Backchannelmedia to Test Market TV Click-Through Advertising Platform

Backchannelmedia, a Boston-based digital television ad company, has lined up the first market test of its television-to-Internet click-through system.

WCVB (Channel 5), Hearst-Argyle Television’s ABC affiliate in Boston, is partnering with Backchannelmedia. Viewers with Backchannelmedia software-enabled TVs or set-top boxes are able to interact through their existing TV remote controls when prompted by an icon. The viewer’s interaction “bookmarks” that interest and forwards it to his or her own personalized home page on the Web.

The initial launch begins in Summer 2008 and will involve up to 1,000 viewers in the Boston area for a 12-month period.

TV viewers with Backchannelmedia technology are also able to forward content such as audio or video they hear or see on TV to the Internet for preview or purchase.

“Backchannelmedia’s platform is exactly what the television industry needs right now, and we are very excited to serve as the first station pushing this forward,” said Bill Fine, president and general manager of WCVB. “At WCVB, we pride ourselves on being in front of the trends that will generate a positive impact on our advertisers and viewers. With Backchannelmedia, our viewers will easily be able to get the products and services they need and want, without changing their viewing habits, and our advertisers will be given addressability and accountability for their spending on our station.”

Michael Kokernak, Backchannel co-CEO and the primary inventor of the system, said the test is the culmination of more than 12 years of development.

“This is an exciting time for the TV industry,” said Daniel Hassan, co-CEO, Backchannelmedia. “The move to digital TV will dispel any of the questions from the advertising community surrounding whether TV will remain the entertainment medium of choice for America. Backchannelmedia is bringing addressability and accountability to TV advertising.”