Spotlight: Next-generation entertainment
Interactivity arrives — bring on the ads!
|Phenom||What it is||Our take|
|41. Yair Landau vice chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment; president, Sony Pictures Digital||He’s the champion of “immersive” entertainment, making possible advances in Sony’s massive multiplayer games such as the new Everquest 2 and in the motion capture technology powering this Christmas’ The Polar Express.||If, as expected, The Polar Express and Everquest 2 are hits, Landau will be the hottest exec in Hollywood, with street cred in both the entertainment and digital worlds.|
|42. DVD’s replacement||Two rival formats, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray (ah, memories of the VHS-Beta clash), compete to replace what we just got. The idea is to support high-definition TV and improve antipiracy measures. Look for first-generation stuff in late 2005.||HD-DVD is compatible with current gear; Blu-Ray isn’t. But Blu-Ray has the support of the movie studios. (Sigh.) We can’t believe we’re going to have to buy another copy of Rudy.|
|43. Scott Newnam founder and CEO, GoldPocket Interactive||When we first heard about interactive TV, Scott Baio was hot stuff. Twenty years later, 30 million set-top boxes can get it (up from 9 million in 2004), and GoldPocket’s producing 230 interactive shows a week. Advertising’s built into the interactivity, so marketers avoid the TiVo problem.||Newnam may be ready for his close-up — if viewers like us can find the interactive features. We have a satellite system but didn’t know we could play along with our favorite shows like CSI.|
|44. Live call-in quiz shows storm American TV||Big Brother and Fear Factor were European hits before being successfully copied here. Next: U.S. programmers could poach popular German interactive game shows in which viewers place 18 to 20 million calls a month to compete for prizes.||Smells like a walk-before-you-run version of interactive TV. But with Barry Diller behind the German network that airs 12 hours a day of call-in quizzes, count on hearing more about what a genius he is.|