German retailer gets ad feedback on Kirch set-top box

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DUESSELDORF--Galleria TV, an interactive TV application built by Betaresearch (part of the Kirch group) and sponsored by a major German retailer, has taken a significant step forwards in interactive TV. The system orchestrated by Betaresearch, Beta Business TV and their d-box technology on digital TV, is providing special advertising feedback from a pre-selected number of digital TV households. After each advert in the Galleria TV service, the viewer is asked to answer a number of questions.

"The feedback is in real-time via the TV. The d-box collects the answers and connects to a remote server for transferring answers given. This type of feature can be used to optimize advertising and also get instant feedback on product features and consumer behavior," says Manuel Cubero, managing director of Betaresearch

The current trial, which started one month ago, involves 200 households in the Duesseldorf area using a d-box set-top box and a satellite dish. These customers were selected from the retailer's customer base. Customers were offered a free d-box set-top box, which currently retails around $480, to participate in the research.

Michael Niehues, head of marketing at Beta Business TV, further outlined "A typical sequence would include 10 to 14 questions in response to a video. The answers were then taken and pre-encoded; the data is then sent via a built in modem to the server. The server receives the answers, in addition to the smart card number of the respondent's set-top box. This then has the option of being sent to the retail server."

"The key point to understand here is that, through having the smart card number, the broadcaster and the retailer are able to get a complete demographic profiling of the viewer, and even the type of programs they watch. This demographic profile can then be cross- correlated with the answers yielding trends in consumer response."

Copyright November 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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