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Rick Howe is one of the visionary leaders in interactive television.
He has a wealth of experience creating, managing and deploying
interactive television experiences, working on virtually all platforms
that have been deployed over the last decade. He partners with
development/deployment specialists on their respective platforms, to
minimize expense and shrink deployment timetables. His private
consulting practice, Winstone Management, has provided marketing,
business development and product development services to the
television industry since 1994.
Throughout his 30+ year career, Howe has worked closely with cable,
telco and satellite distributors, as well as virtually all the major
programming network “families.” He was one of the first marketing
professionals at American Television & Communication (predecessor to
Time Warner Cable), and he was on the Showtime team that first
conceived, developed and marketed multi-pay television. His previous
roles in the industry have included executive vice president of sales
and marketing for Zodiac Interactive, senior vice president of
affiliate marketing at Showtime and vice president business
development at Ensequence.
The co-author of a patent for the use of mosaics in interactive
program guides, Rick's work has received industry wide recognition.
Writing under the sobriquet “The iTV Doctor,” he contributes to
Tracy Swedlow’s widely-read *itvt newsletter *and recently articulated
his position on “Keeping iTV Costs Reasonable:”
First and foremost, state your objective and keep to it. If you want
to win awards or make a statement about your brand, so be it. But more
and more network groups want to engage their viewers, build equity in
their brands, and start changing viewer behavior so that they will be
able to take real numbers to their ad sales folks. That's not done
with expensive and occasional interactive events. That's done by
reaching the largest possible audience and offering them interactive
opportunities frequently (on a number of shows and two or more channels).
Secondly, make sure you're being realistic with your iTV deployment
plans. Know what your distributor partners can handle, and when they
can handle it. We've all seen too much time and money wasted by
over-enthusiastic designers who create fabulous concepts that simply
cannot be deployed broadly, if at all. And the distributor
capabilities change over time, and what they can deliver (in terms of
target audience and interactive capabilities) in 12 months may be
substantially different from what they can deliver today.