Serious buzz about multichannel video advertising

Friday, November, 23 2012

Dynamic ad insertion: For now, Europe sets the pace

By: Stewart Schley Friday, November, 23 2012

Within a few weeks, Comcast will fill in the remaining pockets of its digital-cable footprint with dynamic ad insertion (DAI) capability, extending the video-on-demand advertising system to more than 19 million households.

When that feat’s accomplished, the largest U.S. cable company can proclaim bragging rights to the world supremacy for DAI, at least in terms of households reached. But Comcast and other U.S. operators still lag behind their western European counterparts when it comes to distributing DAI advertisements in the course of everyday business.

“Europe is about eight months to a year ahead of what America is aspiring to do in terms of dynamic video on demand advertising,” said Venkat Krishnan, VP Products for ad insertion technology maker SeaChange International at a webinar presented by Light Reading last week.

In particular, the U.K.'s Virgin Media is notable for advancing the category, as it began placing DAI ads for the likes of Kellogg’s and Microsoft in late 2009. Earlier this year, Director of Digital Entertainment Aleks Habdank gushed about the business, telling Videonet “I’d almost say that there is more demand than we actually have inventory to supply, which is a fantastic position to be in.”

The head start reflects a more aggressive ramp-up, as Virgin Media began deploying the technology and business processes needed to offer DAI around the time when Comcast was just beginning to trial the technology in its Jacksonville, Fla. system.

Europe’s faster deployment also reflects a different set of content and rights considerations. In the U.S., the DAI market is still being held up as television networks figure out how to handle advertising-related business arrangements with cable distributors. While some, like the Sony-repped Fearnet, are out in front with DAI offerings to national advertisers, other major programmers are still working out details such as exactly when to hand over dynamic VOD advertising positions to their local cable/telco affiliates and when to stop airing national ads in available pre-, post- and mid-roll breaks.

Related:

Virgin touts VOD ad success, but market still evolving (Videonet, March 26, 2012)



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