Bresnan Trialing Real-Time VOD Ad Insertion

Bresnan Communications has begun a trial of a new technology that will enable the operator to insert advertisements into its video-on-demand streams in real time.

The test kicks off in four of Bresnan’s Montana markets––Billings, Bozeman, Helena and Missoula. While the cable company did not identify which clients would be participating in the dynamic ad-insertion trial, a company rep revealed that no less than three vendors (Arris, Avail-TVN and BlackArrow) were onboard.

The Bresnan test comes on the heels of a few high-profile announcements from larger MSOs. In November, Cox Communications began kicking the tires on dynamic ad-insertion in its Phoenix, Ariz. system, with an assist from NBC Universal. The previous month, Comcast launched a similar trial in Jacksonville, Fla., seeding content from its own FearNet and PBS Kids Sprout VOD nets.

Until only recently, VOD spots were baked into the on-demand stream; in order to swap in new ads, the operator was obliged to re-encode the entire content file, a process that could take up to 60 days to complete. As such, the platform couldn’t accommodate time-sensitive creative like movie trailers and local sales promotions.

“This trial will grow the value of our VOD platform to both advertisers and content partners as we begin to offer a completely new advertising model,” said Kelly Enright, regional vp of advertising sales for Bresnan Communications. “Dynamic ad insertion offers an exciting opportunity to develop campaigns that provide relevant, measurable and highly effective advertising to a growing audience and allows programmers to manage on-demand advertising inventory for the first time, while developing a whole new stream of advertising revenue.”

Bresnan’s initial foray into dynamic ad insertion will continue through March. The privately-held operator serves some 320,000 customers throughout Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Utah.