TWST: Could you give our readers a history and an overview of Wink?

Ms. Wilderotter: Wink was founded just over five years ago. We bring interactive television services to the mass market by providing an end- to-end system to all different partners in the TV business. Our partners include distribution companies like cable operators and DBS providers; content players like broadcast cable networks; consumer electronic manufacturers that make set-top boxes and television sets; and then, last but not least, advertisers that make their commercials interactive using Wink. If you are sitting in your home watching television, there is a small symbol, (an i), that will appear in the left-hand corner of the screen and that will let you know there is more information or interactivity about the program or ad that you are watching. With one click of the remote control, you can interact with that program or commercial. You can buy a product. You can request a sample or a coupon or you can pull up the current weather in any of 1,000 US cities or current sports scores of games being played with one click on the remote control.

TWST: Will the technology change very much over the next few years? What other developments might there be within the next few years that you might have to respond to?

Ms. Wilderotter: The technology will continue to evolve, but I do think that for a long time, consumers will continue to use television sets to watch video. If you can have a simple interactive capability that enables them to do just a little bit more while they watch TV, but it is not 'work' for them, that is extremely important. So we want the technology to develop, but we want to do it in such a way that we don't lose the simplicity, convenience and value that we add today.

TWST: What can you tell us about competition and what distinguishes you from those who are competing with you?

Ms. Wilderotter: There are a number of companies that are very focused on the enhanced television space. Those companies include firms that provide electronic guides like Gemstar International Group. Electronic guides enable consumers to navigate through 200-plus channels of video programming. There are other enhanced television players like video-on- demand providers such as Diva, SeaChange or Ncube that enable cable operators or DBS providers to offer instant access to watch a movie whenever you want to. And then, there are enhanced television providers that are gateways to the Internet from your television set and those are providers like Web TV, AOL TV or WorldGate Communications. Wink provides an overlay that is synced in real time with broadcast video. We are really the only player today that does that on programs and commercials. We also do the entire back-end transaction processing for any transaction that takes place on our network. A lot of our competition is geared around multiple types of service that could be offered in addition to Wink, not instead of Wink.

TWST: Will you begin to market this overseas and could you comment on the general market?

Ms. Wilderotter: Yes, we are very focused on the US market today. We also have about 150,000 customers in Japan using Wink directly inside television sets that are manufactured by companies like Toshiba, Sony, JVC, and Panasonic. We do plan in the year 2001 to evaluate taking the technology to some other international markets.

TWST: What is the strongest advantage that you have in this industry?

Ms. Wilderotter: A strong advantage for Wink is that we provide a full end-to-end system. In addition to that, we make it extremely simple for the viewer. The system we provide is very complex because delivering data into the television signal with video is not easy to do. For the consumer, it is simply one click. So it is very easy for them to interact whenever they choose.

TWST: Is there a strong possibility of partnership, alliances or acquisitions in Wink's future?

Ms. Wilderotter: Wink has over 100 partnerships today. We have approached this business from a partnership prospective. We will continue to focus on bringing in more partners in all categories of the TV value chain that I mentioned earlier whether it is consumer electronics, advertisers, programmers or cable and DBS providers. We also see the opportunity for partnerships on the data services side of our business. As I mentioned, since we collect all of these transactions that take place nationwide, we can provide aggregated data on consumer useage of interactive television content. What shows do they watch and interact with? What advertising mechanisms make the most sense in terms of samples, coupons or brochures? How do consumers interact with TV through late night or early morning programming? Which type of consumer profiles are more apt to interact with different types of shows and programs? We do see in our future a number of alliances with data providers as well.

TWST: Is there a strong demographic profile of the kind of people who might tune in to you?

Ms. Wilderotter: Wink rolls out predominantly on the digital platform for DBS and cable. So these are consumers that, if you look at that profile, have a tendency to be a bit more affluent and they also have a tendency to watch a lot of movies and watch a lot of television. So what we are doing now is trying to figure out in that context, what is the usage profile of the consumers in the digital world and how can that feedback help our partners maximize their content offerings?

TWST: What does Wink plan to accomplish in the next two or three years? What should investors look for or how should investors judge Wink?

Ms. Wilderotter: First and foremost, the interactive television world is not going to be effective unless you have a lot of households using the service. Wink is very focused on our distribution. We are in approximately 2 million homes today. We plan to be in about 3 million homes by the end of this year, and that will grow to between 5 and 7 million next year. We have 15 million households committed to deploy the product. That is 15% of the United States' households over the next couple of years. We really see this service as a big mass market play. I think investors have to look at distribution on any interactive service because you have to have a lot of eyeballs for the business model to work. Second, we are really focused on getting consumers to click. In the homes where we are deployed, getting them to trial and use the service, not just for entertainment purposes, but for buying products and responding to offers that generate qualified leads for our advertising partners. Third, we continue to increase the volume of advertisers that are using our technology and the number of networks that are delivering commerce applications.

TWST: How are you doing for cash? How is your burn rate?

Ms. Wilderotter: We are in very good shape. We have $130 million in the bank. Our burn rate is about $2 million a month.

TWST: What risks, perils or pitfalls might there be and what would you do about them?

