Cross-platform entertainment formats offer incremental revenue options

CANNES: One thing that the burgeoning technologies and convergence offer content creators and distributors are different avenues of revenues.

Participation TV is one such (which looks like getting ever more important with time) that has seen a marriage of TV programmes and new media channels to create compelling cross-media entertainment formats. Using mobile, web and interactive TV, viewers can vote contestants off reality TV shows, match their abilities against quiz show contestants for cash prizes or the chance to appear on the show themselves, play cards, bet and vote for the best shows to be aired.

A really interesting example of that was provided by Nuno Miguel Bernardo of Beactive in Portugal whose company has created what it claims is the world's first multi-format cross media soap opera targeted at teenagers "Sofia's Diary".

Every episode of the show is open ended with the viewers voting in (through mobile, Net and phone lines to decide what track the plot should take in the next episode (obviously from among to three options). Not only does Sofia get feedback from viewers but also offers her own suggestions top viewers.

Bernardo said the show had already found an audience in some European and Asian countries (not India though).

Some of the advantages that participation TV offers is an innovative embedded experience. The aim of course being to allow everyone who wants to participate - at a cost of course.

A point that was made during the discussion was that budgets (10 to 15 per cent of overall production cost) should be factored in at the beginning itself rather than being bunged in later as an afterthought.

This is important because each programme package has to be usable across multiple platforms At the very basic level there are the billing solutions that have to integrated with the live component of the channel.

A successful Indian example? The Cellcast Group's live interactive reverse auction TV show Bid2Win successfully partnered with Star India. A reverse auction on Star Plus for jewellery worth Rs 2 million (promoted through its serial Kahin to Hoga) received over 6.7 million bids.

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