Friday, June 4, 2010

Online TV Gets More Engaging With Interactive Features

As viewers turn to online venues for TV watching, networks are looking for ways to capitalize on that engagement while simultaneously staying up-to-date with what users expect in an online world.

The web is an interactive medium, with people constantly telling each other what to look at, what they’re doing and what to do; in turn, television networks are discovering that there are many ways they can turn that tendency to their advantage.

NBC unveiled an online video viewer that inserts other content related to the video being shown. Their new design allows users to take quizzes, view deleted scenes, and read blogs that talk about what’s happening on their favorite shows.

On ABC, viewers are mostly looking at the full-screen video, but they also have access to interactive comments and can share the episode on Facebook.

ABC is trying to keep up with the interactive needs of its users by making commentary from producers and actors available with their episodes, along with comments and ways to send the episodes to their friends, netting more page views and more click-throughs.

Indeed, that may be the whole point of more interactive features: online advertisers look at the time spent on a site as a gauge for how much the ad revenue is worth. With interactive features, networks can raise that number – and potentially their ad costs.