BNN, Social Media & Interactive Television Solutions
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BNN, Social Media & Interactive Television Solutions

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Research proposal
A.J. van Gool
326056ag@eur.nl

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  • 1. A.J. van Gool 326056ag@eur.nl CC :Trends & Strategies in the Creative Industries January 14th 2010 Lecturer: M. Leendertse 2
  • 2. Proposal objective / management summary In accordance with the case BNN proposed, we hereby present our research proposal to answer the question you would like to see answered: How can BNN use social media to enrich their television programs? To conduct and construct a solution in the best possible manner, a few influential circumstances which are applicable for BNN are taken into account. Further, the answer is theoretically substantiated but is by no means definitive. During possible further research, the answer can be adjusted if this is necessary and suitable for your particular case and situation. With the help of our research, theoretical approaches are transformed into tangible solutions which are helpful for BNN to grasp the conditions of the media branch. BNN is financed and regulated by the public system, which means that these components cannot be filled unmarked by the broadcaster. Besides the public character of BNN, being a television broadcaster forces you to cope with stiff competition with not only other broadcasters, but also with other, and frequently more interactive, entertainment forms. There are two main subjects we would like to examine. First of all, the public character of BNN needs to be taken into account for it is an important feature to this television broadcaster. Therefore, the first question is: How does being a public broadcaster affect BNN and its opportunities to intertwine Social Media with its programs? Secondly, we are dividing attention to Interactive TV and its possibilities. The main question here is: How is BNN able to use Interactive TV to enhance both their programs and users loyalty towards the brand? This second question is the core of the research program. We will dig into the content of Interactive TV, its usable features for BNN, implementation processes and thereby construct a vision for tomorrow. Especially Enhanced TV and Internet@TV, both implementations/options of Interactive TV, are being attended. Why is Interactive TV (or ITV) a solution for BNN? To answer this question, three types of research need to be accomplished, namely a literature analysis and a survey analysis along with (depth) interviews. During this proposal, we will further address the best possible options which Interactive TV can offer to your company, and which we are off course willing to examine and test for you. 3
  • 3. Index Problem 5 Research purpose 5 Research questions 6 Main questions 6 Research framework 7 Public character 7 Enhanced TV and Internet@TV 8 More interesting thoughts 9 Further research 10 Finance 12 Critical note 13 Literature 14 4
  • 4. Problem Being a public television broadcaster in the twenty-first century brings along plenty of challenges. BNN is financed and regulated by the public system, which means that these components cannot be filled unmarked by the broadcaster. Besides the public character of BNN, being a television broadcaster forces you to cope with stiff competition with not only other broadcasters, but also with other, and frequently more interactive, entertainment forms. Although BNN already uses certain forms of social media like Hyves, this usage can be more exploited and complemented to fulfill a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness. Due to new players and changing rules within the entertainment industry, it is necessary for BNN to keep up by improving their strategy and implementation in order to stay in touch with their focus group. Later during this proposal, we will deepen possible solutions and recommendations for further research. Research purpose With the help of research, theoretical approaches are transformed into tangible solutions which are helpful for BNN to grasp the conditions of the media branch. Furthermore, adjustments can more easily be made once they are well established, concrete and specific. According to our view, the implementation and success factor of solutions is more effective when the fundamental ideas are clear-cut and amplified for your particular case. That is why we think it is best to cut your overall question into detailed sub questions and thereby give a full and detailed answer to the case. We want to address one main subject to solve your case, namely Interactive TV. 5
