GSN, Gold Pocket Deploy Interactive TV Ads

The often predicted advent of interactive television has finally begun in earnest, with interactive tv companies Navic Networks and GoldPocket Interactive poised to drive the advertising opportunities.

GoldPocket is best known as the underlying technology for interactivity for programmers such as CBS, Fox, NBC, Food Network, and GSN. At GSN, viewers can play along with game shows using the computer or the remote. The remote option has been available in Time Warner's Hawaii market; GSN will offer it to other operators this fall. Navic technology is expanding, too, and now reaches 3.25 million cable viewers in 31 cable systems.

GSN uses GoldPocket because it can handle fast-paced, real-time interactivity, says John Roberts, GSN's senior vice president, interactive entertainment. For example, viewers can be encouraged to stay tuned in during breaks to answer questions like which sandwich is being featured in a Burger King ad.

Local cable advertisers have used Navic's tools to offer trivia, conduct polling, link to long-form ads, and let viewers seek more information. Last year, Phoenix, Ariz. furniture store Robb & Stucky saw a 20 percent increase in traffic after running interactive ads on Cox Cable that sent viewers from a commercial to a longer video on demand. After markets introduce interactivity, local cable ad sales revenues typically increase more than $10 per subscriber per year, says Frank Anthony, Navic's CEO.



GoldPocket seems to perform for its partners. Roberts says 75 to 85 percent of GSN's audience interacts with the ads.

Daisy Whitney is a regular contributor to MEDIA magazine. This story is re-published from the November issue.

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