Rovi Targets Ads For Internet-Connected TV Devices

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Rovi wants to extend the ads it sells for interactive program guides to broadband-connected video devices, promising to help consumer-electronics manufacturers make money off Internet TVs, set-top boxes, media players and game consoles.

Currently, the company is in discussions with several CE makers about the Rovi Advertising Service but does not have any deals to announce publicly, said Jim Theberge, director of product management of advanced advertising.

Shipments of Internet-enabled TVs, game consoles and set-tops are expected to skyrocket over the next several years, from 99.2 million in 2009 to more than 430 million in 2014, according to research firm iSuppli. But it's not clear how frequently consumers use the broadband features of such devices.

Earlier this summer, Rovi stepped up its focus on selling ads and sponsorships on its IPGs, available in 15.8 million households through cable operator partners including Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Insight Communications, Mediacom Communications, Bresnan Communications.

Rovi's ad service includes back-end services, such as campaign management and measurement, sales and account management, and creative services. The company's advertising clients include Showtime Networks, Disney, Travel Channel, Fox, A&E, American Express, Anheuser-Busch, Ford and Hellmann's.

The ads Rovi places for display on TVs are larger than banner ads that appear on the Web. Today, there's a lot of variation among different TV manufacturers in how much screen space is allocated to ads, so ad sizes must be adjusted depending on manufacturer, Theberge said.

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