Wednesday, September 05, 2001

The Future for Couch Potatoes ~ by Gina Larson and Courtney Pulitzer

An industry that has yet to hit its stride was being discussed and celebrated on Wednesday, September 5th. About 120 people showed up to hear a panel on iTV. Digital Media Wire co-founder and CEO Ned Sherman was out from California helping to promote the event with the help of New York's own iLounge. When I caught up with him after then main event at the stylish lounge, Virot, he was helping panel-member Tim Larcombe, the regional president of, up at the bar. The reception followed what both described as a successful discussion. Lydia Loizides, an analyst at Jupiter Media Metrix was also there at Verizon, where the panel discussion took place. She said that the biggest problems facing the industry is the same as in most emerging industries: standards. "A lot of demand is being places on the programmers right now," she said, as some unidentified gentleman retrieved us a drink so that we could talk shop. 

 Eric Ashman, a tech consultant who was a co-founder of USWeb likened iTV today to what the Internet was in 1990. "There were companies out there doing research, but they were not making any money. That's kind of the same picture that we have today." Other attendees who were also in attendance to hear other's perspectives were The FeedRoom's VP & GM Robertson Barrett and Excite@Home's Affiliate Operations director Andi Zuckerman. 

Chip Lewis, who is heading up the Metro Channels video-on-demand deployment felt the panel was interesting, but could've been better. New Jersey-based Preferred Data's CEO Brian Rice and Customer Relations VP David Young thought this was the best iLounge they'd been at thus far. Schneider Shapiro's Scott Shapiro compared the ITV industry today to the way Silicon Alley was in 1995 with all the experimentation that went on. 

Cybergold's strategic accounts Director Brad Barton has been speaking about ITV since 1988 and still had a lot to say. He spoke at length to me while I managed to obtain business cards of Computer Savers Inc.'s COO Marc Katz and Asset Development Corporation's marketing VP John Dunmar. They also felt the panel was "good." Solbright's Arthur McKinley and I chatted for a while. Xportical's COO Jeffrey Erb, who was in from Philly, re-introduced me to the president of "Philly's best PR firm"-Garfield Group's Gretchen Roede and one of her SAE's-- Paul Alfieri. Uber geekette-around-town, Jen Runne, came up to me to tell me her perspective on the evening's topic and her hot-spot choices for the remainder of the evening. She predicts it will be six years before ITV is profitable.