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Wednesday, April, 24 2013

For VOD ads, a new standard of protection

By: Stewart Schley Wednesday, April, 24 2013

Cable’s approach for preventing on-demand TV watchers from fast-forwarding commercials became official this week with publication of a new set of standards by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers.

As CED explains here , the SCTE 130-10 standards describe how cable industry program distributors can selectively enable or disable fast-forwarding during commercials that play within VOD program streams. As everybody knows, fast-forwarding or otherwise skipping commercials during DVR playback has set the TV advertising industry’s hair on fire, especially now that nearly half of U.S. homes have one of the devices.

Alluding to that, Paul Woidke, senior vice president, advanced advertising for Nagra-OpenTV and chairman of the SCTE working group that formulated the standard, said “SCTE 130-10 enables implementation of business policies that can preserve the value of sponsors’ advertising investments, and at the same time allows the content control that is so important to viewers.”

“As technology presents new options for viewers, it’s important that programming networks and cable operators have the tools they need to ensure the success of their business models,” said Les Carter, vice president and chief architect of BlackArrow, who served as editor for the document.

Cable isn’t alone in disabling fast-forwarding within VOD commercials, of course. Ad-supported online video services like make it impossible to skip commercials interjected within program streams. Google’s YouTube takes a more moderate approach, enabling users to zoom past video ads after a few seconds. But viewers may not care that much: A by the Advanced Advertising Media Project found that “because consumers view VOD as television, they accept advertising on VOD as a logical part of the on-demand experience.”

SCTE 130-10 was developed by Working Group 5 of SCTE’s Digital Video Subcommittee (DVS). The standard is available for download free of charge at 130-10 2013.pdf .

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