An experiment with interactive digital TVBo KousgaardDR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation)updated by Peter Olaf Looms
Agenda • Background and the project history • From experiment to a full-blown television show • The interactive functions • ROFL on WWW and SMS • Audience research
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)
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
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
Objectives • Parallel broadcasting analogue/digital • Research “added value” for viewers of digital television • To develop and transfer competencies • Public service at the leading edge
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
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
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 ...
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
Content-related goals • Participation in a quiz • Participation in consumer tests • Selecting video streams • Accessing additional information
Technical limitations • Simulated transparency • 4 bit graphics • Limited processing power in set-top box • Direct broadcasts complicated • “Heath Robinson” - improvised solutions
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...
Implementation • 3 platforms-> satellite, cable & analogue terrestrial transmission • Analogue and digital simulcast • Going all the way made ROFL an invaluable source of experience
Bleeding edge Digital added value Innovative Highly targeted Proven platform Analogue simulcast Well-known format Acceptable to all viewers? Dilemmas
[digital viewers had more they could do]
Interface • Bars at the top and bottom
Too many cooks…? • Coordination - dependencies • Complicated routing of signal (2 different satellite systems + cable) • Flexibility?
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
Tamagotchi-TV? • ROFL needs nursing • Give ROFL stories • Get on the high score-list • Become a test pilot
ROFL on WWW and SMS • Viewer service • Community - Test pilots • Editorial tool - searchable database • SMS notification
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)
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
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
Let’s see the video demo Roll the tape, maestro!
How was ROFL received? • Audience surveys: • TV-meter statistics (Gallup) • Qualitative study (DR audience research) • Quantitative survey (Gallup Telesurvey)
Popular functionalities Choosing among three video streams Participation in quizzes Choosing X-cam Use additional information Participation in polls 8% 13% 10% 52% 11%
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
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”
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
“Partners in crime…” • Tele Danmark Kabel-TV • NSAB - Viasat • Agency.com
The end of ROFL or son of ROFL…? Muito obrigado! Bo Kousgaard [firstname.lastname@example.org] Kristian Stokholm [email@example.com]