Interactive TV Not Measuring Up

Interactive television won’t succeed until cable companies reach agreement on measurement standards, said two Starcom MediaVest executives.

An initiative undertaken by six major cable companies, called Canoe, is a step in the right direction, said Jen Soch, MediaVest USA’s VP and director of advanced TV.

Tracey L. Scheppach, vice president/video innovation director at Starcom USA, said flaws include video-on-demand’s poor navigation and an inability to insert ads dynamically.

Unless these shortcomings are addressed, Soch and Scheppach warned that advertising dollars would move into broadband. Both spoke today at day two of the McGraw-Hill Media Summit in New York City.

Problem is, the more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s because interactive TV’s promise hasn’t been fulfilled for at least three decades.

Expressing a little more optimism was Scott Brown, SVP, strategic relations, marketing/technology at Nielsen. The media measurement firm is working with Charter Communications to obtain and resell anonymous digital set-top box (STB) data for analyzing and measuring audience. That venture, announced yesterday, involves TV viewers in Los Angeles.

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