Yahoo Smart TV
What it is: Yahoo Smart TV may be the most radical idea Mayer presented at CES. As the company notes, Smart TV will offer viewers commentary on shows along with “highly personalized program recommendations from TV, Video on Demand, and Web services.” Basically, it makes TVs smarter by going around incumbent service providers such as cable and satellite providers. This is such a big deal that Business Insider opined that it might save television … or perhaps kill it. Interestingly, a cable subscription is not required for the offering from YHOO.
Takeway: According to Business Insider, Samsung and Vizio are likely partners for Yahoo Smart TV. As with everything else Yahoo is doing, the challenge lies in standing out from its competitors. LG, for instance, unveiled an new operating system at CES for its smart TVs. But Yahoo may have a unique opportunity in this market because, as The Verge noted, many of the existing smart TV apps are terrible: “User interfaces remain overwrought with unnecessary bloat, sacrificing speed and intuitiveness for features that most humans will never use.”
Again, it will take some time to see how much these projects affect the core business at YHOO … if they do at all. But with the Alibaba IPO looming in the background, something needs to happen soon for YHOO stock.
As of this writing, Jonathan Berr did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.