Interactive TV – via SMS

From the Economist comes a story about how text messaging has overtaken Internet use in Europe. Much of this is being driven by interacting with TV shows.

This has much to do with the boom in reality TV shows, such as Big Brother, in which viewers’ votes decide the outcome. Most reality shows now allow text-message voting, and in some cases, such as the most recent series of Big Brother in Norway, the majority of votes are cast in this way. But there is more to TV-texting than voting. News shows encourage viewers to send in comments; games shows allow viewers to compete; music shows take requests by text message; and broadcasters operate on-screen chatrooms. People tend to have their mobiles with them on the sofa, so it’s a very natural form of interaction, says Adam Daum of Gartner.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.