The Broad World of Advanced Advertising Moves Forward

BTR_Feature_Art_Advertising_3_5_13_ For cable operators, speaking about advanced advertising as a single issue is a vast over-simplification. In reality, advanced advertising is a continuum, from approaches that are here today - such as inserting ads in VOD streams - to more exotic use cases for which technology, standards and even basic definitions and taxonomies still are being finalized.

The sense is, however, that these types of advanced advertising are deeply linked and that progress is being made on all fronts. Vendors say the complexity of the situation is coming fully into focus - a first step toward meeting the challenges - and that the paths forward on near- , medium- and long-term opportunities are clearer than even a few months ago.

The attraction of advanced advertising is deep - and the competition for those dollars from companies such as Google is fierce. "We're getting to the end of the beginning," said Duncan Potter, the chief marketing officer for Seawell Networks. "We still have a little way to go until we solve the implementation and operational issues. That’s where the operators are."

Perhaps the most important thing to recognize is that advanced advertising is far more complex than what the industry has offered in the past. At the same time, the vast majority of advertising revenue still is in the legacy area - and will stay there for the foreseeable future. "Almost all the money being made on ad insertion is from linear content," said Amit Eshet, the vice president of video solutions strategy for ARRIS. "We don't expect that to radically change in the near future."

So the situation is that truly advanced ad revenue will be a trickle, percentage-wise, well into the future. Of course, the end game - and one that is considerably down the road - is dynamic insertion on tablets, smartphones and IP-connected TV sets. To do this, the key steps include the maturation of adaptive bitrate streaming (ABS) techniques and a series of specifications, such as SCTE-130 and SCTE-35.

Eshet said development of these elements, as well as establishment of stable back offices capable of supporting the new approaches, are necessary for the end goal of multiscreen advertising to take off. It's a tall order.

Eshet and Neerav Shah, ARRIS' vice president of product line management, suggest that the number of moving pieces make this transition tricky beyond the base technology. Though virtually everyone agrees that the world of multiscreen advertising clearly is promising, legacy - and highly profitable - advertising is not going anywhere. This could slow progress, since advanced advertising isn't something that must happen for the industry to survive.

At the start, Shah said, the use of this technology may mimic the geographical-based advertising that is common today. Very quickly, however, it likely will evolve to Internet-style targeted advertising. Targeting individuals - or, more precisely, their tablets or smartphones - is quite a leap for an industry that until recently had been sending the same ad to whole DMAs. "Nothing is deployed, but you can see lab evaluations have been under way for about six months," Eshet said. "There is clearly a maturing cycle here."

In the nearer term, said Chris Hock, the senior vice president for product management and marketing for BlackArrow, ad insertion into VOD streams is paying off. "The hot burning topic right now ... is the monetization of VOD."

Hock said the technology is in place for his firm to insert "library" and real-time national, local and regional VOD advertising to 30 million households. That represents about 75% of the VOD advertising streams, though the streams can vary in size.

The infrastructure that is in place to insert all those streams will help the industry transition to a unicast world of addressable advertising serving IP-based devices. Today, the task is to insert an advertisement into a VOD stream. In the future, the same basic technology will be upgraded and supplemented to do such things as deliver a basic ad to a laptop and related extended content to a tablet. Each of these pieces must build upon each other and not require the reinvention of the wheel at each step.

The continuum of advanced advertising - which is ongoing - is a set of building blocks. "You have to make sure it all works together, that it is standards-based. MSOs must look at the overall roadmap. It is the VOD use case and the addressable use case and also the multiscreen use case," Hock said. "It requires the same core components and the same real-time services. It helps to architect the best solution from the start."

Carl Weinschenk is the Senior Editor of Broadband Technology Report.  Reach him at

Get the Broadband Technology Report Newsletters Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to email newsletters today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • Video Technology
  • Network Technology
  • Technology Alerts
  • BTR LATAM (Latin America)

SCTE-Cable Tec Expo 2016 Video Show Dailies

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 3

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 3

In our Video Show Daily for Day 3 of exhibits at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Philadelphia, BTR Editorial Director Stephen Hardy covers trends in distrib...

