iTV about to explode? Explode is a rather strong word

Update, Andreas Rolle was very kind to respond in the comments below. Mr. Rolle thank you for taking the time to respond to a blog that is written under a brand instead of an author. It is appreciated.

He pushed me towards some data from both eMarketer and Harris that I had not seen:

72% of those who watch reality TV shows want to interact with those shows
65% of those who watch sporting events on TV want to interact with those events
66% of viewers want to interact with commercial advertising
50% of those who watch drama TV shows indicated that they would be interested in interacting with those shows

Those are very solid numbers in terms of viewer desires and ones that deserve consideration. I erred in my quick review of available data.

However, this still leaves the question of: “What is the product implementation and adoption to answer these desires?”

I agree more with Mr. Rolle’s clarification statement, “I do, however, think there will be great opportunities for marketers when and if interactive TV is widely adopted.”

I concur with Mr. Rolle’s statement, where I disagree is whether there is an explosion and if marketers should use production resources on the medium yet.


Happened across a post today at Clickz with the following headline, Is Interactive TV About to Explode?

Everytime I come across a post, typically on Clickz, even if it is advertorial in nature, I feel the need to make sure the data behind the post is accurate.

I’ll spare the readers of this blog any long diatribe, however I will call out the author of the article Andreas Roell.

The data: “Seven out of 10 viewers surveyed by Harris Interactive last November and December already utilize their remotes to make their television watching experiences more dynamic.”

And that’s it.

So I did a quick Google search. Not a blog search, not an eMarketer search. Merely a Google search. Here’s what I found in 3.9 seconds.

State of the IPTV Market 2007, by Daily IPTV
Key point: There’s hope.

The Telecommunication News reports on a 2007 Forrester Report
Key point: The 35% of viewers who use electronic program guides access them an average of 4.7 times a day.

These are two very very strong data points.

Lest you think I have just come about this topic and don’t know much of what I am talking about, I will calm your fears.

In 2001, I worked with a renowned cable research firm (and did some manual surveying) to find out that less than 1% intended to use their remote control for anything other than changing the station.

In 2002, I wrote an article suggesting that there was a place for “leanback” tv interaction and looked at companies like Open and Meta about their plans….even Liberate.

I was a believer.

The world, apologies, the media has been waiting for interactive TV for some time now. The issue, in this writer’s mind….

There is no keyboard on your remote.

I can’t read the text if I am sitting back in a chair.

GemStar is not Google; nor is Tivo or anything else that has a decent UI. Though I am a BuddyTV believer (but that’s on the Web too).

The computer is a better investment for a child or teenager than a TV in their room.

Oh, and we already have “interactive TV.” It’s called the Xbox, Wii and that’s how we dynamically interact with the TV in a manner that improves the UI and the “dynamic” content experience.

Despite all the “data” suggesting otherwise, I would place my bets on Web growth still at this point.

For the marketers readling Clickz, probably best at this point to save your production budgets for advertising with more adoption.


1 comment so far

  1. Andreas Roell on

    Thanks for reading and commenting on my ClickZ column. I know you are a little hesitant about the statistic I quoted, so I wanted to give you the source. The Harris Interactive survey was cited in an eMarketer article published on January 28, 2008—the link is below.

    I know you have personal knowledge about the industry, and I agree with you that wagering on Web growth over interactive TV growth is a safer bet. I do, however, think there will be great opportunities for marketers when and if interactive TV is widely adopted. Thanks again for your comments.

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