Pay-per-view model - interactive TV
Pay-per-view interactive TV means that users pay for special TV transmissions they select
and can control via their back channel (bi-directional satellite or terrestrial broadband
networks).Today, usually the product will be first downloaded on a local storage and then
executed from there.
Cultural heritage games, already developed e.g. by the Réunion des musées nationaux
(France) on traditional carriers, might be an interesting future market.
Interactive TV as a business opportunity for cultural heritage institutions was mentioned
by only one expert who participated in the DigiCULT study, Dominique Delouis
(President, Cultural Heritage On Line, Paris). Coming from France, this seems a natural
future opportunity, as Canal+ in 2000 had a total of 5,3 million (of which 3,3 are located
outside France) digital subscribers.The Vivendi Universial Group reports that 90% of the
Canal+ digital subscribers use interactive services, with the weather site being the most
often visited in France (9 million hits), Canalsatellite Games had 2.2 million active gamers.
The market potential for cultural heritage interactive TV programs cannot be easily
assessed (for a general market impression see Stone, 2000).Yet, it can be expected to be a
limited one and open only for major cultural heritage institutions that have strong partners
in the production of (interactive) educational programs, historical documentaries or
elaborated virtual museum tours.
Cultural heritage games
In 1993,The Réunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN) set up a multimedia department
and formed various partnerships to produce CD-ROMs, later extended to DVD-ROMs
and game consoles.With Canal+ Multimédia and Cryo Interactive, the RMN has invented
a new type of multimedia program: cultural heritage games that involve users in exploring a
historical period, a civilisation, its art and traditions. Each new game published by RMN
and its partners is previewed on its own exclusive site, presenting the plot, the characters
and the setting.
The first title,"Versailles, Complot à la Cour du Roi Soleil" was brought on the market
in 1996. Newer products were developed together with Canal+ Multimédia, France
Télécom Multimédia and Indexplus (e.g. Louvre, l'Ultime malédiction, 2000).
These games are not marketed for pay-per-view interactive TV, but the potential is there.