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 2

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 2

In our Video Show Daily for the second day of exhibits at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Philadelphia, BTR Editorial Director Stephen Hardy highlights furt...

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 1

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 1

BTR Editorial Director Stephen Hardy reviews the hot technologies and announcements from the first day of exhibits at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016 in P...

Diamond Technology Reviews - 2016 High Scores

2016 Diamond Technology Reviews Slideshow

2016 Diamond Technology Reviews Slideshow

Diamond Technology Reviews 2016

Diamond Technology Reviews 2016

BTR's Diamond Technology Reviews, now in its twelfth year, is a technology recognition program wherein vendors serving the broadband cable ...

Related Articles


IBM Adds Analytics to Cloud Video

October 25, 2016

IBM (NYSE:IBM) is applying its Watson natural language processing and ma...

Wicket Labs

Wicket Labs Monitors Multiscreen APIs

October 25, 2016

Wicket Labs has launched the Wicket Scorecard monitoring system to addre...

Demystifying Home WiFi

Demystifying Home WiFi

October 25, 2016

By Monta Monaco Hernon - As WiFi continues its march to ubiquity, custom...


2016 SCTE Cable-Tec Expo Wrap Up

Whether you couldn't make it to Cable-Tec this year or want to see if you missed anything while you were there, you'll want to join BTR editors Stephen Hardy and Ron Hendrickson as they reveal their picks for the...

October 12, 2016
Sponsored by

Counting the cost: Efficiently transitioning from HFC to FTTH

HFC networks are uniquely positioned to provide compelling and competitive services, and are also uniquely positioned to transition to symmetrical FTTH as commercial requirements demand.  This webinar will d...

Date:September 22, 2016
Sponsored by

Maintaining High Quality of Experience in an Adaptive Bitrate System

This webinar will look at the many points in an ABR system where the video is touched.  From ingest (satellite, file, and IP), to egress, each point should be qualified for compliance to help maintain a high...

Date:August 25, 2016
Sponsored by

White Papers & Special Reports

Cable VoIP 2.0: Voice Moves to the Cloud

October 2016

Cable providers led the charge on the VoIP evolution and won customers and market share. Now voice networks are evolving again. The cloud voice platform has ...

Understanding Ultra High Definition Television

October 2016

Over the last 10 years, high definition television (HDTV) has been replacing standard definition television as the expected viewing format for television pro...

Are You Ready for DOCSIS 3.1? The Future of Cable Technology and How to Prepare Your Network

October 2016

DOCSIS 3.1 promises 10x capacity throughput and a range of technical benefits for cable providers and users alike. Are you ready? Discover the technical adva...

BTR Blogs

BTR Managing Editor Ron Hendrickson

FCC Rethinks Set-Top Plan

September 10, 2016

By Ron Hendrickson - The FCC has reworked the "unlock the set-top b...


In Memoriam: Richard Covell

August 18, 2016

By Rob Stuehrk, Publisher - We at Broadband Technology Report were sadde...

BTR Managing Editor Ron Hendrickson

Court Overturns FCC Municipal Broadband Order

August 11, 2016

By Ron Hendrickson - You win some, and you lose some, and the FCC just l...

Featured Hangouts

4K 4 U: How to Prepare for UltraHD Video

4K 4 U: How to Prepare for UltraHD Video

4K/UltraHD video is coming - consumers are buying the TV sets, and more content is becoming available. Watch this inf...

DOCSIS 3.1: A Look Ahead

DOCSIS 3.1: A Look Ahead

Watch a 30-minute video chat of experts from a variety of related disciplines discuss how close deployments really ar...

Featured Hangout

4K 4 U: How to Prepare for UltraHD Video

4K/UltraHD video is coming - consumers are buying the TV sets, and more content is becoming available. Watch this informative Hangout on demand by clicking the link above.

Sponsored by Verimatrix.