Every time you pick up a trade publication the focus on interactive is the internet. But many people are missing the big revolution occuring in media.
In this edition of the P3 e-news, Mark Chesterfield of P3 Media Benchmarks highlights the interactive media revolution that will arguably have a bigger impact on media than the internet.
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Although the Internet has grabbed the hearts and heads of the DOPEs (Digital Online Planners Extraordinaire) as THE interactive medium of choice, the subscription and FTA TV industries have quietly – some would suggest too quietly – been working their way in on the act.Red tape and red buttonsWhilst the FTA boys have been grappling with the cost of hardware and a complex array of regulatory red tape, the subscription business has been making significant inroads with its digital broadcasting products and inundating Foxtel subscribers with a ‘red button’ message that heralds the introduction of ‘true’ interactivity in this now mass market media space.Beyond programmingThe current applications revolve around key aspects of programming such as alternate camera views, localised weather reports, etc. and have been a proving ground for the much-touted digital interactive advertising opportunity.
Taking a number of leaves out of the BSkyB book, subscription’s advertising sales arm, MCN, is working on a range of advertising models including ‘impulse response’ ads placed at the end of a break that allow the viewer to view an extended commercial beyond the end of the break and into program time. Taking this a step further, viewers may be able to ‘step into’ another channel from a commercial link to view an in-depth exposition on brand or product values, usage occasions, etc. providing a communication opportunity well beyond the standard 30 second message.Pay per viewSubscription’s broad set-top base and determined drive for conversion from analogue to digital boxes has given them the necessary critical mass to springboard into this technology early. FTA, on the other hand, has had trouble getting their digitised act together, primarily on the basis of cost (digital TVs are mighty expensive and there is limited appeal to a set top box that
essentially ‘enhances’ the qualities of your current analogue TV set).Phone homeOf course, interactivity is all about consumers being able to respond to what they see – whether program or ad content. Return-path connectivity is the primary roadblock to response and earlier systems relied on a dedicated, linked phone line to complete the broadcast circuit. Some digital applications still rely on this system but it is a technological backwater and a relatively expensive one at
that.SMS successThe FTA industry has turned some of these deficiencies around with a new ‘art form’ in the guise of ‘vote via SMS’reality programming that allows viewers to become involved at levels and in numbers that are growing exponentially. The one problem with most of these systems is the time lag factor – consumers must wait some time before they get to see the results so that interactive
gratification is somewhat delayed.A new system – called SMS TV – has imported sophisticated technology that integrates into the networks’ internal systems to provide real-time responses to voting, gaming and a range of on-the-run polling activities.* Want to see who’s going to get voted out of the BB house tonight? Just SMS your vote and watch the little graph in the corner of the screen change before your eyes.
* Think Derryn’s had his last tango with Paris? Shoot him down with your mobile and SMS him off the show as you actually watch him waltz off the stage.SMS TV works for both subscription and FTA applications and is the first effective real-time interactive mass medium response mechanism in what will become an important part of most advertisers’ communication platforms.Keeping up with the JetsonsInteractivity has been a long time coming but there is no doubt it is here and growing in sophistication and accessibility for advertisers.Make sure your media (and creative) agency has a good handle on the progression of this technology and keeps you in the interactive loop rather than the reactive oops. Or contact P3 Media Benchmarks at firstname.lastname@example.org for a review of the
input and direction you’re being given in this or any other aspect of your media services.Clive Duncan joins P3TV
Clive Duncan is the new face of P3TV.
Clive has extensive experience both in Australia and South East Asia. He has worked in film production,
agencies and post production facilities for the past 20 years, most recently as Senior TV Producer for
As a former Director and DOP, Clive has a unique appreciation for the value of great creative and
outstanding production values, while also recognising the importance of delivering value for money
solutions to P3 clients.
Contact Darren Woolley or Clive Duncan today to talk about any upcoming tv productions.
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