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  1. An experiment with interactive digital TVBo KousgaardDR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation)updated by Peter Olaf Looms

  2. [also a TV-programme for analogue viewers]

  3. Agenda • Background and the project history • From experiment to a full-blown television show • The interactive functions • ROFL on WWW and SMS • Audience research

  4. What was ROFL? • Infotainment: Current affairs and quiz • Target audience: 10-14 year olds • Junior version af well-know format • 20 shows - no. 01: 23 January 2001 • Everybody could see ROFL • Satellite • Cable • Aerial (analogue)

  5. How it all started • June 1998: need to clarify the added value of enhanced and interactive television for our viewers • ”The Digital Kitty”: Internal competition for a kitty of DEK 8 million [GBP 750,000] - the winner takes it all • November 1998: BetaLab wins the kitty but additional funding found for ”Digital Children” • February 1999 -> December 1999 • Experiment -> Closed trial

  6. ROFL - Objectives Original Objectives: • To validate a consumer show for 12-16 year olds in a closed field trial on digital cable • Evolution: digital added-value to existing analogue format

  7. Objectives • Parallel broadcasting analogue/digital • Research “added value” for viewers of digital television • To develop and transfer competencies • Public service at the leading edge

  8. Strategy • Concrete output • Validated format + plan for implementation • Based on something well-known • Target audience familiar with IT • Original format lent itself to interactivity • Simplicity > understanding > discussion > results

  9. Process: From concept to reality • Brainstorm - crazy ideas • 4D-real time-holography-virtual-community-powerful-end-to-end-solution-tool • Scoping • time, funding, technology • Technical framework >< Content

  10. Inspiration • Examples from other countries • Formula 1 from France • Wimbledon from the BBC • The Wheel of Fortune from TwoWay TV • None of these matched our ideas ...

  11. Prototypes • A rapid start with no major investments in technology • Dummy - Director and QuickTime • User tests • New dummy (iterative validation) • Examples of specs, mock-ups and dummies later

  12. Prototype set-up

  13. Content-related goals • Participation in a quiz • Participation in consumer tests • Selecting video streams • Accessing additional information

  14. Technical limitations • Simulated transparency • 4 bit graphics • Limited processing power in set-top box • Direct broadcasts complicated • “Heath Robinson” - improvised solutions

  15. From experiment to full-blown show • DR had no digital distribution channel of its own • New stakeholders in the market • Funding • Visible strategy both internal and external • Politics...

  16. Implementation • 3 platforms-> satellite, cable & analogue terrestrial transmission • Analogue and digital simulcast • Going all the way made ROFL an invaluable source of experience

  17. Bleeding edge Digital added value Innovative Highly targeted Proven platform Analogue simulcast Well-known format Acceptable to all viewers? Dilemmas

  18. [digital viewers had more they could do]

  19. Interface • Bars at the top and bottom

  20. What can you do with ROFL?

  21. What can you do with ROFL?

  22. What can you do with ROFL?

  23. What can you do with ROFL?

  24. What can you do with ROFL?

  25. Digital ROFL

  26. Too many cooks…? • Coordination - dependencies • Complicated routing of signal (2 different satellite systems + cable) • Flexibility?

  27. The editorial team - changes • New working procedures • Digital/analogue simulcast • Many outputs: TV, interface, www -> complex planning • Viewers as partners -> Feedback and inspiration, sharing power

  28. Tamagotchi-TV? • ROFL needs nursing • Give ROFL stories • Get on the high score-list • Become a test pilot

  29. ROFL on WWW and SMS • Viewer service • Community - Test pilots • Editorial tool - searchable database • SMS notification

  30. How many saw analogue ROFL? • 220,000 viewers compared with 150,000 (average) for the slot • Share: 50+% (average) peak: 70% • Rating: 10-13 % of target audience • Score for core audience: 4.0 - 4.3 (0-5 - top)

  31. How many saw digital ROFL? • Approx. 100,000 households could access digital television with OpenTV API on 1 April 2001 • TDC 45,000 STBs, Viasat approx. 55,000 STBs • (currently: 300.000 STBs [3 APIs]) • 500.000 by Q4 2003 • Approx. Target audience in 25,000 digital television households • between 18% and 30% of these saw ROFL • 4,500 - 7,500 digital households saw a given ROFL show

  32. User test - objectives • Qualitative: Digital added value? • Observations/interviews in 4 digital homes • Quantitative: More viewers relatively speaking? • Gallup panel; 300 digital viewers • Image: Envy or anger? • Visits to schools, ROFL in a social context

  33. Let’s see the video demo Roll the tape, maestro!

  34. How was ROFL received? • Audience surveys: • TV-meter statistics (Gallup) • Qualitative study (DR audience research) • Quantitative survey (Gallup Telesurvey)

  35. Popular functionalities Choosing among three video streams Participation in quizzes Choosing X-cam Use additional information Participation in polls 8% 13% 10% 52% 11%

  36. What the adults said… • 70% of those who used the interactive functionalities rated them ”good” or ”very good”Adult viewers wanted ” to do the same” on the original show ROP • ROFL’s share among adults was above average for the slot

  37. User surveys - conclusions • Digital viewers more satisfied than analogue counterparts (67 % of 10-15 year olds interviewed said that the interactive functionalities makethe show better or much better) • Digital ROFL is a personal experience • Viewer behaviour depends on the content- dependent on interests, gender, relevance • Young viewers are critical- zap elsewhere if they get bored • ROFL ”picks up its own viewers”

  38. Industry recognition • Awarded the EMMA in 2000 for best Interactive Digital TV show • Awarded the IBC Nombre d’Or global award in 2001 for best interactive TV application

  39. “Partners in crime…” • Tele Danmark Kabel-TV • NSAB - Viasat • Agency.com

  40. The end of ROFL or son of ROFL…? Muito obrigado! Bo Kousgaard [bkp@dr.dk] Kristian Stokholm [kris@dr.dk]