Thursday, December 17, 2009

Downloadable TV Advertising to STBs and DVRs

How can you provide highly targeted ads to consumers without significant upgrades to TV broadcasting systems? You can push a set of targeted ads to consumer devices (such as set top boxes or DVRs) so that the ad can be immediately available when a specific event occurs.

Some of the middleware standards such as OpenCable™ define how the signaling for these downloadable ads can occur. However, there is a practical element to downloadable ads which is acceptable practices for ad insertion. When TiVO started inserting ads into their system, it generated some negative feedback and the TiVO ads were relatively non-intrusive banners that appeared on the bottom of navigation and menu pages.

The types of downloadable ads range from simple graphic banners to full video advertisements. They may be delivered in the background typically without any knowledge of the viewer (especially in the very early hours when the network is not busy). The ads may be triggered to start by a variety of conditions such as pausing a video play, changing channels to program with matching content to the ad, and triggers that may be embedded into the media. A key consideration is how to manage the storage and deletion of the ads.

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