  • 5. Research questions In order to answer your constructed main question, we first need to define a workable definition of Social Media. In their search of the challenges and opportunities of Social Media, Kaplan and Haenlein (2009) have set up a broad definition from which a part will be used during our research. This used definition of Social Media is best described as a group of Internet-based applications that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Such a broad definition gives enough room to create (possible) solutions and triggers an open state of mind. Now that the phenomenon Social Media is set, we are able to construct the main research questions. Main questions First of all, the public character of BNN needs to be taken into account for it is an important feature to this television broadcaster. Therefore, the first question is: How does being a public broadcaster affect BNN and its opportunities to intertwine Social Media with its programs? Secondly, we are dividing attention to Interactive TV and its possibilities. The main question here is: How is BNN able to use Interactive TV to enhance both their programs and users loyalty towards the brand? This second question is the core of the research program. We will dig into the history of Interactive TV, its usable features for BNN, implementation processes and thereby construct a vision for tomorrow. Other interesting thoughts and relevant research programs are also includes within this proposal, mainly due to the possibility of added worth to your case and its resolutions. Further, we would like to give you an example of how some teenagers’ minds work and why doing research can be important to enhance your television programs. As you would know, being a television broadcaster nowadays can be rough, especially since the personal computer is striving for the same attention and devoted time of users as you are. It is safe to say that since their birth approximately sixty years ago, television and the computer have been battling for attention, but also have been cooperating at the same time. In his TED Talk on television and the computer, Peter Hirshberg, entrepreneur and marketing specialist, who has built a deep understanding of the fundamentals of content production and consumption and how they've changed both online and offline media, asked some teenage girls about their thoughts on television on one hand and the computer/internet on the other. The girls pretty much answered: "Internet is more fun then TV. Nowadays, we have TV 6
  • 6. shows on the computer and you can download them onto your iPod. I wouldn’t like to be the president of a TV network because eventually they’re going to lose all their money" (Peter Hirshberg on tv and the web, TED, 2009). This blunt, direct and harsh perspective on television as a medium might not be completely true, but it at least tells us a lot of the reigning attitude of teenagers towards television as a medium. To nourish the bond between BNN and its users, research is necessary to find out how the mind of your focus group works, how we can adjust and/or nourish their loyalty and investigate their attitudes towards BNN, the programs and eventually get their opinion on the proposed ways of intertwining social media with BNN. Research frame work Why is Interactive TV a solution for BNN? To answer this question, three types of research need to be accomplished, namely a literature analysis and a survey analysis along with interviews. During the literature analysis, we will gather, connect and investigate the most relevant and important research outcomes which are already executed by academics and acknowledged experts within the field of (Social) Media. Subsequently, we will address a part of this used research to give a glimpse of the total research that can be executed once approved by you. There are a couple of analysis’s we certainly want to interlace with our own research. Public character In order to research our first question, how does being a public broadcaster effect BNN and its opportunities to intertwine Social Media with its programs?, we first have to explain the content and purpose of the Dutch Media Law from which BNN, as you without a doubt already know, is a part of. Therefore, BNN needs to apply some rules and follow certain guidelines which are provided by the Dutch government. We will shortly touch upon the rules which need to be taken into account, just to freshen up the mind and make sure everybody is aware of them. First of all, Dutch public broadcasters need to be independent companies which function without governmental censorship (freedom of speech), they must offer a variety of information in which the whole spectrum of different points of view must be included and the medium needs to be accessible and deliver quality (freely translated) 7
  • 7. (Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap, 2010). BNN already is sufficient according to these ruling conditions and it is our job to adjust our ideas to these particular circumstances and give you the best possible option to preserve these policy rules and use them to implement the right social media strategy. Not only the governmental rules are taken into account, we also spending time on getting to know your focus group, which consists of viewers between the age of fifteen and thirty-five. If we conduct the research, we would like to have a meeting with BNN’s policymakers to study its focus group in depth. We believe there may be other important features besides age which we do not want to leave behind. Further, your three main values are being respected and integrated within the research, these values could be described as creating programs which are surprising, humorous and different. Enhanced TV and Internet@TV In order to answer the second question: ‘is BNN able to use Interactive TV to enhance both their programs and users loyalty towards the brand?’ we need to investigate the most suitable options ITV can bring. To investigate the role that ITV is able to play within BNN’s strategy, it is best to have knowledge of ITV’s substance. A workable definition of ITV is provided by Mark Gawlinski (2003), who claims that anything that lets the television viewer and the people making the television channel, -program or -service engage in a dialogue (..) that takes the viewers beyond the passive experience of watching and let them make choices and take actions. This broad definition leaves us with enough room to find the right and most relevant answer. With the meaning of both Social Media and ITV in mind, a few candidates come up as a possible solution to your problem. Especially Enhanced TV and Internet@TV are worth researching. Enhanced TV deals with any type of content, which can overlap regularly displayed video content and can be accessed interactively by the viewers. It is best described as a refined and evolved version of the established tele-text service. The enhanced content can include different kinds of information, provided by the broadcaster and altered by the viewer. In this way, Enhanced TV can leverage existing entertainment formats and values of traditional broadcast and extend them further (Jensen, 2005: 91). The second option, Internet@TV, enables users of television to perform a lot of the activities, which they normally perform on a personal computer, like reading e-mail, use instant messaging services or surf the web. With this development, the television screen moves from a passive object into an active object and therefore creates the viewer from a receiver into a 8
  • 8. producer and sender of messages and content (Jensen, 2005: 93). Trough survey analysis and (depth) interviews, we are able to investigate the attitude of BNN's focus group towards Enhanced TV and Internet@TV. The focus group, which exists of Dutch television viewers between the age of fifteen and thirty-five, is for a large part familiar with the options that multimedia can give them. This is an advantage for BNN, since the intense and labor- intensive stage of familiarizing their audience with a new type of service will be shorter. Although the focus group may already know these kinds of services, the specific combination of services, the content as well as the adoption of a new multi medium is still new and therefore needs to be researched in order to achieve to most efficient and effective result. Especially the users’ usefulness, openness towards the service(s), utility and the extent of implementation within their lives can accurately be research through survey analysis and interviews with the focus group. More interesting thoughts During our research, we are also going to use and analyze the research outcomes of Wang, Pouwelse, Fokker, de Vries and Reinders (2007), which state that a personalized peer-to-peer television system can increase the effectiveness to exchange content and enables exploring the wealth and opportunities which TV programs can have in a peer-to-peer environment. The most fruitful, and therefore included, personalized assets are (1) the exchange of user interest profiles between users by automatically creating social groups based on users’ interest, (2) learning these user interest profiles by zapping behavior, (3) a model to predict user interest and (4) a personalized user interface to browse the available content (Wang et al,, 2007: 109). Another approach we will intertwine with ours and will be examined through our research group, is the research done by Obrist, Bernhaupt and Tscheligi (2008) who executed an ethnographic study on users’ requirements and experiences with Interactive TV within the home. They claim that young people, they examined both eighteen and thirty year old persons, expect Interactive TV to provide high resolution quality and fast access (Obrist et al., 2008 :190). Their lives are determined by socializing with friends and daily routines and television is seen as an entertainment or background medium. Further, the researchers claim that younger people prefer stand-alone services when it comes to Interactive TV, like Internet access, interactive games, downloading music or videos and ordering services (Obrist et al., 2008: 192). 9
  • 9. During the research, we are also going to look at Interactive TV activity in Sweden. The Swedish are eager to use Interactive TV services. For instance, since eTV, a Swedish broadcaster, began digital service over satellite in February 2000, one in four Swedish households have watched every day and four in ten households have used the interactive services to make a purchase (Wu, 2004: 85). Such services might consist of consumers sending email, purchasing products, playing games, viewing news and other activities using a wireless keyboard or remote television controller as their input device (Wu. 2004: 86). We are going to dig into this Swedish market and figure out what is working so well. With the knowledge of the above mentioned research outcomes, we are able to further examine these findings and test whether these are the right solutions for your particular situation. Further research After researching the opportunities which Internet@TV and Enhanced TV can bring to the table and estimating the response and adaptation of its future users, further research can be done to investigate the best possible way to execute the new found ideas. This more profound research is the extension of the leading research and can not only provide the best solution to your proposed problem, but also takes fully care of the implementation and merging of your strategies and goals on one hand and the added worth of the chosen Social Media for your company on the other hand. Once the content of Internet@TV and Enhanced TV is researched, the subsequent research is able to give you a solution to implement a personal and full on enhancement of your programs, all