Ms. Wilderotter: Just like any new arena, there are always risks associated with it. Our risks are: will consumers use the product? Will cable operators and DBS providers continue to aggressively roll out digital with interactive service as part of that roll out? There is also the risk of our cable and broadcast programming networks continuing to pass interactive data and enhanced service along with their video. There is also the risk of advertisers really grabbing hold of this as a way to get more qualified leads in the purchase of products. I do think there are risks no matter what kind of business you look at. However, Wink has tried to do a good job of securing partnerships in all of those areas providing an ease of use system for the consumer, and making sure that the system is turn key and works flawlessly when we deploy it into consumers' homes.

TWST: Can you give us a profile or makeup of the company, the kinds of employees you have, where you are strong and where you would like to be stronger and whether you are going to need more people and the kind of training the people need?

Ms. Wilderotter: One of the great things about Wink is that we are a scalable business. For example, today we have about 140 employees. We still have several openings in the company, but by next year we don't really see the need for incremental hires. We need to fill the openings that we have, which number about 20 positions. We can grow from 2 million homes to 5 to 7 million homes very easily without adding a lot of staff. We have a very strong retention rate. We have a goal of 85% retention in the company and we are exceeding that goal today. One of the things we try to do is give people a lot of leeway in their jobs. We give them the responsibility and the accountability, and then, we try to get out of their way and let them go do what they are great at doing.

TWST: Are there certain factors that investors might not understand about your company that you would like to elaborate on particularly regarding the differences between you and those you are competing with?

Ms. Wilderotter: One of the tough things for investors to glean is that this is a very complicated area, the whole enhanced television business. Because it is a new area, there are many players. It is very hard for investors to try to keep straight who is doing what, who is really competitive to each other. We spent a lot of time educating them on the enhanced television landscape, and then, where Wink fits into that landscape. I think that the one nugget for investors to take away is that we are the only ones providing synchronized data with video as part of the television viewing experience for free to consumers.

TWST: How do you handle things on a day-to-day basis and will that change over the next few years as the situation changes?

Ms. Wilderotter: On a day-to-day basis, I do think that things will change. Over the last several years, we have been building a business, so the business development side has been extremely important to bring in all the partners. We are now shifting to more of an operational focus in the business, because now we have lots of customers. We have to make sure that we keep the networks up and running and that we are delivering reliable enhancements associated with shows, programs and commercials. We will continue to forge partnerships and strengthen the account management side of what we do with our existing partners, and it is extremely important that we execute. That is what the focus of the business will be over the next several years.

TWST: What achievements would lead you to say, yes, we have done what we wanted to do and maybe even more when speaking of execution looking back three years?

Ms. Wilderotter: When I first came to Wink over three years ago, the company had a great concept and an excellent engineering team in place. My responsibilities included making the company operational and pulling sales and marketing teams into place. In looking at what we've accomplished, yes, I would say that we have met and exceeded what we wanted to do. The key to much of our success has been that we have focused on building partnerships across the TV broadcast, technology, and distribution sectors. The biggest achievement for Wink has been the mass deployment and consumer acceptance of our service. Our future success trend is evident due to the foundation we've built with proven reliable technology, solid partnerships, and value and convenience for the consumer.

TWST: Could you give two or three of the sharpest and clearest reasons why the long-term investor should invest in Wink today?

Ms. Wilderotter: We are the leader in interactive television today. We have a first mover advantage. We have seen this vision come together over the last five years as we have succeeded in bringing together partnerships and the system to make this a reality. Wink is a very simple, easy and convenient to use end-to-end system. It adds value to the viewing experience for the consumer. We are very consumer-centric, not technology-centric. The technology supports the consumer being able to do more with television, in a way that is simple and still entertaining. Lastly, Wink is platform independent. What that means is we are an application. So we reside on any operating system or any digital hardware that our partners and customers like cable operators or DBS providers decide to use. So we are not relegated to just one type of technology.

TWST: What about the outlook for overseas? When will that materialize and what are the possibilities?

Ms. Wilderotter: The outlook for overseas is very good, but as you know, every country operates very differently. You cannot just broad brush international. As a company that is very focused on meeting our commitments to our customers and not overextending, we are very carefully looking at what markets we should pinpoint where we would have the best chance to be the leader like we are in the United States. We don't want to focus resources at the expense of delivering on what we say we are going to do here. I just think that this is a very exciting field with excellent opportunity. I think there has been a lot of discussion over the last four or five years about: 'Oh, the television is going to become a PC, and that is how consumers are going to watch TV.' Wink has really stuck to the philosophy that consumers watch television very differently than how they use a personal computer. If you look at video as still being the power of what consumers do when they watch television, and enhance from the perspective that the video always comes first. It makes a lot sense. We have been vindicated over the last 12 months as PCs have continued to get into consumers' homes and Internet use has increased but television use has not gone down at the expense of that.

TWST: Thank you. (MC)

MAGGIE WILDEROTTER President & CEO Wink Communications, Inc. 1001 Marina Village Parkway Alameda, CA 94501 (510) 337-2950 (510) 337-2960 - FAX www.wink.com

Each Executive who is the featured subject of a TWST Interview is offered the opportunity to include an Investors Brief or other highlight material to be provided and sponsored by and for the company.

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