Category Archives: VOD Advertising

The Year of Addressable TV Advertising

dean-black-arrowWired Magazine mentioned it first; 2014 will be the year of addressable TV advertising.

Trials of addressable ads are already taking place in the US. Pay-per-view cable channel Starz, working with cable operator DirecTV, has been using data about which subscribers use video-on-demand, to pitch ads for its shows. More importantly, it also uses the data to avoid streaming ads to existing Starz subscribers, to prevent preaching to the converted. The result is a 49 per cent jump in sales, compared to a control group, from households shown the targeted ads. HBO has been using a similar system to promote Game of Thrones.

Wired Magazine also just predicted that Facebook will own all mobile advertising, Why? How? Because they own a social network and have a wealth of data on consumer preferences and a predictive analytics team that can match ads with what consumers are most likely to click on.

Google and other outfits operate similar mobile ad networks, but Facebook is unique in its ability to target ads based on user demographics, interests, location, and activities involving everything from internet searches to online shopping. That’s the benefit of running a social network.

In this new ecosystem of advertising, its not enough just to own a vast source of data about consumer preferences, the other half of the equation, understanding the myriad of nuances for how best to utilize that data and serve up the best ad, is equally if not more important.

Take for example, the famous case of Target retail stores, who predicted a woman’s pregnancy before she knew it herself. This New York Times Article is one of the best stories out there at describing the trials and tribulations of addressable advertising, and just how Target retail stores, and their big data analytics team has discovered many of the secrets towards deploying effective advertising.

As Pole’s computers crawled through the data, he was able to identify about 25 products that, when analyzed together, allowed him to assign each shopper a “pregnancy prediction” score. More important, he could also estimate her due date to within a small window, so Target could send coupons timed to very specific stages of her pregnancy.

We are at the forefront of a whole new industry; Big Data, or more precisely, “Information Science”. Addressable TV advertising is just one niche of the big data revolution. Harvard Magazine does an excellent job of covering Big Data and how it will shape the future for most industries.

In marketing, familiar uses of big data include “recommendation engines” like those used by companies such as Netflix and Amazon to make purchase suggestions based on the prior interests of one customer as compared to millions of others.

But as of today, most advertising dollars continues to be spent on commercials for the big screen TV at home, and increasingly on ads for the second screen; including mobile phones, tablets, and other connected devices. And with this shift, there is a growing need to provide targeted ads for OTT and VOD content.

A recent deal has been struck between BlackArrow, a leading Dynamic Ad Insertion technology company, and Nielson, the leading television research, analytics and ratings firm, to begin offering on-demand commercial ratings (ODCR).

That’s where BlackArrow comes into play. By allowing the operator to switch out ads in VOD content on the fly, BlackArrow makes every older streaming episode an environment for the same ads that are now airing in CBS’ live broadcasts. As Nielsen’s ODCR scheme is designed to measure VOD deliveries that occur beyond the three-day window, those once-neglected views are now just as valuable as live ratings.

This Newsweek article provides excellent coverage about the BlackArrow Nielsen ODCR partnership and what it means for TV operators and consumers.

The Nielsen-BlackArrow pact comes as the networks increasingly look for ways to help wean viewers off the DVR, which makes commercial-skipping as easy as holding down a button while staring off into space. A far more advertiser-friendly service, VOD promises to add incremental value to linear TV buys. At the same time, viewers needn’t worry about running out of memory or forgetting to record a favorite show.

BlackArrow CEO Dean Denhart discusses this new landscape of addressable TV advertising with Fox News at the LA Cable TV Show.

Television advertising will perhaps reign supreme for quite some time, with relevant addressable targeted TV advertising coming to the forefront as one of the most sought-after technologies for both live as well as pre-recorded TV content. This is indeed the year of addressable TV advertising.

2014 TV Industry Key Driving Forces

key-forcesResearch from Deloitte indicates that new players in the TV industry can adapt with the changes in order to obtain compelling new business growth. And there are five key forces they have identified, which will be responsible for driving most of the growth in 2014. The five factors are as follows:

1.) Big Data – Big data not only means ability to capture, record and playback content in the cloud, but also the ability to be more specific in targeting advertising, as data about a users likes, favourite TV shows, recommended shows, and demographics allows for more sophisticated and intelligently targeted unicast based advertising.

2.) Second Screen – Tablets, Smart Phones and Laptops with ever increasing video quality capabilities are driving the growth of multi-screen. Most interesting aspect of the Second Screen phenomena is that it is actually driving growth of TV advertising revenue.

The firm adds that advertisers have also benefited from second screens, as  consumers can quickly find the product or service being offered on their handheld device, meaning they can get more information. This, suggests Deloitte, has increased the value of television advertising that was once looking like it  was losing out to Internet advertising.

3.) Spectrum allocation changes in Europe - Compared to other regions of the world, Europe has the least amount of UHF Spectrum allocated to RFID, which limits the amoun of Free to Air Television Channel Frequencies that are available. But seems to be changing now, allowing for many new UHF channels to be broadcasted.

4.) The commercialisation of UltraHD/4KTV – Technicolor has teamed up with Portrait Displays to create a colour certification process designed to guarantee the colour quality on any computer or mobile device display, and has awarded the first 4KTV Image Certification to Marseille Networks for its system on chip to deliver content on 4K televisions.

