CableLabs has issued four new specifications, which it calls the Stewardship and Fulfillment Interfaces, in order to help cable operators and Canoe Ventures build a common platform for advanced advertising.

CableLabs’ Stewardship and Fulfillment Interfaces (SaFI) are a set of component specifications that will allow cable companies to provide more innovative types of advanced ads, such as interactive advertising, advertising within existing video-on-demand platforms and advanced forms of addressable advertising.

Taken together, the SaFI interfaces will help MSOs offer ad products with consistent technologies, metrics and interfaces across a national footprint. CableLabs said consistent metrics and interfaces will help MSOs deliver timely and usable measurements to their advertising customers.

CableLabs said the SaFI specs were developed and will be maintained by a CableLabs Working Group composed of MSO, Canoe Venture and CableLabs technical leads, with selective input from the vendor community.

“These interfaces are another building block in a standard and efficient approach to building out advanced advertising capabilities for Cox’s systems,” said Terri Swartz, director of advertising technology for Cox Communications and a member of the MSO Executive Team overseeing CableLabs’ advanced advertising work. “We will look for compliance with SaFI specs as a key requirement for our advanced advertising vendors.”

The SaFI specification includes the following pieces:

  • 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

“We are very pleased to see the SaFI specifications released on a timely basis, as was promised earlier this year,” said Canoe Ventures CTO Arthur Orduña. “Their publication is the critical next step in the development of the cable industry’s Advanced Advertising 1.0 architecture specification.”

CableLabs said there was already strong vendor community support for the SaFI specifications and cited an interoperability event held by CableLabs last month that featured 14 companies. The companies demonstrated interoperability among their products based on the CableLabs SaFI standards (working off of an early draft version) and integrated with the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers 130 standards for advanced digital advertising.

The participating companies were Arris, Biap, BlackArrow, Cisco Systems, Concurrent, Ensequence, Motorola, OpenTV, RGB Networks, Sigma Systems, Tandberg Television, This Technology, TVN Entertainment and UniSoft Corp.

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