Ad Insertion on the Horizon

Jan 2, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Cable operators can expect a number of technological innovations to further drive the VOD business forward in 2006.

For starters, operators are poised to begin rolling out VOD ad insertion technology from providers such as Tandberg Television, SeaChange and C-Cor. The new service will allow for the insertion of targeted ads on the fly into VOD content. That will be a big change from how ads are folded into content today: Now they must be baked in with the programming before it’s even delivered to cable systems.

With ad insertion, which operators such as Comcast have said they will begin rolling out early this year, ads can be swapped in and out of content on a weekly or even daily basis and also can be targeted to neighborhoods, making VOD a more attractive advertising vehicle for marketers.

Also expect additional improvements in the VOD user interface, said Braxton Jarratt, VP of marketing for Tandberg Television. “The silos will be broken down and we will see the emergence of a single unified user interface across all content,” he said.

That’s not all. As more niche on-demand networks arrive on the scene and increase their distribution, they’ll need robust tools to manage scheduling and distribution of that content, said Daniel Ronayne, general manager of Rainbow Media’s two niche on-demand services, sportskool and Mag Rack. Rainbow relies on technology from Cauldron to manage the process of disseminating its content to various cable operators.

“It’s so critically important that it all starts out the right way,” he said.

Also, SeaChange said it will introduce new capability into its VOD equipment in 2006 that will enable operators to handle additional content as they continue to add hours to their programming slates, said James Kelso, VP and general manager for broadband systems. “We are making sure there are no technical barriers,” he said.