Expway-BIM Aims To Monetize Mobile DTV

Expway, maker of the technology enabling interactive mobile DTV, and Broadcast Interactive Media (BIM), a technology company specializing in revenue, content and technical solutions for TV websites, have partnered to provide targeted advertising to mobile DTV viewers.

As TV station groups, content developers and device manufacturers mull over options for creating a mobile DTV service that will make everyone money, two behind-the-scenes companies have struck a deal that they say holds at least part of the answer.

Expway, maker of the technology enabling interactive mobile DTV, and Broadcast Interactive Media (BIM), a technology company specializing in revenue, content and technical solutions for TV websites, have partnered to provide targeted advertising to mobile DTV viewers.

By using the companies’ technology solution, TV stations would be able to capture fine-print information on the demographics and viewing habits of mobile TV consumers. That precise data measurement, they expect, will open up a world of advertising possibilities, enabling stations to quickly recoup their investment in mobile DTV.

BIM would bring to the table its already-existing relationship with advertising firms to develop comprehensive advertising campaigns incorporating mobile DTV. BIM also purchased Titan TV last year, which offers electronic program guide information that could be included in the mobile DTV service.

“What we hear is that broadcasters are thinking outside of the box” with mobile DTV, said Mick Rinehart, BIM SVP for product and data services. “They’re looking to see, ‘How can I create a very hyper-local solution?’”

Industry executives estimate that each TV station has to invest in about $150,000 worth of equipment to offer mobile DTV. Expway and BIM predict that by employing their business solution, stations could earn $1 per month per viewer. With a conservative estimate of 10,000 viewers per market, stations would recoup their mobile DTV investment in about a year.

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“What is the logic for broadcasters to launch [mobile DTV] if they don’t have some kind of idea how they’re going to be generating revenue?” said Ulla Saari, VP of sales and communication for Expway.

Saari says the market estimates are conservative given mobile TV experiences around the world. Other countries that have launched mobile DTV have a market penetration of 7%-15% within two years, she said.

Expway and BIM say their partnership provides TV stations with a blueprint for making money with mobile DTV at a critical time. Two separate coalitions of broadcasters — Mobile Content Venture (MCV) and the Mobile500 —  have announced plans to begin rolling out mobile TV later this year.

Neither the MCV nor the Mobile500 has revealed the particulars of their service. Yet, they’ve both said they understand the importance of having a free, basic ad-supported service. They’re just working behind closed doors on revenue-generating business plan.

“We believe in free-to-air mobile DTV, and we are excited to see what kind of additional revenues our members can generate with such systems,” John Lawson, executive director of Mobile 500 Alliance, said about the Expway-BIM solution.

Their solution would work like this: TV stations would equip their broadcast transmission towers with Expway technology that enables interactive TV capabilities. A tiny piece of software would also need to be installed in the handset to allow users’ data to be tracked. Once that data is collected, it would be forwarded to an audience-measurement company, like Nielsen or Rentrak, to decipher the data.

When consumers sign up to receive mobile DTV service, they would have to “opt-in” to the data-tracking capabilities. By doing so, it would allow for advertisements to be targeted anonymously using their location and viewing habits. For instance, a banner ad could pop up advertising a McDonald’s coupon that could be redeemed around the corner by showing the ad at checkout.

“Advertising agencies are very excited about the possibility of this new type of format,” said Alexis Kenleigh, BIM marketing and business development manager. Targeting and knowing the metrics and audience is so crucial for the ad agencies,” she said. “It’s really the silver platter for them.”


Comments (3)

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Eugene Thompson says:

April 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm

It’s apparent that an initial and essential aspect of broadcasters’ mobile DTV delivery strategy would necessarily involve simultaneous delivery of their live OTA content. From a ‘rights’ point of view, this would replicate historic portable ‘watchman’ type precedents and eliminate special clearances from content providers. This would also be most readily acceptable and desirable from consumers’ points-off-view. Ratings can ultimately be available from PPM devices or some new capability within the ATSC approved mobile DTV standards. Customized subscription packages would naturally follow. http://www.HearTVInCars.com

Marc Bussanich says:

April 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

BIM/Expway are giving live demonstrations of their mDTV Solution at NAB this year, Booth N6138.

Todd Barkes says:

April 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm

…carried across our (Sinclair Broadcast Group) local station KVMY Mobile DTV service.


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