Serious buzz about multichannel video advertising

Tuesday, May, 21 2013

VOD ad insertion rises on the national stage

By: Stewart Schley Tuesday, May, 21 2013

Guess what’s playing in a prominent role in today’s New York Times?

Dynamic VOD ad insertion over cable, that’s what. .

It’s a big PR breakthrough today for a medium that’s been a long time coming. The article doesn’t fixate solely on the advertising dimensions of VOD, but does talk about how cable networks and operators can monetize a growing medium by capitalizing on viewing impressions with advertising exposure. The attention comes after the conclusion of the 2013 advertising upfronts, where several networks, including Fox and ABC-Disney, talked about VOD ad insertion (as we recently wrote they would ).

It also point to an advertiser-friendly bonus of VOD: the prevailing practice of disabling fast-forwarding capability so that, unlike in the DVR environment, commercials can’t easily be vanquished from the program stream. Toby Byrne, President for advertising sales at Fox, is quoted as saying that VOD “will hopefully replace some digital video recorder viewing, where fast-forwarding is enabled.”

Neat job, too, of explaining what can be an arcane subject. As the NYT article points out, the progression for VOD advertising is to replicate for three days the same national advertisements that are tied to linear broadcasts of cable shows, so that they can be counted in the 72-hour Nielsen-defined C3 measurement period.

After that, the advertisements and ad positions change, with local cable companies getting to insert local commercials within pre-, mid- and post-break pods. A bonus there: most of the viewing to VOD streams actually occurs after the C3 window, meaning the positions available to local cable operators on Day 4 and thereafter should have significant value.

The intricacies of inventory arrangements are only now being figured out by major cable network programmers, and as the NYT article points out, for cable network powers like Fox, dynamic VOD insertion is still a few months off.

But still. It’s a big day for an emerging medium when the nation’s No. 3 newspaper devotes serious ink to the subject. Especially considering how much attention Internet video advertising gets in the national media these days, it’s satisfying to see cable’s next big advertising play come into prominence.


Upfronts: ready for a dynamic dose of VOD (Feb. 21, 2013)

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