Convergence, Take 2

In the days of convergence, the conventional wisdom was that online and broadcast signals would be merged into one device. Then the debate was what the final merged form factor would be: a TV screen? Laptop screen? PDA screen? New stats suggest that instead of a merged screen—or morphed content from one device to the next—the current reality is simultaneous viewing of multiple screens of content.

In-Stat reported that more than 66 million consumers watch television while interacting with Internet-delivered content. That broke down to between 33 percent and 50 percent of all men and 25 percent of all women surveyed. About 20 percent of all respondents said they sent and received IM messages while watching TV. What are the E-Commerce implications? What if a Web site is synchronized with a TV broadcast, so that it can show additional content? What if the site allowed consumers to buy what was being made, worn or discussed in a show? It could give simulcast a radically new meaning.