Bid4Spots, the online reverse auction clearinghouse for unsold radio inventory, is launching its first cable TV ad time auction Thursday.
According to a spokesperson for the company, 500 hundred cable headends, including all major markets, are participating, with over 25 advertisers signed up.
The way the auction works, cable operators with unsold inventory go online and bid for the advertiser's business, with the low bid winning the spots.
Bid4Spots has been testing the site for the past couple of weeks.
The advantage to cable operators, accoring to the company, is that they get to sell unsold inventory, which is obviously better than the spots going unused, while advertisers obviously benefit by getting a low price (like Priceline, with operators' unsold ad inventory subbing for empty hotel rooms).
Bid4Spots says the advertisers signed up include local auto dealers, whose spot advertising has plummeted along with their sales), as well as financial service companies and employment agencies.