How Interested Are People In Interactive TV?

from the no,-really... dept

Since before the web even existed, we’ve been hearing stories about how interactive TV was “the next big thing.” However, throughout trial after trial after trial, it always turned out that people didn’t actually care much for interactive TV. Perhaps that’s because, in most cases, it wasn’t so much “interactive” as it was “enhanced TV.” The real interactivity was found online, which was a totally different environment than TV. However, the believers are back once again, saying that 27% of households are clamoring for interactive TV — though, the definition of interactive TV seems way too broad to be even remotely useful: things “such as voting on games shows, targeted advertising and gaming.” Also, the article seems to suggest that IPTV is interactive TV, when that’s not true at all. IPTV may make it easier to do interactive TV, but initially it certainly sounds like it’s just going to copy regular TV (in much the same way most VoIP providers just copy regular phone service). IPTV certainly has the potential to offer more interactive TV, but it would certainly help quite a bit if someone could figure out exactly what interactive TV people actually want. If it’s just “voting on game shows,” we’ve already got that with our phones and SMS. If it’s just gaming, we’ve already got that with our consoles. If it’s just targeted advertising, then… um… wait… do people really just want that?

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Comments on “How Interested Are People In Interactive TV?”

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El Gordo says:

From the UK

Based on the UK market (62% of households have the capability to receive iTV) the most used services are,

– Betting/Gambling – the biggest revenue generator for the service operators and broadcasters (networks). This is both fixed odds betting on sports and other events, as well as table games, card games and fruities (slots).

– Gaming – Everything from simple parlour games, platform games, RPG, racing games and the lsit goes on. Obviosuly they aren’t the advanced games you seee on consoles, but can be just as playable and addictive. Some are free, especially the ones provided by Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. However there are some you have to pay for and there are gaming portals that make money.

– enhanced TV – providing viewers the ability to access extra information and video or audio streams related to the current TV programme. Works very well for sports and documentaries, and to an extent high-value, large-budget brand advertising, from the like of BMW and nike.

El Gordo

Billco says:

Re: From the UK

In the UK the majority has sky dishes/boxes with the ability to “press red now to go interractive” – but nobody bothers with it. People only bought the packages so they could see sports. In fact the only advanced features really used are the programming schedule menus and timers, and even then not so much. The only part of interractive TV with a future is programmes on demand – which will probably do better on the internet anway in the long run.

El Gordo says:

Re: No interactive TV

I think it is dangerous to categorise the viewing public as one homogenous group of “people”. From 2 year olds to 100 year olds, different technology, devices, services will appeal to different segments of the population. You will also see defferences in appeal and adoption across different countries and even in different areas of a country.

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