ready to the last gaiter button. To take it one step further, subsequent research is able to give your newfound services an extra boost, mainly by creating a new technology model for ITV which mainly consists of your practices, regulations and the economic circumstances. Nowadays, Interactive TV is mainly a pseudo-active or quasi-active communication system. This lack of total openness of communication is due to the fact that an ITV system is limited by mechanical activities. It does not unleash the new liberties of action offered by new technologies because the power still lies with the content producing media (Kim & Shawhney, 2002:230). To create more openness in communication between BNN and its users, subsequent research is able to examine the structure of a new technology system which could be used by you after the research is done. This technology system consists mainly of historical interaction between 10
  • 10. different elements such as cultural practices, politics, regulations and economic circumstances within prevailing social conditions (Kim & Sawhney, 2002:229). These elements can not all be regulated, but can be presented and unraveled so you are able to manipulate your practices and exploit this new found information. Subjoined images are simple, but effective visual recourses which translate the possible transformation which BNN can make concerning their relationship with their users. Via ITV, this relationship is able to transform the current one-way street from BNN to its users into a smooth and active form of exchanging information. Image 1: current situation without ITV Image 2: Future situation, with use of ITV 11
  • 11. Finance To execute the research which follows upon this research proposal, both senior researchers and junior researches are necessary. The execution of the survey analysis and a part of the literary analysis is being accomplished by one junior researcher, while the (depth) interviews are being done by the senior researcher, as well as a part of the literary analysis. The eventual solutions and recommendations are being executed and presented to you by both researchers. In order to accomplish the research, the senior will need five days (eight hours each day) to finish and the junior will need three days (eight hours each day) of work. All work, including writing the report and presenting our findings, are included. The wages which will be calculated are 250 euro per hour for the senior researcher and 150 euro per hour for the junior researcher. Other (direct and indirect) costs are estimated at 500 euro. A specification of the costs can be presented by your request. The total estimated price for BNN in order to conduct the whole research, is situated at 14.100, - euro. 12
  • 12. Critical note After conducting and presenting this research proposal, a few conclusions and thoughts for improvement should be presented. First of all, in order to come up with a outlined research question, there automatically is a whole range of subjects which is left behind. Although not fencing of your question is not an option, changes are here that important and relevant subjects are not included within the research. Secondly, the literature overview is indeed diverse, the author tends to include literature which endorse her research direction. There are different approaches included, but by not putting enough undermining research within the objective, your vision is limited and creative ideas may not come up floating within your frame. A third critical point which I would like to propose, is the fact that the author could spend more time discussing BNN’s strategy with the management board. If the goals, constraints and strategies of BNN where more clear, the research which is divided to the market will have more room for further exploration. More time could be spend on creating resolutions instead of exploring the company first. The next time this researcher/author conducts a research proposal, the above mentioned recommendations should be taken into account. 13
  • 13. Literature Gawlinski, M. 2003. Interactive television production. Ofxord: Focal Press. Jensen, J.F. 2005. Interactive television: new genres, new format, new content. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series (123); Proceedings of the Second Australasian conference on Interactive entertainment, 89-96. Kaplan, A.M. & Haenlein, M. 2010. Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons (53) 1, 59-68. Kim, P. & Sawhney, H. A machine-like new medium – theoretical examination of interactive TV. Media, Culture & Society (24) 2, 217-233. Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap. 2008. Over media. http://www.minocw.nl/ media/801/Over-media.html ,consulted at January 11th 2010. TED. 2008. Peter Hirshberg on TV and the web. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/peter_hirshberg_on_tv_and_the_web.html, consulted at January 11th 2010. Obrist, M. Bernhaupt, R. & Tscheligi, M. 2008. Interactive TV for the Home: An Ethnographic Study on Users’ Requirements and Experiences. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction (24) 2, 174-196. Wang, J. Pouwelse, J. Fokker, J. Vries A.P. de. & Reinders, M.J.T. 2007. Personalization on a peer-to-peer television system. Multimedia Tools and Applications 36 (1-2), 89-113. Wu, I. 2004. Canada, South Korea, Netherlands and Sweden: regulatory implications of the convergence of telecommunications, broadcasting and Internet services. Telecommunications Policy (28), 79-96. 14