BT Vision debuts movie rental service


LONDON -- Digital television provider BT Vision is trying a new movie rental service that offers customers free movies in exchange for watching a series of targeted advertisements, interactive media head Antony Carbonari said Wednesday.

The trial, which can be accessed through BT Vision's online video download store, is aimed at exploring the ability to target ads that cannot be skipped to viewer profiles and insert them into the video stream.

The trial will initially only offer three movies: "Mischief Night," "Played" and "The Punk Rock Movie." Users will be asked to provide demographic information to which ads will be tailored.

Once downloaded, the film will be available for one month and, providing the viewer is online, different ads will be shown at each viewing. Viewers can also send the films to friends via e-mail to be viewed on the same terms.

"This will be a fascinating trial," Carbonari said. "The concept of targeted TV advertisements is now a reality. We believe that sympathetically placed, targeted advertising, combined with a viral film-sharing capability, will be attractive to many customers in conjunction with free or reduced content prices. We look forward to the results."