Verizon made an announcement today (see Fierce) that they will be enabling an interactive text polling program to poll users on their music tastes. Results will appear on the screen. There will also be some marketing around Verizon's Vcast service.
I don't get the polling on music tastes.
What I wonder about a deal like this is which way the money flows. Screenvision sells advertising, but Verizon and/or Screenvision seem to be adding infrastructure to the theaters that allows the results to appear onscreen. A number of vendors have web-based programs that allow this – they use them with radio DJ's, TV show hosts, clubs, concerts, etc.
It's also not clear from the announcement if this will be limited to Verizon Wireless customers. Could also be an equipment/services "play" from Verizon.
I think this announcement has more potential for Screenvision. Rolling out the ability to interact with their audiences could have significant implications. Polling and trivia are entertaining – why not get people to the theater early to eat more popcorn and soda?
Could they actually get their moviegoers to register? (Anyone ever played those trivia contests in bars where they post the leaders and percentage with correct answers?) Few entities (e.g., Fandango) actually have relationships with moviegoers. Could we eventually vote on what trailer we'd like to see next?
There are so many possibilities. And, they are different from TV – with TV, there could be hundreds of thousands or millions interacting with a program (anyone see American Idol's numbers?). Here you could be networked with theaters across the country, but you could also play against the 50 or few hundred in the theater with you – you could see your competition. There is a long list of possibilities that I can think of – but extending time of engagement with audience, developing loyalty, getting customers to register, developing a better understanding of customers, etc. are all good things and can be achieved with this type of service.
Anyway, seems to be a really smart play by Screenvision.