Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2009 (Revised August 2009)

Backchannelmedia: Making Television 'Clickable'

by Sunil Gupta, Kavita Shukla and Zachary Scott Clayton


Backchannelmedia (BCM), a three-year-old start-up, intended to completely disrupt the world of advertising by transforming the way Americans watched television. BCM had developed a technology to make television "clickable," enabling viewers to interact with the content on their television screens. By April 2009, BCM had conducted consumer studies and field tests and the results were very promising. However, the industry was dominated by large players who could impede the introductions of new technologies. BCM's founders would have to make critical decisions about how quickly to roll out their technology, and to whom. Which industry players were allies? How would BCM monetize the value they would create? Would investors see as much potential in BCM as its founders? And how would the company's cash constraints impact the strategy in the current economic environment?

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Investment; Disruptive Innovation; Technological Innovation; Marketing Strategy; Partners and Partnerships; Competition;


Gupta, Sunil, Kavita Shukla, and Zachary Scott Clayton. "Backchannelmedia: Making Television 'Clickable'." Harvard Business School Case 509-026, April 2009. (Revised August 2009.)