Profile: Seth Haberman

Jul 15, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Title: President and founder of Visible World in New York. Visible World’s technology enables content providers to create and deliver targeted television ads.
Background: Mr. Haberman founded and ran Montage for 14 years before the company and its nonlinear editing system was purchased by Pinnacle Systems in 2000. He also worked as a video game designer for Children’s TV Workshop.
The evolution of Web and video: “Web pages used to be very long, and you would scroll down. Very quickly they componentized the page and broke it up into many pages, so you could have more than one person do it and you could change it automatically because it was modular. And you could personalize it. The evolution from a single piece to modular components spawned a lot of important things in bringing down the cost [of Web design] and creating personalization. That transformation that happened in three years on the Web never happened with video. With video it was always broadcast, so they didn’t need to create multiple images.”
Here and now: “Now is the time that it is possible to start sending different pieces of video to different homes and send custom content to homes. I said, `How can I make television go through the same transformation as the Web and have just-in-time assembly? That’s where Visible World came from.”
Customization: Visible World’s technology enables the customization of video so that advertisements can be created like Web pages in modular components that change over time and based on who is watching the ad, he said. An ad for Disney theme parks, for instance, could be created so that viewers who have been to Disney World will see one message and those who have not will receive a different message. The ads are encoded into MPEG files.
“It looks to a traffic and billing system like it’s one ad,” he said. “The magic happens when it plays out. When it plays out on the server, the digital set-top box knows the specifics of the customers and how to assemble the ad for that customer.” Ads can be customized and delivered according to households, ZIP codes or designated market areas. As long as a cable system has ad insertion software it can use Visible World’s software tools.