Comcast: ‘Monster’ Market for On-Demand Ads

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Comcast Spotlight expects its deal with Monster Worldwide Inc. to spur similar on-demand ad sales deals. But the MSO has already been successfully selling such ads locally for two-and-a-half years, according to Greg O’Brien, Comcast Spotlight vice president of on-demand publishing and the head of Spotlight’s Listings Management Platform.

Among the segments that are the most popular with clients and viewers: automotive, real estate, jobs and restaurant guides. But the opportunities are limitless, O’Brien said.

The listings business can be as diverse as a newspaper’s classified ads, but is much more flexible and attractive to potential users as well as viewers. The program offers cradle-to-grave services to make it appealing to all users, whether they are businesses or individuals, O’Brien said.

For instance, real estate agents can put home listings on the real estate listings page. But someone who wants to sell their home on their own can also list that home on the page. More information can be accessed, driving sales and interest.

“People can self-provision their ads, which is a big benefit for everyone,” O’Brien said. “They can build an ad from our library or they can furnish one they have created elsewhere.”

The Monster deal is Spotlight’s first big national deal but O’Brien said Spotlight has more than 20 similar, smaller partnerships and he expects more in the near future. Every deal varies, he said, noting that some are wholly owned by the company that is making the listing while others are stewarded by Comcast. Spotlight will share the revenue that the on-demand listings create for Monster and Spotlight’s 3,500 advertising executives can push the listings business from its end as well.

Beginning this month, Comcast’s digital cable customers can access “Monster On Demand” for job listings and employment resources with their remote control. Monster will be the exclusive provider of job listings on Comcast’s Searchlight ad-supported VOD platform, as well as the exclusive sales arm for Monster On Demand.

“Leveraging Comcast’s Video On Demand platform will enable us to dramatically extend our reach to tens of millions of potential job seekers, and open a powerful new channel for employers to target job seekers on a highly localized basis, said Mark Stoever, Monster executive vice president of corporate development and strategic alliances, in a statement. “This is just the beginning of what we envision to be a highly-interactive medium, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with Comcast to provide consumers with resources and solutions to improve their lives.”

“Monster has great coverage but getting the long tail is a challenge for any organization,” O’Brien said. “Conversely, Spotlight is touching thousands of accounts daily and we may be able to sell a segment of the market they are not hitting as deeply. We’ve been building this business for two years by gathering the tools, resources and strategies to make those tools work. We’re still in the early activation stage but we’ve learned a lot and are confident about the success of this business.

When a listing category is set to launch, Comcast Spotlight generally tests the listings in a few markets, O’Brien said, before launching it companywide. That way all the bugs can be worked out quickly and easily.

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