US viewers 'not ready to interact with TV'

Viewers have put play-along games accompanying TV quiz shows at the top of the list of most popular interactive television services in a survey conducted in the US by Lyra Research. But Lyra's report, Participatory TV: 2005 Interactive-TV Interest, suggests many viewers in the US are not yet ready to interact with their TVs.

Lyra asked more than 400 viewers to rank their level of interest in 15 different interactive television applications. Viewers gave their highest preferences to play-along games accompanying Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, giving them a score of 3.3 out of a maximum 5.

Most applications—including choosing programming endings; placing bets and ordering items were ranked below 3 (neither interested, nor not interested at all). Voting came in at 3.1 and sending/receiving e-mails scored 3.

Steve Hoffenberg, Lyra's director of electronic media research, said: "For companies developing iTV technology and for networks creating iTV shows, the immediate priority is often to pursue ambitious revenue-seeking opportunities.

"But at this early stage of iTV in the US market, most consumers are still not ready to respond to their TVs, as evidenced by our survey's generally low iTV-interest ratings. Focusing on features that appeal the most to viewers, however, will foster consumer comfort with iTV—the revenue opportunities will follow."

Full scorings (interest level: 1=not at all interested, 5=extremely interested):

  • Direct outcome of program (eg, choose endings): 2.6
  • Play along with game shows (eg, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune): 3.3
  • Vote on questions (eg, favorite performer): 3.1
  • Watch extras about movies or programmess: 3.0
  • Watch multiple channels at once: 2.9
  • Play basic video games (trivia/card games): 2.8
  • Play advanced video games (racing/action): 2.7
  • Play networked video games (distant opponents): 2.4
  • Place bets on sporting events: 1.7
  • See info about products shown in ads: 2.4
  • Order products shown in ads: 2.4
  • See info about songs played on programs: 2.9
  • Order music files/CDs of songs on programs: 2.6
  • Order pizza/food for delivery: 2.8
  • Send/receive e-mail/instant messages: 3.0

Meanwhile, UK television viewers aged four to nine are apparently the most likely to access interactive services on digital TV, according to audience research body Barb.

The 25-34 age group also appears to have been won over by red-button services, which can offer games, videos, extra advertising and interactive voting.

But older viewers were more reluctant to press red, the study found. Barb also found 44% of children claim to watch more than four hours of TV on a weekday.

Lovelacemedia  |  07.04.2005

Previous story  |  Next story