Online Video Competition Could Speed Ad Technology Upgrades

2/21/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

New York — Surging over-the-top video services could
serve as an increasingly attractive opportunity for
targeted, interactive advertising — and cause pay TV
providers to move faster on initiatives like dynamic ad
insertion for video-on-demand.

That was a key point of debate on a panel at “Advanced
Advertising 3.0, The Next Big Thing” here last week.

“Frankly, any discussion of advanced advertising has to
absolutely consider” broadband-delivered video services,
according to Tim Hanlon, CEO of Velociter, a unit of Interpublic
Group’s Mediabrands focused on investments and
strategic partnerships.

Internet-delivered video could spur traditional TV providers
to adopt advanced-advertising capabilities more
quickly, Hanlon said.

“Netflix, at 20 million subscribers, starts to look like a
pretty broad, segmentable audience,” Hanlon said, advising
advertisers and content owners to “be open to that possibility,
rather than it being a dalliance or an afterthought.”

Netflix does not currently sell advertising on its website
or for its streaming video service.

Visible World CEO Seth Haberman, though, cited lack of
inventory and infrastructure in the online space in saying
TV operators are “not worried about one-tenth of 1% of their
[advertising] spend going to another platform.”

The Weather Channel considers all the advertising potential
across many different platforms, including Internet-
connected TVs and tablets, vice president of ad sales
Christopher Raleigh said. “The consumer is looking for our
programming wherever it is.” Networks must balance marketing
messages with consumer expectations for a given
platform, he added.

Haberman said Cablevision Systems has deployed Visible
World’s addressable-advertising capability across some
3 million homes in the New York market. “On Cablevision,
the addressability is actually here, and the combination of
interactivity and addressability is coming soon,” he said.

Cable could generate more ad dollars from video on demand
by targeting ads to on-demand viewers — if it can
get to mass scale, Cathy Hetzel, president of Rentrak’s Advanced
Media and Information division, said.

Canoe Ventures, the advertising technology and services
company formed by the six biggest U.S. cable operators,
plans to test dynamic VOD ad insertion on a nationwide
basis this year.

Hanlon cautioned that privacy (see cover story, page 8)
should be a major concern for advanced forms of TV advertising
and is “probably overdue for regulation.

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