It has been said that interactive TV is the future of television- and it always will be. The most commonly used example to explain what it makes reference to “Rachel’s sweater”, as in Rachel from “Friends”, which gives you another idea about how long people have been talking about it.
Imagine you’re watching “Friends” and you could click on Rachel’s sweater and be able to find out who makes it, where it’s available and maybe even buy it right there on your TV. That, in essence, is a key feature of interactive TV. Boston- based Backchannel Media is expanding a test into three New England markets. It will offer viewers programs and ads that feature on screen icons that they can click. Each click sends a signal to the viewer’s personal portal which aggregates all the things they have previously expressed an interest in. The next time they go online, they can look up more info. Presumably, this would not just be for commerce but offer the ability to drill down deeper about the content of participating shows.
Online advertising is held to a much different standard than traditional advertising because of its vaunted ability to track engagement and interaction. This might be the first step for television viewership and advertising to be measured in the same way. Fair is fair, right?