When You're Hot You're Hot!


When You're Hot You're Hot, by Greg Tingle - 14th July 2004


Everyone has an opinion on what's hot!

What is "hot" anyway?

The term on everyone's lips in and around the Australia entertainment and media business lately is…wait for it, "Hottest On TV".

Let's face it - we all watch TV, and we all believe that we know what (and who), is hot on TV. Every day, colourful and animated discussions transpire across lounge rooms and pubs around the nation.

Now, thanks to a genius idea of Melbourne based entrepreneur, Lewis O'Flynn; the public at large, that's right - you, can actually vote for who is indeed hot on Australian television! This is facilitated by a closely emerging cousin of "the box", the net!

"Hottest" founder, O'Flynn, is quick to point out that with such widespread access to internet in the home, in the workplace, at universities and schools, 18s to 25 year olds have been switching off the box in favour of Internet for the past 12 months. "Hottest On TV" may just be the magic formula to see the marriage enhanced between television and Internet consumers, as we move towards a completely convergent world.

Lewis says, "The audience can watch TV, then call the station switchboards, to tell them what they think, but instead of being a nuisance and just a number to a network phone operator, you can actually make your opinion count and have some fun along the way by logging onto www.hottestontv.com.au and actually vote with their feet". (and fingers).

Website visitors can vote from a cast of 400 plus hot Aussie TV celebrities.

There have been numerous local and global TV ratings systems over the years. We have seen OzTam come to prominence in Australia, however, OzTam only measures the popularity of the program, without any consideration of the popularity of people that appear on those programs. The media landscape has changed a great deal since the emergence of Internet and interactive TV. Yes, OzTam and Arbitron are no longer the only game (measuring stick) in town. "Hottest" promises to inject clarity into the situation. Are PPM's destined for extinction?

As a heavy television and Internet consumer, I think it's particularly unfair to gauge the success of television programmes and the popularity of particular personalities, by solely using the OzTam system. This is the media and entertainment business. Everyone is fighting for "eyeballs", be it on television or online. Just look at programmes like 60 Minutes, Fat Cow Hotel, Big Brother and 4 Corners for example - they actively promote their web forums, website, web chat and the like. Time online is time not spent watching the box (unless you have a TV tuner set up on your computer, which is possible in the current environment), creating the total entertainment system.

"Hottest On TV" aims to attract their audience by empowering the consumer. Lewis explains, "Advertisers and sponsors want to know what and who is hot on Australia TV - we give them that precise information, complied from both the viewing audience, and respected entertainment and media columnists from around the country!" And if that's not enough, Lewis plans to also have monthly give-aways, with highly coveted prizes up for grabs, including TV sets, DVD's, mobile phones and more. Lewis admits, it's unlikely to reach "It's a new car!" stage, but he is optimistic that he will create a live "Hottest On TV" A-list event, sooner rather than later.

Folks, no longer will we be told what's hot...you will decide, and television "gatekeepers" will no longer be able to give the "We will take your feedback on board" line. You can be amongst the 50,000 voters each month, to make your opinion count. The "Hottest" figures will be releases into the public domain every month, reflecting a black and white, unobscured picture of what is hot on TV.

So, whatever your stance is on what and who is hot on TV, one thing is clear - consumers around Australia will continue to express their opinions on what is indeed hot on TV, only this time, their view and input will count.

Stay tuned and log-on customers!