The iTV Doctor Is In!: Arthur Orduna, Bill Seely and Ellen Dudar Go Back to the Future

Dear Readers:

This is the second in a short series of commentaries from contributors to The iTV Doctor's columns over the last eight months. We've asked each to add their perspective on the following scenario. The third and final part will be published on next week.

The iTV Doctor

Dateline: December 22, 2012 - Well, we got past the Mayan "end of the world" prophecy and the world didn't end. In point of fact, our little corner of the world--interactive television--is doing quite nicely, thank you. We have dozens of enhanced/interactive television programs airing every night in over 60 million homes; advertisers have stepped up, and are now paying a healthy premium for interactive spots; and
viewers now EXPECT interactivity in their favorite shows--it's just part of the experience.

What was the single most significant factor that led to this success?

From Arthur Orduna, Canoe Ventures

What was the single most significant factor that led to iTV's success in 2012?

We see the widespread adoption and deployment of EBIF as the key driver leading to the success of iTV. Programmers and advertisers have been enhancing their shows, events and ads with EBIF-based applications and services. Millions of TV viewers across the US have embraced the chance to interact in new and creative ways discovered by content owners.

These last several years have proven the value of scalable, standards-based iTV applications, and we've seen the TV business re-energized with innovation led by cable. And making it all happen? The technology, service and application providers who hung in there and believed in the power of iTV and the ever-increasing value of television.

From Bill Seely, Practical Marketing Analytics

What was the single most significant factor that led to iTV's success in 2012?

Two forces came together to enable the explosive growth in interactive television. The first driver was the widespread adoption of standards and automation. Without them, the cost and complexity of deploying and maintaining interactive applications would still be prohibitive.

The second and most important factor that drove the interactive television boom was that iTV builders and their clients began to understand and design for what makes iTV really irresistible to viewers--what kind of experience and content they crave. Tapping into massive viewer adoption made iTV the success story we all now love to tell--the overnight success that took decades to happen. And the irresistible design was always right in front of us--the programs themselves. After years of false starts, trying to create new and unique experiences, content producers began to design the interactive experience before they shot the program. They made the interactive enhancement part of the program, so that the television experience now includes light, and sound, and interactivity. That's the way it is in 2012.

From Ellen Dudar, FourthWall Media

What was the single most significant factor that led to iTV's success in 2012?

As predicted by millions of American television viewers, the world did not end yesterday. Television viewers not only fueled the economic recovery through shared dialogue leading to increased consumer confidence, they assuaged fears that the end of the Mayan calendar foretold doom versus the need for an additional tablet.

As advertisers saw spikes in TV advertising measurement for retail and auto with normal demand for survival supplies, they became true believers in the new media watercooler effect. The one-on-one conversations fostered between consumers, advertisers, and programmers herald in one of the best holiday seasons this country has seen in years. While the polls show a few outliers remain, reminding us of the end of the Linux epoch in 2038 and January 1,10,000, the first five-digit year, the vast majority of Americans are confident that the future is bright.

Some give credit to the ubiquitous EBIF CableLabs specification for saving the world, while others attribute our success and security to the connections and conversations made possible through this breakthrough cable technology on the most popular consumer electronics device--the beloved television.

Either way, this season is very merry.



The iTV Doctor is *Rick Howe*, who provides interactive television consulting services to programmers and advertisers. He is the recipient of a CTAM Tami Award for retention marketing and this year was nominated to Cable Pioneers. He is also the co-author of a patent for the use of multiscreen mosaics in EPG's. Endorsed by top cable and satellite distributors, "Dr" Howe still makes house calls, and the first visit is always free. His services include product development, distribution strategy and the development of low-cost interactive applications for rapid deployment across all platforms. Have a question for the iTV Doctor? Email him at *

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