Ad insertion aims to make VoD more attractive

Programmers often won't put shows on video-on-demand (VoD) because they can't maximize the advertising opportunity. Because the programs have to be placed in a queue to meet a certain deadline and be geographically general, it's not always easy to insert the most timely or relevant ads. And without ads, you're left with pay television--which kind of defeats the purpose of video-on-demand as an anytime access to free programming.

BlackArrow thinks it has found a way to get around this with addressable advertising that it's testing with Fox Cable Networks in multiple markets with undisclosed cable operators. Fox becomes the first programmer to support BlackArrow's dynamic ad insertion technology although the vendor previously announced deployments with Comcast and Bresnan Communications.

In this instance BlackArrow is helping FX, National Geographic Channel and Speed "segment their audience by geo and time zone and other demographic variables and target different ads for each one of those constituencies," said Nick Troiano, BlackArrow's president. "Fox Networks can actually manage its own targeting and campaign capabilities across one or many markets or one or many operations."

BlackArrow, working with its cable partners, is also "solving the time to distribution or time to publish VoD content and more importantly VoD advertising," Troiano said. "Advertising can be made available almost on an immediate basis... and the 30-60-day upfront time process is gone."

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