Profile: Michael Collette

May 6, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Title: senior VP of marketing and business development, OpenTV, Mountain View, Calif.
Background: Mr. Collette joined OpenTV in May 2001 after working at cable broadband technology provider ICTV for two years. Prior to ICTV, he operated his own strategic technology consulting firm, MediaTech Strategies.
Nuggets of wisdom: “The main thing I have learned over a number of years is to make sure you don’t miss the time aspect. Understand the timing of things. You need to watch forces at work-consumer demand, cable operators’ priorities. [When to deploy interactive TV] is not just about capital expenditures and return on investment but also engineering resources. This is very different for cable, satellite and broadcasters. The businesses of forming strategies has taken a long time to understand,” he said.
ITV today: Cable operators are beginning to position ITV as a priority that they need to consider and develop plans for, rather than just as something on a wish list, he said. As they develop business models, they can look to the success of ITV with sports in Europe. For instance, half of BSkyB’s homes in Europe used the Wimbledon interactive application from OpenTV during the BBC’s coverage of the event last year. “There is a lot more to learn about what types of things have what appeal. Playing games on TV has a much broader appeal than thought. We know chat works, but for who?” he said.
A ready market: The cable industry is ripe to launch ITV in earnest, Mr. Collette said. Satellite provider EchoStar is introducing ITV services such as games, horoscopes, on-demand entertainment information and other interactive services. Also, the cable digital upgrade has been largely completed and digital penetration has slowed, necessitating other applications, like ITV, to jump-start further adoption of digital. Also, video-on-demand business models are finally baked, freeing up resources to devote to ITV development and decisions, he said.
Advertising: OpenTV recently introduced OpenTV Advertise, an enterprise-level product designed to allow cable operators to manage their ad inventory across their ITV applications, he said. It can run on any platform.