Consumers welcome widgets to help navigate interactive television, video on demand

Consumers want widgets to help guide them through their increasingly complex online video experience, from channel surfing to easier to navigate video on demand, says a new report from Ernst & Young's Global Media & Entertainment Center. The report gives companies an aiming point for what has long been a moving target: interactive television.

"Widgets have very quickly become a part of consumers' daily lives, and you would be hard pressed to find a computer or mobile device without them," E&Y's John Nendick said in a prepared statement. "When you combine consumers' increasing reliance on widgets with the rapid incorporation of Web-enabled technology in almost all new hardware, the proliferation and adoption of widgets on television becomes self-evident."

The report said web-enabled TV might finally find acceptance with consumers because of the proliferation of widgets. Ernst & Young, pulling information from the Diffusion Group and Intel also found:

  • 76 percent of consumers believe having a widget toolbar on their primary television would be valuable
  • 61 percent say they'd like their television to connect to the Internet
  • 30 percent consider the idea of news and information widgets on their television to be "appealing."

While just 400,000 Web-enabled TVs were sold in the U.S. this year, about 13.8 million will be in homes across the U.S. by 2013, E&Y said.

The report concludes that in the short-term, TV widgets will help companies reinforce their brands and promote their programming. Long-term, consumer adoption will ramp-up and advertising and pay-for-play will prove significant, allowing content companies and advertisers to strengthen their relationships with viewers through Web-enabled television. "TV widgets present content providers with an immediate opportunity to strengthen their relationships with consumers," said E&Y's Howard Bass.

For more:
- see this release

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