Alliances to create internet access through the third screen

So far the Internet is mainly being accessed through the PC and the mobile devices. In the latest step in the digital convergence we see that also a third screen is going to provide access to the Internet: the Television. A device already in the living room for a couple of decades. So why not use it to access the Internet through a lean backward mode using the TV remote from the couch?

A couple of companies are already entering this area, we’ve recently seen Yahoo announcing their widgets and now Philips announces their Net TV. From Spring 2009 onwards every Philips TV in the 8000 series, 9000 series and Cinema 21:9 will be equipped with the option to link into the Internet and provide easy access to services and content from the Internet. The Net TV Portal brings together local and international content and services, and lets users navigate and select with the click of one button on the remote control on Philips’ simple user interface. Net TV’s personalization features enable users to select their favorites, and their preferred language and country.

However, just announcing Net TV capabilities on the TV is not sufficient to create a successful access to the Internet on the TV. To allow the easy access from the remote control instead of a keyboard and to allow properly viewable content from a convenient TV watching distance an eco system of partners is required. And so Philips collaborated with IBM to design and develop the new services portal of the Net TV feature enables consumers to select from a wide range of available online services such as sharing videos, viewing photos, and to check real-time local traffic, news and weather. The Net TV portal manages the television’s access to content and Internet services provided by Net TV content partners, and allows new content providers to easily add their services. The content partners are another essential element of the eco system to succeed with Net TV. At launch of Net TV Philips seem to have signed up with a broad set of partners including local newspapers, YouTube and Buienradar.

This all requires not only the right vision to come up with a concept like this, but also requires the alliance capabilities and a broad network in the (media) industry to get it all organized. Looking at it from that perspective the Net TV offering is a true alliance, a multi-dimensional market orchestrating alliance to deliver the consumer with internet access through the television, turning it into a smart television.