Move over VOD advertising, you've got company
VOD advertising is getting a lot of buzz in the press and a lot of attention from vendors and operators, but there are similar technologies that are getting nearly as much attention but not as much buzz, and they are switched digital video (SDV) advertising and client-addressable advertising.
SDV advertising resides somewhere in the middle of linear and VOD advertising, both technology-wise and addressability-wise. With linear programming, you're sending ads out to the masses, although targeting can be done based on zip codes or zones. With VOD advertising, you're sending ads out to one viewer via a unicast stream.
With SDV, you could be sending a linear stream to an individual household, or there could be seven households simultaneously watching the feed. But either way, you know the individual STBs that requested it. "SDV may be that sweet spot advertisers are looking for—addressability with the economics of reaching lots of people," says John Morrow, VP of strategy development at Scientific Atlanta.
Perhaps an ad could be inserted into the feed to address the first family that selects it, but then any additional users that request the feed would also see that ad. A possibility is holding off that second requester somehow, maybe with an ad targeted at them, until the first ad finishes, says Guy Cherry, a principal architect of video systems with C-Cor.
On the other hand, SDV is a technology that allows for greater bandwidth, and inserting ads into SDV feeds sort of defeats that purpose, says David Porter, Cox's VP of marketing and new media. Also, Porter says the technology needs to be firmly in place to deliver the programming before you can even think about layering in ads.
But SDV advertising is getting a lot of attention, and will even more so if it becomes unicast, and therefore advertising-addressable, in the future. "But that will be further down the road," says Paul Woidke, VP of technology at Comcast Spotlight. "It's not affecting our thinking at the moment. In the near term, switched digital video is simply going to provide bandwidth."
Client-addressable advertising is taking traditional TV advertising and adding the ability to target ads to specific STBs. Based on demographic or other information from individual STBs or the backoffice, operators could send out family friendly ads to one household and ads targeted to males aged 18-24 to another household during the same commercial break on the same channel, says C-Cor's Cherry.
And these new forms of advertising need to be viewed in conjunction with traditional TV advertising, says SA's Morrow. "The cable operators are very well positioned to offer the advertising community a good platform that can include traditional advertising, switched digital video advertising, high-speed data advertising and video on-demand advertising."
—Traci Patterson, Web/News Editor - CED, Editor - xOD Capsule
Navic launches addressable ad app
Navic Networks has unveiled Admira, a media placement service that utilizes census-level STB measurement data to increase the value of TV ad inventory. The service is currently in commercial trials in multiple markets.
Admira pairs an advertiser's desired target audience with the media owner's inventory to simplify the buying process and provide targeted impressions that can be measured. The service places relevant video in multiple programs and markets, including linear and addressable programming, switched broadcast, VOD and DVR playback.
"Admira is a long-overdue solution that gives video advertising planning and buying professionals a fighting chance to keep pace with television's explosive changes by providing a powerful targeting system that helps lift the effectiveness of increasingly complicated video ad campaigns," said Tim Hanlon, SVP at Denuo.
Nielsen adding local people meters nationwide
Nielsen will add local people meters (LPMs) to 38 markets within the next four years, with the goal of covering 70 percent of the nation by 2011.
The LPMs electronically monitor sample broadcast and cable households, and they track new technologies such as mobile devices, DVRs and VOD.
Additionally, Internet advertising improved 23.6 percent in the first half of 2007 to become the most improved category, according to Nielsen. Spot TV was down 4.6 percent, network TV decreased 3.8 percent and cable TV slipped 0.3 percent, but spot TV in small markets increased 3.2 percent.
Disney-ABC primetime content available on AOL video
Disney-ABC Television Group and AOL have announced the availability of full-length, primetime TV episodes on AOL Video.
The site will feature ABC's new fall lineup of programming. It will also feature short-form programming from ABC via an embedded short-form player, which will debut on AOL later this year.
"As we experiment with new ways to grow our digital business, we remain focused on finding smart, new methods to connect viewers to the content they want, and brands they love, on the platforms they choose," said Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC.
Google adds widgets to AdWords offering
Google Inc. has introduced Google Gadget Ads, a new interactive ad format that is currently in an expanded beta with a select group of AdWords advertisers worldwide.
Gadget Ads (or widgets) enable advertisers to target audiences with regular updates within the ad unit, including real-time data feeds, images and video. They support cost-per-click and cost-per-impression pricing models and offer contextual, site, geographic and demographic targeting options.
Preliminary beta participants include Sierra Mist, Intel, Honda, Six Flags and Paramount Vantage.
Nokia to acquire mobile ad specialist Enpocket
Nokia is set to acquire Enpocket, a mobile advertising specialist.
Boston-based Enpocket, a privately owned company, provides a mobile ad campaign management and delivery system that can deliver across SMS, MMS, and mobile Internet advertising and video platforms.
"Nokia has already announced its intention to be a leading company in consumer Internet services, and we believe that mobile advertising will be an important element in monetizing those services for our customers and partners," said Tero Ojanperä, CTO of Nokia.
•Gemstar-TV Guide licenses IPG patent to MediaFlo
Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. is licensing its interactive program guide (IPG) technology to MediaFlo USA Inc.—for Flo TV, the company's mobile entertainment service—marking Gemstar-TV Guide's first patent licensing agreement in the mobile TV market.
Specific terms of the multi-year agreement were not disclosed. MediaFlo USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc.
• Gofresh launches first mobile social ad network
Gofresh has launched what it says is the first mobile social ad network. The service runs on Gofresh's ad platform, which offers multiple mobile ad formats, in-game advertising, WAP-site branding, mobile TV and personalized content downloads.
"The concept behind Gofresh's new mobile advertising idea is simple: Don't book channels—reach people on their mobile phones," said Sabine Irrgang, COO of Gofresh. "To make advertising a success on mobiles, ads have to be relevant for the user and targeted for the brands."
• Avail Media scoops up ViewNow
Avail Media Inc., a provider of IPTV and advanced media services, has acquired ViewNow, a supplier of VOD programming.
The acquisition includes ViewNow's customer base and agreements with film studios, including The Walt Disney Co., DreamWorks, Lions Gate Films, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.
• Cablevision adds Jewish channel as SVOD option
Cablevision Systems Corp. has added The Jewish Channel as a new subscription VOD (SVOD) option for its digital cable customers.
The channel offers a variety of programs focused on the Jewish culture, including films, documentaries, talk shows, comedies, political commentary shows, cooking programs, sports, children's programs and holiday specials.
• NBC to offer free episode downloads, according to The Associated Press.
• Verizon will debut a full-length mobile TV service this fall, according to the New York Post.
• Microsoft Media Center users get free Internet TV and Slingbox functionalities,
according to CE Pro.
CEO: Doug McFarland
Claim to fame: ScanScout's technology provides brand protection for online video to ensure that advertisers' brand messages will only be seen adjacent to the most appropriate content. The company also says that its technology offers a glimpse into the future of digital TV, allowing for a better user experience.
Recent news of note: Time Warner Inc. has made an undisclosed investment in the company. And HandHeld Entertainment has launched Zvue Networks, an online video advertising network. HandHeld will deliver contextually relevant ads across the network thanks to a partnership with ScanScout.