TWC, BlackArrow Target IP-VOD

Extend Dynamic Ad Insertion To Connected Devices
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Taking more direct aim at connected devices and the broader cross-platform world of video, BlackArrow said it has deployed dynamic ad insertion (DAI) capabilities for on-demand content that is delivered to tablets, smartphones, smart TVs and gaming consoles and laptops.

Time Warner Cable, which already works with BlackArrow to insert ads into linear TV and VOD piped to traditional set-tops and linear TV on IP-connected devices, is the first BlackArrow MSO partner to take advantage of the vendor’s IP-VOD capabilities, the vendor said. 

Early on, TWC is supporting DAI via its authenticated TWC TV app for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and is expected to extend support to the MSO’s other supported connected platforms, including Samsung smart TVs, Xbox 360, and Roku players. TWC, which is in the process of merging with Comcast, also supports IP-based live and on-demand video via Fan TV, a platform that was recently acquired by Rovi.

Extending dynamic ad insertion to IP-connected devices represents an effort with TWC to bring unity to the cable operator’s platforms, said Nick Troiano, BlackArrow’s president, who has recently assumed the company’s CEO duties.

That unification of workflows will extend across Time Warner Cable Media’s ad inventory and ad-facing reporting and measurement systems, he added.

“Time Warner Cable has invested heavily in bringing multi-screen and time-shifted viewing options like Video On Demand and our TWC TV app to our customers,” Joan Gillman, EVP and COO of TWC Media, said in a statement. “It is an added benefit that we have been able to work with BlackArrow and other partners to also help us bring highly targeted and dynamic advertising solutions to these platforms for our programming and advertising partners.”

This aggregation across traditional set-tops and IP-connected devices will give TWC and its advertisers a way to view consumption across those platforms, Troiano said.

“The application of data and technology is changing the television landscape,” noted Mike Bologna, president at MODI Media, GroupM, in a statement. “Our ability to insert commercials to specific segments within television programming is a very powerful tool for advertisers of all sizes.”

Virgin Media, BlackArrow’s first MSO partner across the pond, is also moving forward on a plan to go cross-platform with DAI on QAM-based set-tops as well as to connected devices that support the U.K.-based MSO's authenticated TV Anywhere service. Other announced BlackArrow partners include Comcast, Bright House Networks, and Rogers Communications.

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