Ichoose.TV claims to be Europe's first internet network of
entertainment videos. In reality, it is less of a network and more of a
platform which farms out syndicated content. But it does this well.
The user must first log in and provide the site with the all-important
info for the advertisers - age, sex, e-mail address and so on. This data
is supplied so, as we're told: 'We never have to see an ad that wasn't
meant for us again!'
The front page is simple and clear with 'channels' offering content on
music, film (but no major films, just trailers), fashion, comedy, games,
travel and so on. You simply click through to your area of choice and
pick a streaming video clip. What is a welcome change here is that you
can also choose the platform it comes in on - either Real or Windows
Media, although there's no mention of Quick Time.
You can also 'schedule your own content' selecting from the approximate
1,000 video clips available - creating a personal playlist and even give
a name to your own 'station'.
Ads are placed in front of every clip you select and, cleverly, cannot
by skipped through. You have to watch them. Ichoose.TV does not,
therefore, have to rely on banner ads.
One problem is that the site relies on other people's content and so
quality control must be an issue - users will only revisit if the
standard is reasonably high. Additionally, by hinging the entire site
proposition on streaming video, Ichoose.TV could alienate itself from
home users who only have 56k modems. Those who have tried it know that
watching streaming media with this level of connection when America is
awake and online is very frustrating. People at work with access to the
company-leased line will love it.
One big plus is that, if it is successful, this will translate into
interactive television without missing a beat.
Target audience: The net generation. Bored workers with net access.
Principals: Launched in January 2000 by Ladybird Technologies, a
subsidiary of Ladybird Capital. Stephen Coleman is the chief financial
officer, Steve Wild is the vice-president of advertising sales and
Anthony van Someren is the vice-president of programming and creative.
Adrian Workman is the chief executive.
Funding: Ladybird Capital invested pounds 2.5 million.
Marketing: Initially relied on carriage partners such as ntlworld, who
marketed the site to subscribers. Joint targeted press and PR campaigns
with carriage and content providers such as EMI - using artists to
Competitors: Competitors generally have niche offerings only - either in
music or movies such as mymovies.com. QuickTime offers its own built-in
channels as does Real and Windows Media.
THE YEAR AHEAD - Excellent prospects
Word-of-mouse should be a friend of Ichoose.TV. The continued success of
the site will depend upon content quality and promotion. If this is
invested in, then all should be well. Interactive TV beckons.