Broadcast TV is not about to perish but interactivity will assume an
important role. Edited by Mairi Clark
Will Internet services eventually replace broadcast TV?
The Internet could only replace broadcast TV if it offered the same
thing better or cheaper. Whether it is better or cheaper is a moot
point, however, because it is definitely not the same thing. The
Internet has many strengths, entertainment not among them. The
technology is improving fast, but no amount of squeezing signals down
phone lines will make the Internet a credible alternative to TV. We
spend three- and-a-half hours a day watching television, for the
pleasure of high-quality, passive, shared, entertainment. If anyone has
spent three- and-a-half hours actively enjoying themselves on the
Internet, they should think themselves lucky that their secure hospital
is so well-equipped.
Andy McIntosh email@example.com
Consumers have always been drawn to content that interests them, TV
didn’t make radio obsolete and home video didn’t make cinema obsolete.
Interactive services will not replace broadcast TV - but live alongside
it. Consumers want to try out the interactive services, but if new media
owners want to ensure that their audience’s experiences with these
services meet expectations and are anything less than transient, the
challenge is to create loyalty through an experience and innovative
content that at least matches that of other established media channels.
Ajaz Ahmed, director, AKQA firstname.lastname@example.org
Ever wondered if people asked whether TV would replace radio in the
past? You bet they did. As each new medium has been introduced there has
always been a camp evangelising its potential to change communications
and another dismissing it as a fad. Both have normally been wrong.
Interactivity is not a panacea which will improve every type of media
experience. There are pleasures to be gained from passive experiences
such as watching broadcast TV and listening to the radio. Interactive
services will come to play an increasing part in our lives and broadcast
services will remain.
James Tarin, interactive communications director, Chilcott Le Fevre
Today’s PC-using surfers are generally intolerant of advertising on the
Web. At best it is seen to be irrelevant and at worst it is an obstacle.
In the living room, however, people are more relaxed and are generally
receptive to TV-based advertising. Far from sitting in a brave new world
of Internet-connected PCs, tomorrow’s successful interactive advertising
will complement traditional broadcast media and be TV-based. Interactive
services will be available as just another channel, and successful
advertisers will persuade users to interact with broadcast ads by
briefly switching channels and sending a response. They will augment
their campaign further by placing additional ads on a multimedia CD that
plays to the TV, and having the user select those ads interactively on
dates that tie in with the broadcast.
Andrew Orange, managing director, CD-online email@example.com
Digital technology will change the face of television. Eventually over
40 million UK TV sets will need either set-top boxes or in-built
decoders to access a proliferation of channels, including interactive
services. Already, interactivity in varying forms of sophistication is
here: Two Way TV enables Midlands homes to participate in quiz shows,
while 90,000 cable subscribers can watch Videotron’s interactive
channel. But will all this squeeze out broadcast television? Not
everyone will want to join in: some consumers won’t be able to afford
to, others will prefer not to. Many will want the sense of shared
experience which broadcast television provides. The appeal of the
broadcast experience will remain - the Cup Final or a Coronation Street
wedding, for example. The difference is some of us will have the choice
of six angles from which to view the goals, or ordering online a replica
Nigel Sheldon, J. Walter Thompson, firstname.lastname@example.org