Our previous feature stated that Netflix was the current killer app on connected TVs and Blu-Ray players. That point is made clear from the ubiquity of the Netflix app on pretty much every device available. With CE manufacturers playing “retail logo bingo” and consumers making purchase decisions based mostly on co-branding logos, online manufacturer marketing materials, and other consumer reviews, we predict that the fall 2010 will bring a new have to have logo onto the electronics retailers shelve’s. Skype.
The TV apps platforms are maturing and the default application suites that weeeeee like to call “fodder for the demosphere” are soon to be a memory. We just don’t see folks playing Majong Fruits and Sudoko during their TV time. “Video Applications” like Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster, Roxio etc. are the widgets and applications that are actually being used. To be honest, we don’t know what application, or type of application is in the number two spot. Our guess would be “Audio Apps” like Rhapsody and Pandora. We feel strongly that Skype will soon occupy this spot. Skype will also be the “other” logo that consumers will be looking for as a “have to have” application on their Blu-Ray players and connected TVs in 2010. Like Netflix, if the Skype logo is missing from the device packaging or the pop up card still shipped in every box, its just not going to sell.
Bringing VOIP, chat, and teleconferencing into the living room will surely revolutionize this space. Bringing it in the form of Skype allows consumers to access all of the devices where other Skype clients exist. Mobile phones, PCs, etc. Bringing your loved ones right into your living room is feature that will be in high demand. No longer will tiny heads block your view of Grandma as you crowd for screen space. Obviously chat and VOIP are a tougher sell, but heck, running a PC to host your “Magic Jack” is likely more power consuming and expensive than keeping your TV on to take and make calls, so who knows! Look out Magic Jack, here comes TV VOIP Via Skype. TVOIP. SkyTVp. VOIPTV. Sum’pin like that…Panasonic was the first to announce Skype capability in its Viera Cast app suite at CES. Others will surely follow.