RealTime IT News

TV, Not PC, Will Dominate E-Commerce, Say Researchers

Coinciding with this week's launch of the interactive digital TV service Open, The Henley Centre predicts that TV and not the PC will come to dominate e-commerce.

There are three main reasons for suggesting that television will be the interactive medium of choice, say the researchers.

First, most people associate television with leisure time, but they use a PC for work. Hence one is a pleasure, the other a chore.

Second, consumers dislike running up a huge telephone bill, with a lot a waiting around for web pages to load.

Third, The Henley Centre points out that nearly every home in the UK has a television whereas PCs do not reach more than 50 per cent of homes.

The three factors add up to a promising outlook for Open, which allows viewers to shop, bank, email, play games and receive information through the TV.

"Today is a significant moment in TV history as interactive TV is well and truly Open," said James Ackerman, chief executive of Open.

"Britain leads the rest of the world in moving to digital TV and Open is proud be leading the way in interactive TV."

Free with digital satellite, Open already features shopping with Woolworths, WHSmith, Domino's Pizza, Carphone Warehouse, Dixons, Manchester United, Kitbag Sports and Yalplay (for music and video). It says that Somerfield 24-7, another featured store, will extend its grocery service nationwide within a few days.

The service is clearly serious competition for Internet-only businesses. It even offers financial services from HSBC, and ticketing for theatres and sporting events from First Call.

Many more shops and services will be added during the coming months.