The iTV Doctor Is In!: Viewers "Let Their Dijits Do The Walking"

Dear Readers:

As our business expands at light-speed, and viewers' options increase at a multiple thereof, it is insanely difficult for a television network to attract viewers. That's why I was intrigued when I recently sat down briefly with Jeremy Toeman, CEO of Dijit Media. Jeremy has developed an exciting and unique tool for networks to capture viewers on their Web site, and eventually everywhere else. It's easy, quick and, if Jeremy is right, soon to be ubiquitous. With apologies to the old Yellow Pages ad, I think many viewers are going to let their Dijits do the walking...

iTV Doctor: Jeremy, we all read your recent press announcements about a number of TV networks using the Dijit Reminder Button to build audience. What's that all about?

Jeremy Toeman: It's pretty straightforward: the single most important thing to any TV network is audience--people watching their shows. They spend literally billions of dollars on marketing and promotion every year, yet its getting harder and harder to reach potential viewers. Further, the tried and true methods of "coming Sundays to <insert network name here> this Fall" is decreasingly effective with people who are more and more distracted than ever before.

iTV Doctor: Gotcha. Tell us a little about Dijit. What do you do? How long have you done it?

Jeremy Toeman: Dijit offers what we call an Audience Engagement Platform, basically an end-to-end platform to help TV networks reach audiences, and help people find and watch shows they are interested in. Our tools sit inside the promotional campaigns the networks run, online, offline, mobile, social, Web, etc., and also interact directly with viewers in the form of NextGuide, a TV discovery application for iOS and Web.

iTV Doctor: I see you're live with a few networks, with more on the way. How can my readers find the Dijit Reminder Button and play with it? (We all love to play with TV toys!)

Jeremy Toeman: It's as easy as going to FOX.com, BBCAmerica.com, or truTV.com, finding a show they already love or are curious about watching in the future, and tapping on the "Remind Me To Watch" button. You can sign up with an email address or use Facebook connect, and that's it--you're done!

iTV Doctor: What kind of results do you and your TV network partners have so far?

Jeremy Toeman: Well, in the few weeks since it went live, the signups are going great--I can't comment on the numbers so far, but they are exactly in the right direction with our plans. More important for us at this stage is engagement--people who get the reminders have a high likelihood to open the email and click on the show for more info. In fact, for some recent season premieres, we saw as high as 56% open rate (typical for any given episode is about 37% right now). This is really exciting, as it validates the concept exactly as we were hoping.

iTV Doctor: What kind of data can you provide to the networks? How about to their advertisers?

Jeremy Toeman: We provide what we call "Intent to Watch" data--basically we are trying to predict viewing behaviors based on what people say they want to watch, not by survey, but by action. If you think about other TV data offerings, they are either based on Past viewing behaviors (for example Nielsen) or Current viewing (such as Twitter)--this is great and obviously incredibly valuable data. We bring a whole new way of looking at the picture by building Intent metrics around our audiences. As audiences increasingly adopt new methods of watching TV, such as binge viewing and TV everywhere experiences, we believe understanding Intent is essential in the future of TV and data.

iTV Doctor: Big question: How do you make money?

Jeremy Toeman: We make money the same way many others in the TV industry do--advertising and data. On the ads side, it starts with "tune-in" (or TV promotions) campaigns. The entertainment industry spent over $1.5 billion last year on digital promotions, basically banner ads and social campaigns, all trying to reach audience. The problem is most of that spend is what we'd call "spray and pray"--highly untargeted advertising. In our platform, TV networks can specifically target their audience and reach them at a point where they are actively seeking out TV shows. The best part is we can even correlate promotions to viewership, which has always been a major obstacle in the industry. Our data business isn't available to anyone but our partners yet, but our Intent to Watch and correlative data is a big part of our future revenue model.

iTV Doctor: Will we see you at TVOT in New York on December 11th?

Jeremy Toeman: Wouldn't miss it!

 

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The iTV Doctor is Rick Howe, who provides interactive video consulting services to programmers, advertisers and technology providers. He is the recipient of a CTAM Tami Award for retention marketing and this year was inducted into The 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 TheiTVDoctor@gmail.com