Canoe Ventures and CableLabs have issued a new draft reference architecture specification – Advanced Advertising 1.0 – that is intended to further the development of cable’s advertising platform.
The new spec contains a set of component specifications and standards that, individually, allow operators to provide advanced ads – such as interactive advertising, video-on-demand (VOD) advertising within existing VOD platforms, and advanced forms of addressable advertising.
Taken together, the two organizations said, the spec allows MSOs to offer such products with consistent technologies, metrics and interfaces across a national footprint.
Advanced Advertising 1.0 was developed, and will be maintained, by a CableLabs Working Group composed of MSO, Canoe Ventures and CableLabs executives, with selective input from the vendor community.
“We are pleased to see this specification released,” said Arthur Orduña, CTO of Canoe Ventures. “In supporting the specifications, MSOs can present a unified package of capabilities, built upon their two-way infrastructure, which advertisers can more easily buy, use and measure. With this development, we’re closer to achieving Canoe’s goal of improved accountability and measurability that marketers expect from digital media.”
Canoe Ventures and CableLabs have been working with MSOs to develop Advanced Advertising 1.0, and the organizations said that they will work with the vendor community to deploy these specs.
“This specification is critical to ensuring a standard and efficient approach to building out advanced advertising capabilities for Comcast’s systems,” said Tony Werner, CTO of Comcast. “We will look for compliance with Advanced Advertising 1.0 as a key requirement for our advanced advertising vendors.”
Mike LaJoie, CTO of Time Warner Cable, added, “Moving forward, this spec will help ensure a standards-based approach for all new revenue-generating advanced ad products, and will provide a solid foundation as we expand our roster of advanced advertising technology partners.”
The current version of the spec includes the following components:
- Enhanced television (ETV) – A CableLabs specification for interactivity that can be implemented on millions of digital set-top boxes deployed by operators. ETV – based on the Enhanced Television Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) – is part of the OpenCable Applications Platform (OCAP) spec, so advertising apps written for ETV can run on OCAP specification; this is intended to enable developers of interactive television services and applications to design products so that they can run successfully on any cable system in North America.
- VOD Metadata 2.0 – A CableLabs specification for descriptive data associated with a package of VOD content – whether it’s a movie or a long-form advertisement. This metadata is used in MSO and programmer VOD systems today, but in the future it will assist in the delivery of prospective ad products for the VOD space, or in adding greater addressability to different types of ads.
- Interfaces: (There are currently four interfaces for advanced advertising, targeting EBIF, that are in the early draft phase but will be added to the 1.0 spec.)
- Service Measurement Summary Interface (SMSI) – Enables MSOs to export information about the execution of a campaign.
- Interactive Fulfillment Summary Interface (IAF) – Provides a means for messaging generated by an interactive application to be exposed to an external entity.
- Interactive Application Messaging Platform (IAM) – Provides a critical interface between interoperable applications (apps distributed to more than one MSO) and MSO systems, defining the common form of messages instantiated by interoperable apps and how MSO systems decode them.
- Campaign Information Package Interface (CIP) – Provides information to the MSOs on the configuration of application messaging processing, such as identifiers relevant to the messages.
- Standards: (Relevant SCTE standards that the CableLabs Working Group has decided should be supported as part of the Advanced Advertising 1.0 spec.)
- SCTE 35 – Enables measurement, enhanced applications and ad placement on linear and on-demand content – includes related support from SCTE 30/67/104.
- SCTE 130 – Separates new addressable ad delivery systems from ad decision systems that allow for dynamic ad selection for interactive, linear and on-demand content.
In November 2008, 15 companies demonstrated interoperability among their products based on integration of the SCTE 130 standards with CableLabs’ ETV/EBIF standards for iTV and advertising (story here). The participating companies were Arris, Biap, BlackArrow, Concurrent, Ensequence, Front Porch, Invidi, Microsoft Advertising, Motorola, OpenTV, Sigma Systems, Tandberg Television, This Technology, UniSoft and Visible World.
For more information about Advanced Advertising 1.0, click here.