The rapid growth of web-enabled consumer electronic devices is the foundation for a vibrant TV widget market, according to research firm In-Stat, which projects it will grow to 83.4 million units by 2014 in the US alone.
A growing set of devices, ranging from web-enabled TVs to Blu-ray players and over-the-top set-top boxes support TV widgets. Among these TV applications are those that enable users to view YouTube videos, access Netflix, or obtain weather forecasts directly on the TV using a broadband Internet connection.
Most consumer electronics manufacturers are introducing software platforms that support 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”, said Keith Nissen, In-Stat analyst, in a statement, “For example, there is strong interest for TV widgets that let the viewer control the camera angle being displayed on screen.”
Other research findings include: by 2013, TV applications have the potential to generate over $1.7 billion (€1.39 billion) in annual revenues; 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 favoured only by households in the 18-24 age group.