Return path

An interaction where the customer sends information to the iDTV provider using a phone line or cable.

Curry (2001) has proposed three alternative types of interactivity that online marketers can exploit:

1 Distribution interactivity. Here the user controls when the content is delivered. Video-on-demand is an example of this. Using personal video recorders such as Sky+ or TiVO is a further example, since users can choose to watch content at a later time and possibly omit adverts.

2 Information interactivity. Here the user can select different information. Curry gives the example of teletext and games which are, together, the most popular interactive TV activity. A further example is where a viewer of an advert can access a microsite with further information on the advert (known as 'red button advertising' in the UK). Information can be exchanged via a return path such as entering a competition. This provides an improved option for direct response advertising in comparison to traditional TV. An example is given in Mini Case Study 3.2: 'Volvo encourages viewers to "Press Red" for their "Mystery of Dalaro" campaign'. Interaction with interactive TV is often combined with text messaging in quiz and reality TV programmes.

3 Participation activity. This is where the user can select different options during a programme such as choosing a different camera angle in a football match or different news stories. There is no return path in this case.

Mini Case Study 3.2

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