The NABs authoritative new book by Allison Dollar contains a wealth of useful information and insight on the status and future of interactive TV. Included is some discussion of coactive TV and how this unconventional perspective suggests some important directions for the future. That material is based on interviews with Richard Reisman in October 2002.
Some extracts from the coverage of coactive TV on pages 109-111:
According to Reisman there are different forms of interaction. ...[The less commonly recognized] form is indirect interaction with content that is in some way related to the program being watched. Reisman says this coactivity is sophisticated multi-tasking, and believes that it will mold TV for some time to come
Reisman has found that current two-screen experiences are user-hostile in that they are designed to constrain coactivity, limiting the viewers options in order to focus them on the program in the interests of a presumed one-screen future. He points out that users already surf, time-shift and multi-task...
In Reismans view the Web is far more than a test bed [for iTV]. Instead he says it is:
the matrix for the next stage of TV evolution. One-screen service has its place, but for coactive multitasking with content that is tangentially related to what is on TV, a second screen will often be preferable. One-screen viewing of enhancements may come to be seen as no more than a compromise one makes for convenience, much like Web access on a PDA. The TV industry would be wise to recognize the Web... ...apart from the foolish business models, the connective magic of the Web remains transformative and continues to grow in power. The TV industry has gained time to learn how to meet the Web -- but meet it it will.
Additional coverage on pages 97-98 includes Reismans observation that wireless laptops, PDAs, or new TabletPC devices provide a nearly ideal second screen for iTV functions at no cost.
Details on this important book and how to order it are at the NAB Store OnlineiTV: INTERACTIVE TELEVISION: Tracking and Preparing for an Emerging iTV Market AUTHOR: Allison Dollar
Co-president of the Interactive Television Alliance (ITA), an iTV industry trade organization, and a principal in the iTV firm, 2degree Partners of Santa Monica, CA
The rollout of interactive television in the U.S. is inevitable.
iTV: Interactive TV tracks media trends and technology developments in the U.S. and Europe. Interactive services, programming and advertising will transform today's $60B television advertising business by stimulating further growth and multiplying revenues many times over.
Empirical evidence from iTV trends, case studies and overseas developments all point toward an iTV future with a far-reaching, lucrative impact on the U.S. media business. iTV profits will come from two sources - consumers and advertisers. Keys for media industry stakeholders lie in flexible business models and development of the sophisticated metrics systems advertisers require. Successful iTV developers will be those actively exploiting cross-platform distribution of iTV content, coupled with creative programming, marketing, advertiser packaging.
iTV is a totally new media environment with challenges on many fronts. Technology, legal, political, social, creative and cultural issues have slowed deployment to date. Long-term, iTV profits will not come from "new" television business models but from adaptable re-combinations and/or hybrids of existing models/ forms found in the current media market such as Advertising, Sponsorship, Pay-Per-View and Subscription. iTV will transform these basic models into advanced Transactional and Direct Response tools for more precise targeting and consumer marketing.
Eventual iTV winners will be companies fully exploiting cross-platform distribution and fostering cooperation between programmers, marketers and advertisers. Easier said than done, but to flourish going forward media companies don't have any other choice - iTV is the future.
PUBLICATION DATE: March 19, 2003
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