[MEDIA] Steven Kuo - Appointment to SVP/Digital Media & Tech / American Idol
- STEVEN KUO
Steven Kuo has been named SVP/Digital Media and Technology for Fox
Television, it was announced by Tony Vinciquerra, Fox Networks Group
President/CEO, and Peter Levinsohn, President/Digital Media and
Worldwide Pay Television for Fox Filmed Entertainment, to whom
Steven will report. He'll develop business opportunities for Fox
involving emerging digital distribution platforms like video on
demand, digital video recorders and Internet Protocol-based media,
while likewise identifying digital content generation, content
protection and similar production-related opportunities.
Nothing idle about 'Idol' faithfulFans can keep up with Fox smash
via Web, phone, wireless Feb. 10, 2003
By Chris Marlowe
The truly obsessed "American Idol" fan could probably spend every
waking hour doingsomething related to Fox's hit reality show.
There's voting, polling, wireless phonebulletins, ring tones and an
extensive official Web site with exclusive videos, interviews,
gossip, photos and more.
To fill the remaining few hours, there's the television program
itself which enjoys anaverage audience of 24.3 million viewers for
its second installment. That interactivity is at the very core of
the "Idol" success story, News Corp. senior vpcontent Lucy Hood
said. "You get to affect the outcome, and that's extremely
Steven Kuo, senior vp business development at Fox TV, agreed: "The
viewers control the program. It's simple, but it's pretty
novel."Last year, according to Fox, 110 million phone calls voted in
the final choice between Justin Guarini and eventual winner Kelly
Clarkson. That encouraged Fox to enter asponsorship arrangement with
AT&T Wireless; the nation's No. 3 provider of wireless services is
spending unspecified millions on a campaign tied to "Idol.
"AT&T Wireless subscribers who have SMS-enabled handsets can choose
to receive "Idol" content, which typically involves getting four
content prompts a week during theshow's run. Andre Dahan, president
of AT&T Wireless Mobile Multimedia Services, said the campaign will
help introduce the public to the company's nonvoice wireless
services. But it wouldn't be "Idol" without an audience voting for
the performers. Simultaneous with those calling in on traditional
phones, people can send text-messaging votes enabled by wireless
media company Mobliss. Other opinion polls runthroughout the
broadcast. Mobliss president Brian Levin said SMS voting eliminates
thefrustration of viewers getting busy signals when they try to
As seen in:
Statistics regarding wireless traffic are not yet available, but Fox
said it has exceededexpectations. Fox also supercharged
www.idolonfox.com. The site offers features unavailable anywhere
else, including host reactions, judging, backstage scenes,
auditions, recapsof past episodes and profiles of all 32 finalists.
A separate section contains an archive of performances not just
the winning singers but also the beloved worst of the worst.
Visitors can also play games, chat with other fans and post
messages. "The show is very involving, so we tried to build a Web
site that captures that quality forour audience," Kuo said.
In preparation for massive visitor numbers, before going live,
Fox.com contracted with Speedera Networks to provide whole site
content delivery and Web analytics as well as streaming global
content delivery network media services using Microsoft's Windows
Media 9 Series.
Fox was justified in its predictions.
On Jan. 24, the phrase "American Idol" was themost-searched topic on
Yahoo! "Super Bowl" came in second. Speedera reported thaton Jan. 21
and 22, the official site received more than 6.5 million page views,
which the company said was five times the traffic received during
the series' premiere in June.