Monday, November 13, 2006

TV+SMS = the beginning of Interactive television?

SMS TV games have been around for a while already. To my knowledge the first TV SMS games were aired in 2001 in Finland. Companies such as Frantic, Add2Phone, Fun2Phone and RedLynx have been active in the field. Also services by e.g. Yarosa, MIXTV and Two Way TV are currently on the air around the world.

Surely there have been interactive tv & movie experiments at technical and design universities already before 2001. Interactive tv experiment Cause and Effect (2003) by Teijo Pellinen&co. is one of my personal favourite. The experiments with audio interaction and unlinear storytelling have been funny ones but TV SMS chats and games were (IMHO) first successful itv products for mass market. The [first] peak of such interactive tv services seemed to be the year 2003. Besides Cause&Effect and other projects, TV SMS games were superpopular.

According to McKinsey’s report, in 2003, approximately 900 million SMS messages were exchanged through TV related services in Europe. The European SMS market generated more than 400 million euros in 2003, which is expected to grow to 750 million euros in 2004. At the same year Antti Seppänen gave a speech at the GDC on TV SMS services and the bright future of mobile entertainment. A year later a broader picture was put up at IST Event 2004 at The Hague (NL). Monique de Haas chaired a session at the conference and published a report of the discussion. She continues the discussion at her blog. What is interesting though, is that despite the development of digital television, itv experiments and fresh ideas, TV SMS services still are a sort of "killer app" of interactive television. Let's see if digital television or mobile television will bring something new to the picture. Join us at Dubrovnik Pub at 23rd November 2006 and chat about the future of mobile multimedia!

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