I walked into my office this morning and saw somebody riding a bicycle through a village--apparently in Japan. Then I heard a sound to my left and turned towards it. There was a storefront--a florist--with customers, and a bird chirping. From behind me I hear water dripping and turn around to encounter a young woman dipping a drink from a bamboo spout--it reminded me of the scene from the end of "Kill Bill." And then I hear a car pull up beside me and turn towards it.
Dear iTV Doctor:
I read your columns about the necessity for second-screen providers to connect to operators' set-top boxes, and I'm a believer! Making that initial connection through the box, and then tracking the program with ACR (Automatic Content Recognition) is clearly the way to go. But I've just looked at one operator's Web site and seen the number of set-top boxes I have to connect to, and all of a sudden I'm not quite so enthusiastic. There a dozens of different boxes, and I don't have the expertise to figure them all out.
There has to be a better way.
I intended to write this wrap-up column on Second Screens and the Olympics on Monday. But the events of Saturday morning suggested to me that a preface was in order. Let me also say that, in additional to being a baseball junkie, I am a news junkie. And my college journalism mentor is never far from my shoulder.
Mitt Romney announced on Friday that he would be announcing his VP pick on Saturday morning from Norfolk, VA. All the news outlets--print, radio, television and digital--had plenty of advance notice.
We got some feed back from last week's column, particularly my comments about the future of ACR: While most agreed that set-top box (STB) sync is coming quickly, and has some distinct advantages, it appears that a combination of STB sync and ACR might actually deliver the best experience.
The ACTIVITY in the second-screen interactive television space is exploding. But, as with all fast-growing technology, the BUSINESS of second-screen interactive television has some open questions. The following interview asks some of those questions, a few of which remain unanswered.
I have a friend who is a skydiver. And while I occasionally doubt her sanity for engaging in such a risky pursuit, she tells me that virtually all skydiving deaths are caused by a cascading series of bad decisions. In skydiving you can survive one bad decision: failing to check and properly calculate wind speeds and directions. You might even survive a second bad decision: going ahead with your fancy maneuvers, even though the wind had changed. Your third bad decision can kill you: believing you can hit the original landing zone, even as you drift into the power line.
When Canoe Ventures decided to close down their iTV operation and concentrate on dynamic ad insertion for VOD, they made a decision to throw iTV advertising development and deployment back into the hands of the individual operators and programmers. That was probably the only reasonable business decision for the Canoe partners, given the slow pace of adoption of single-screen iTV advertising by the marketplace.
Next week we begin a series on Canoe Ventures. The collapse of Canoe was a shock to some, and overdue to others. But everybody has something to say, both on the record and off. And the iTV Doctor is all ears.
We've already gotten information on the timing of the Canoe decision--the degree to which a few business contracts expiring shortly hastened the decision. And how some key structural decisions in 2006/2007 may have doomed Canoe before it even launched.
[itvt] is pleased to present a video recording of the session, "Operators Look to Own the Second Screen," which was one of the highlights of our recent TVOT NYC Intensive event (took place December 5th in New York City).
The session was described in the TVOT NYC Intensive 2011 brochure as follows:
When I started on this column last week, we hoped to publish it on Monday night (for a Tuesday morning audience). Because of the heavy news load on Monday and again on Tuesday, we're now publishing on Wednesday night--just after the news about Canoe surfaced.
Last spring I moderated a TV of Tomorrow Show panel on Automatic Content Recognition (ACR). We had a number of up-and-coming companies represented, and a few of them have done quite well.
Of course, the company with the fastest start was IntoNow, represented by founder and CEO Adam Cahan. IntoNow arrived at TVOT fresh from announcing their acquisition by Yahoo!, and that created quite a bit of buzz. In fact, we spotted Adam conducting impromptu panels on just that topic during the breaks!