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"...and see the video announcement of the research / teaching at MIT Media Lab and BT that has kicked off to explore their vision of a TV future which I am delighted to say ITV is bringing to British television viewers today. I have been a huge admirer of MIT and the Media Lab since Nicholas Negroponte and colleagues from London’s Royal College of Art helped shape it in the 80s. I am thrilled that those supersmart scientists in Boston Mass. agree with us that this is truly a game-changer and well worthy of exploration and invention."
Contagious Magazine in the UK writes the following:
British broadcaster ITV is set take the World Cup online with an immersive digital experience, ITV Live. The digital fan zone, accessible via the web during the World Cup launch, provides users of the free service with a grid-style home page where they can edit a series of screens, displayed in three-by-three format, featuring live streams, video, photo and news content, real-time chat and live data in handy widget format.
The service is ready to roll out across a wide base of ITV output after the World Cup pilot, with the network's buzz shows such as X Factor likely to be a natural fit.
Contagious caught up with Dominic Cameron - former ITV.com MD and the man behind the 'Project TIPsy' system powering ITV Live - last week to talk about the opportunities.
'We've noticed in the last couple of years that people are more and more using devices and laptops while watching shows. The willingness to engage is just incredible', says Cameron, who worked with London-based production company Monterosa in bringing the platform online.
Interestingly enough - Cameron states a point that I have been also considering for some time - that brands will likely be buying into TV landscape in the future rather than playing interrupt TV with commercials, which will become more and more obsolete as we move to entertainment in the cloud - or ondemand TV. My kids, in the near future, will laugh about, in the past, when they had to come home to watch a certain program at a certain time.
"The advantages [for brands] are numerous. ITV can't advertise during the game but here we can bring brands in by sponsoring a widget or replays. This is also engagement par excellence. Online is an area where people are engaging very directly with content. If this was a daytime show, people could ask what [presenter] Holly Willoughby was wearing, and they could then take people into the clothing collection and then even onto buying an item, for example." Cameron told Contagious.
I wrote earlier this year about one screen Google Connected TV, not two screen as both Cameron and Marie-Jose Montpetit (MIT Media Lab) support over a singular Social TV screen experience:
....I could buy elective (opt in and opt out) landscape around particular program for TV Widgets for shows or even entire channels. It might be a custom widget built in Android or could even be some kind of Chrome extension. It could be Contextual Advertising based on the show’s content, it could be Behavioral Targeting based on the viewer’s preferences and habits, it could be Location Based Advertising (LBA), based on the viewer’s lat and long via IP, or it could be Experience Marketing (full fledged TV experiences).
According to our poll here at Appmarket.tv the two screen solution has more supporters than the single screen - however most people feel there will be a mix of both. I think two screen via mobile and tablets will help bridge us over the horizon - and I think that will lie in highly advanced 'lean back' tooling from Logitech, who are building firmware for Google TV. Connected TV and true Web/TV convergence, rather than dumbing down the web for TV will be the future.
Cameron and his team are now in the final stages of testing and are "...just chomping at the bit to see what ITV’s passionate football audiences think of it, and what they tell us we should add and improve, when we switch it on for the first time during the World Cup."
I say good luck lads and congrats to Dominic for forging ahead in the Social TV space. And kudos to Tom McDonnell from Monterosa whom I met at Social TV Forum in London earlier this year.