Video services

TV Apps Set to Explode

3:30 PM -- Just as caller-ID on the TV starts to lose its luster, a string of new applications will be making their way to the living room, bringing big bucks with them. TV apps will grow from bringing in revenues of only $10 million this year to $1.9 billion by 2015, according to a GigaOm Pro report released today.

GigaOm defines TV apps as “interactive, web-like apps that both enhance the TV viewing experience by supplementing programming content with additional material and activities and deliver Internet content and services.” By 2015, they’ll be a standard part of the TV viewing experience, the report claims.

The growth will stem from the uptick in households with networked TVs. GigaOm says that by 2015, six in ten TVs shipped worldwide will have a network connection of either Ethernet, WiFi, or both, and 70 percent will come with an embedded app platform and app store.

The report’s timing is particularly apt coming off last week’s Cable Show where apps on the TV were popular demos. (See The Cable Show 2010: New Product Recap, Social TV: More Than Tweets on Screen, Cable Show 2010: The Hot List, and The Cable Show 2010: News Roundup .)

It’s also timed the day before Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)’s I/O conference, where the company is expected to unveil its TV platform with Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE), reportedly dubbed "Smart TV." (See Tuning In to Google’s TV Intentions.)

Google’s entrance into the TV market should kickstart the TV apps movement when it brings its team of Android app developers with it. If it can translate its developer support to the living room, it could stake out the TV as the next battleground for apps.

GigaOm says embedded app stores, like Google’s planned store, as well as Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO)’s Widget Channel and an expected response from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), will be the most popular method for bringing apps to the TV. In addition, the report said to expect video-optimized browsers to bring in new apps, along with cable MSOs and IPTV service providers' own network-based apps platforms built on Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) and tru2way or potentially third-party software like ActiveVideo ’s Cloud TV platform. (See ActiveVideo Looks to Spruce Up VoD.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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