NEW YORK Cablevision has taken the next leap forward in the quest to make video-on-demand a more dynamic environment for advertisers, announcing plans to begin offering same-day ad insertion across its entire footprint.
Beginning this summer, the cable operator will be able to swap out existing creative within 24 hours of receiving notification from a client. Moreover, Cablevision will now have the wherewithal to initiate a new campaign within the same time frame.
The push toward a more dynamic ad-insertion protocol will not only reduce lead time, thereby creating an opportunity for marketers to customize their messaging in order to boost relevance and impact, but should also speed up the reporting process.
Until recently, VOD spots were baked into the on-demand stream. When the MSO wanted to swap in another ad, the content had to be re-encoded with the new creative before the file was returned to the storage array. This process of swapping out the old and resetting the table for the new could take up to 40 days to be resolved, and as such, the platform couldn’t accommodate time-sensitive creative like movie trailers and sale promotions.
Today, the operator can reconfigure the ad without having to go through the arduous process of re-encoding the rest of the VOD content.
Once the new system goes live, advertisers will be able to place 15- or 30-second pre-roll spots directly before select VOD titles. (The operator carries about 6,000 in all.) The same-day insertion opportunities will include inventory on the MSO’s branded VOD channels for real estate, auto, health and travel, as well as all other on-demand content into which Cablevision has a right to insert ads.
The latency issue is one of the key factors that has prevented VOD from becoming a meaningful generator of ad revenue. According to a Mediabrands’ May 2009 forecast, advanced TV advertising is expected to lie flat in 2009, accounting for $138 million in revenue — a drop in the bucket when compared to the $45 billion TV advertising market.
“The advertising community has been seeking a vehicle that provides greater flexibility and mid-stream course changes in relation to opportunities and market conditions that arise,” said David Kline, president and chief operating officer of Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, Cablevision’s advertising unit. “We believe this new insertion service is the answer to the industry’s ad targeting and turnaround needs.”
Targeting will also play a significant role in Cablevision’s same-day insertion model, as advertisers will be able to direct relevant messages to specific viewer segments, based on the particular VOD content they choose to access.
In a related development, Cablevision also announced it will be providing telescoping across its entire service area, a move that coincides with its plans to begin targeting spots to individual households based on census-level data (income, gender, etc.).
“Cablevision continues to enhance its advanced TV advertising plans by launching innovative solutions to the on-demand platform,” said Craig Woerz, managing partner, Media Storm. “With the highest digital penetration in the country, our clients demand solutions and Cablevision continues to deliver new ways to engage this ever-fragmenting universe.”
Cablevision’s 2.8 million digital-cable subs account for 91 percent of its overall TV base.