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Ex-Cox Ad Guy Is Now Microsoft's Video Ad Evangelist

8/05/2011 4:23 PM

David Porter now has a vision for advertising that’s bigger than cable TV.

In June, Porter left the cable industry after 10 years with Cox — most recently as VP of strategy and new product development — and joined Microsoft as its new “video advertising evangelist.”

What’s he doing with the Redmondians? He’s trying to spread the word about Microsoft’s advertising products, calling the company’s targeted TV advertising offering “the best-kept secret in the industry.”

“The mission is to take video advertising, whether that’s on TV or on the Internet, and scale it,” Porter says. “It was clear this was the future.”

Spoken like a true evangelist.

According to Porter, Microsoft’s TV advertising network can reach up to 110 million television households with inventory across more than 20 national networks. The company uses set-top box data from more than 1 million households — supplied by “about eight to 10 cable operators and one satellite provider,” Porter says — to analyze viewing patterns and optimize ad buys. (It’s similar to the Google TV Ads model.) Microsoft does not identify the sources of the STB data.

Microsoft picked up the Admira ad network through its 2009 acquisition of Navic Networks. The company has announced deals with A&E Television Networks and NBCUniversal (see Microsoft Outbid Canoe Operators For Navic: Source, NBCU To Use Microsoft’s TV Ad Marketplace and AETN To Sell Ads Through Microsoft’s Admira).

The set-top box data “makes it possible to identify and target audience segments beyond traditional demographics — such as males, age 18-40 — by delivering effective measurement across both rated and unrated networks,” Microsoft explains on its website.

So what does Canoe Ventures look like to Porter now that he’s on the outside? He had nothing specific to say about Canoe but acknowledged that cable operators have invested billions of dollars in their infrastructure and “can’t just abandon that and move to a cloud-based infrastructure.”

On the other hand, he says, “Microsoft is offering a targeted TV advertising product that requires nothing in the headend.”

Welcome to the Church of Redmond!

Programming Note: Porter will be one of the featured speakers at Multichannel News/B&C’s Advanced Advertising: Scaling to Critical Mass, on Tuesday, Sept. 13, in New York City. Other participants include execs from GroupM, Comcast Spotlight, DirecTV, Rovi, AT&T, Google, SMGx, BigBand, Rentrak and more. Click here for more info: multichannel.com/AdvancedAd4.

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