5.) The emergence of the connected TV receiver – IPTV is not the only driver here, cloud DVR’s such as bhaalu, also have a set top box TV receiver connected to the internet. Bhaalu is takes it one step further, as it is pioneering a Collaborative Cloud-based DVR.

Bhaalu is perfectly positioned to take advantage of all five of these emerging television growth trends in 2014.

Read more at:  Big data, second screen, spectrum, UltraHD, connected TV key drivers of 2014 TV industry | Rapid TV News.

VOD Versus DVR Industry Discussion

black-arrow-AdWeek-panel-2As the Fall TV season kicks off, several TV industry insiders provide a round-table discussion concerning how the TV landscape has changed over the past year. The event was hosted by MLB Advanced Media. Here are some highlights:

  • Video On Demand is in 60% of households and viewership has grown 40% in the past year.
  • Binge Viewing is an absolute phenomena, we have entered the golden age of serialized dramas.
  • DVR versus VOD: This topic was a big focus of the video. VOD is the preferred technology for monetizing, DVR gives viewers control over the box, which makes it harder to monetize. DVR puts immense pressure on the eco-system, because consumers are capable of zapping through advertising. Healthy advertising revenue stream is a critical component. The way to achieve is through robust on-demand offering.
  • Multiscreen is also changing the landscape, viewers want to consumer their TV content through mobile devices at any location, at any time convenient with their schedule. Video on demand and DVR technology offers that.
  • VOD has been around for a decade, but TV Everywhere is the shiny new toy getting all the attention.

For more perspective visit this article at the Black Arrow website, and/or watch the full video below.

Powerful Thailand TV Commercial

Three minute long TrueMove H commercial in Thailand is better than many Hollywood motion pictures. This superbly done commercial exemplifies the beautiful nature of Thai culture.

Transliterated from the YouTube description:

TrueMove H always believes that “communication is best “. We communicate through television commercials. The story in this film reflects the concept of the TrueMove H brand that believes … giving without hope of return is the beginning of the real….The plot was inspired by stories from social media. It tells a story of hope, miracles and consideration, which is communication at it’s best. The most powerful communication can be achieved without even saying a word. TrueMove H believes in the power of giving, without expecting a return, and is committed to developing new communications technologies for Thailand to create opportunities and improve the quality of life Thailand. Every communication is a connection to each other endlessly.

TrueMove H on Facebook.

Fox’s Appeal on Dish Decision Denied

getsrchttp3a2f2fimagestDish Network once again was given the nod in a barrage of cases involving automatic ad-skipping on its Hopper DVR service (called “AutoHop”).  Last Wednesday, a U.S. appellate court denied Fox network’s request to overturn a lower court’s November 2012 refusal to file an injunction against Dish.  The appellate court agreed that Fox has not provided adequate evidence showing that AutoHop would result in copyright infringement or breach of contract between the two companies.

Although this latest ruling has not necessarily dealt a mortal blow (Fox says they may file another appeal), it certainly will set a precedent for similar suits, namely those filed by NBC and CBS against Dish.  At a basic level, the suits against the satellite TV provider deal with its liability for plaintiffs’ lost ad revenues due to AutoHop. However, the courts say that by giving their customers control of the ad-skipping feature, Dish absolves itself of any direct liability for the lost revenues.

Sourcefednews.com explains Dish’s indirect liability:

“Additionally, Dish can’t be held liable indirectly either because time-shifting is a protected fair use and networks cannot challenge commercial skipping because they don’t have a copyright interest in the commercials themselves.”

Fox’s consecutive failures, for the same reason, to stop AutoHop seem to all but condemn both existing and future suits on the matter, at least in the U.S.  Could this case set a global precedent for ad-skipping procedures on VOD platforms? That depends on the country and the similarities between its laws and those of the U.S.

Referenced from FierceCable and the Chicago Tribune

See the appellate court’s full decision here.

YuMe Online Video Advertising

yume_logo_484 (1)Online news source Video Ad News recently conducted an interview with Ed Haslem, senior vice president of marketing at YuMe, an online video advertising firm.  The purpose of the interview was to discuss the release of YuMe’s Household Targeting ad service.

Haslem explained briefly what the service provides:

“In a nutshell, Household Targeting delivers 100% in-stream, interactive video ads to all screens in a household – smartphone, tablet, CTV, PC. By utilizing our Connected Audience Network these ads will reach more than 147M video viewers per month, in the United States.”

How does the service work? It uses complicated “heuristic algorithms,” as Haslem calls them, along with other processes that normal humans like myself could not possibly understand.  The main point is that the service looks to close the gap that exists between online video and TV advertising, insofar as household exposure.   Online ads, unlike those on TV, are usually only seen by a single family member at a time, giving TV ads a marked advantage.

Haslem said brands that would likely use YuMe’s service are those that already use TV ads heavily: cars, movies, restaurants, travel, etc.  Because these brands routinely include an entire household in the decision process (unlike, say, buying a set of golf clubs for Dad), adding online ads with family-wide exposure makes perfect sense.

YuMe plans to go public soon, as it filed for a US$65 million (S$82 million) initial public offering earlier this month, which was higher than expected (possibly due to this new service).  The company posted US$123 million (S$156 million) in sales for the 2012 fiscal year.

See full interview at VideoAdNews.com