Yahoo! Connected TV store to start selling widgets

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The Independent Tech

Yahoo! on Thursday said it will let software makers sell programs known as widgets at a Connected TV store for televisions imbedded with the firm's Internet technology.

"We are adding a very tangible monetization element to the Connected TV platform that didn't exist before by giving developers and publishers the opportunity to create paid widgets," said Yahoo! marketing executive Russ Schafer.

Applications currently offered for Connected TV sets are given away free. The programs can generate money from users through transactions such as subscriptions or charging for video downloads.

An online Connected TV Store in March of next year will let developers charge for applications, with Yahoo! getting 30 percent of the money.

The Sunnyvale, California-based Internet firm invited developers to begin submitting applications for the Connected TV Store.

"I think it will open up the world for a lot of other applications," Schafer said. "Categories that make sense include games; they are easy to use and take advantage of those big, beautiful screens."

Early this month, Yahoo! and Samsung raised their bet that television viewers want to easily link to websites such as Facebook without having the entire Web crammed into TV sets.

The faded Internet star and the South Korean consumer electronics giant announced they will sell Yahoo! Connected TV sets in 26 more countries in Europe.

That raised to 39 the number of countries where Samsung sells television sets embedded with Yahoo! software widgets that let users connect over the Internet to favorite websites such as Facebook or eBay.

Yahoo! and Samsung launched their Connected TV partnership at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early 2009.

Sony, Vizio, Toshiba, and LG Electronics are among the heavyweights that make televisions embedded with Yahoo! software widgets.

Yahoo! is building on its strategy as Google weighs into the arena with Logitech boxes or Sony televisions that merge broadcast, cable, and online content.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs unveiled a second-generation Apple TV in September at an event in San Francisco.

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