Posted by: singularlogic | April 21, 2009

The Race to Interactive Entertainment

Guest Post by Albert Maruggi

One of the topics highlighted Monday at the National Association of Broadcasters was the landscape of TV 2.0. TV 2.0 includes more interactivity in choosing content, whether that content is linear, viewed in a scheduled time slot, or on-demand. The two major entities competing for this TV 2.0 land grab are cable and the web.

In a panel, two Gartner analysts, Andrew Frank and Mike McGuire, discussed the pros and cons of each TV 2.0 player. The web players have momentum on their side, an increasing number of consumers are using the web for entertainment and watching TV shows and movies online. Is mainstream America willing to trade their remote for a mouse? In advertising lingo, lean forward means a consumer that is actively seeking information and lean back is a consumer taking the information that is offered to him or her in a more relaxed and passive manner. The lean forward experience, up to this point, has been mostly done on the web. However that’s changing, take my teenage children who are on the web for a lean back experience. My daughter loves CSI all day all the time, and the other number 1 son enjoys borrowed movies (is that legal?) and Hulu offerings.

In either case, the $64,000, well it’s really a lot more than $64,000, but the big question is who pays for this content? Advertising was the unanimous choice on this panel to remain regardless of medium, the major financial support of content. Although, by the almost same margin of agreement, they said advertising will change. Andrew Frank, Research VP for Gartner, who covers marketing and advertising highlighted some interesting ways advertising may change

1) e-Commerce – with an interactive advertising environment buying stuff becomes easy, this is a reality of sorts on the web. It will become more so there, and work its way to set top boxes in the near future.
2) Long form advertising content, “advertorials” of some kind will be tested in an interactive landscape.
3) Cable technology innovations as being considered by Canoe Ventures with it’s Cable Advanced Advertising System (CAAS) which will unify cable operators into a national footprint that can also create local broadcast targeting to zipcode + four.

In any case content is still king, but as platforms become more interactive, advertising can become more relevant. I had a great conversation with Harold Geller Senior VP of Cross Industry Workflow for the American Association of Advertising Agencies. His focus is on content, and believes we are in exciting times for innovation and interaction. Grab your popcorn, remote and keyboard, it’s going to be a great ride!

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