.

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