Light Reading
Comcast's wide rollout of dynamic ad insertion will help cable VoD finally take on the flexibility and speed of Web video systems

Comcast Signals New Ad Era for VoD

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
7/29/2011
50%
50%

After years of fits and starts sprinkled in with some small field trials, dynamic ad insertion for cable video-on-demand (VoD) appears to be on the verge of becoming a reality, giving MSOs a system that can rival the flexibility and speed enjoyed by advert systems that power Web-fed video services. (See Comcast Gets Dynamic With VoD Ads and Charter Tests Dynamic VOD Ads.)

Evidence of cable's emerging ability to switch ads in VoD content on-the-fly emerged this week when Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) announced it had started a scaled deployment that's covering 17 markets, about 7 million homes. The MSO expects to complete the deployment by early 2012, according to Comcast SVP and GM of Video Services, Marcien Jenckes.

In terms of content suppliers, USA Network, E!, Syfy, Bravo Media and Oxygen Media are already on board, and networks from the MSO's corporate cousin, NBCUniversal LLC , will be joining in the months ahead. Chrysler and Kraft are the first major advertisers to sign on, with Comcast Spotlight bringing in several local advertisers.

"We believe it's ready for prime time," Jenckes says of the technology, which at long last will help MSOs try to staunch the flow of video advertising that's been leaking to the Internet. (See Plugging the Ad Drain.)

Comcast, in tandem with campaign management and ad-serving partner BlackArrow Inc. , is starting off with the ability to digitally splice commercials into the front- and back-ends of "free" ad-supported VoD content. The MSO expects to start inserting ads into the middle of shows by the fall.

That's something programmers have been able to do pretty easily for a while for Web-sourced VoD, but now cable's legacy digital TV platform is finally catching up. Before dynamic splicing became available, programmers had to insert the commercial into the VoD asset and re-edit whenever new adverts needed to be inserted.

The ability to make swaps rapidly will help programmers insert ads that are more relevant, but it will also put the industry on the path toward addressable (i.e. targeted) advertising. Adding addressable ads to the mix will probably have to wait until 2012, Jenckes says.

Jenckes says Comcast has reached the scaled deployment stage for dynamic VoD ads now that it has built out its central VoD library and developed the associated video-optimized content delivery network (CDN). Also factoring in was its investment in a unified database that manages all of Comcast's VoD assets centrally. (See Comcast's 'Project Infinity' Takes Flight .)

Going wider
But the value and scale of this is limited if Comcast acts alone. Canoe Ventures LLC , the cross-MSO advanced ad joint venture, will help other MSOs join the mix in early 2012. In addition to Comcast, Canoe's backers include Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Charter Communications Inc. , Cox Communications Inc. , Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) and Bright House Networks . (See Canoe Experiments With VoD Ads.)

Jenckes says ad-supported VoD is already profitable -- Comcast averages about 350 million VoD views per month -- but this new capability should drive incremental on-demand revenues for MSOs and programmers and give them upside on the ad dollars that are already coming in from traditional linear TV and via the Internet.

"This is new revenue at scale against a significant amount of viewership," he says.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Level 3 Does Big Data Differently
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/21/2014
IoT Alert: Samsung Snaps Up SmartThings
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/15/2014
Comcast Streams Back to School
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/21/2014
Line-Powered Phone Lines: A Hot Topic Again
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/20/2014
Analyst: Ericsson, Oracle Top Shrinking SDP World
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/19/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed