Tuesday, October 24, 2000

Interactive TV Development ~ by Mary Dawne Arden

The Roosevelt Hotel hosted Myers Forum for Interactive TV Development on October 24th. Jack Myers chief economist and CEO of the Myers Reports, Inc., brought together a diverse group of major companies, advertisers, producers and Internet companies to look at this quickly emerging part of the ever-changing media world. Included were exhibits and demos from Microsoft TV, WebTV, ReplayTV, Worldgate, Game Show Network, Canal+ US Technologies, ClickRadio, TiVo, Gamut and many more.

Jonathan Leess, SVP, GM and executive producer of the Enhanced Television division of the Walt Disney Internet Group made an outstanding presentation about Disney and ABC Interactive. He talked about how early live TV in the 1950s featured live commercials and lots of interaction between the viewers and the sponsors in concepts and execution. Some examples he gave were the dancing cigarette box, which was actually a dancer with great legs dressed up in a box. Dinah Shore was also noteworthy for her singing the famous jingle "See the USA in your Chevrolet." Leess said that creativity and new ways of involving viewers in interactive TV will push the medium's growth very quickly in the next few years.

Decker Anstrom, CEO of The Weather Channel, talked about all the things The WC is doing with interactive TV. Seventy-seven million viewers prove that weather is a natural for this kind of information. Bruce Goerlich and Tim Hanlon of Starcom Worldwide, a new advertising media giant, talked about a whole new approach to integrated marketing using all forms of media, including ITV. They stressed the importance of utilizing new approaches to advertising as the future of media.

All in all, this is an industry destined for explosive growth in the very near future! How near? Nobody knows!