Imagine aims to solve regional advertising over OTT

Nam Ly, architect in Imagine's CTO office, demonstrates the company's Regional Advertising Distribution System (RADS) at IBC 2016 in Amsterdam.

AMSTERDAM -- Imagine Communications is tackling the ad regionalization issue for broadcasters delivering their signal over the top, introducing a new service built on its Selenio Video Delivery Edge and dynamic ad insertion (DAI) products that makes it possible for major networks to target advertising on a region by region basis.

It’s a significant product for broadcasters and channel groups, the main target customers for the new solution. National broadcasters like ABC and NBC have mainly kept their content limited to over-the-air (OTA) and pay-TV distribution, along with authenticated TV Everywhere apps for pay-TV subscribers. That’s partly due to regional advertising as well as licensing concerns (such as a local game blackout).

And that leaves virtual MVPDs like Sling TV in the lurch, with no major broadcast channels available.  The regionalization issue is being explored by some content owners and distributors -- for example, CBS All Access has regionalized its OTT content in most of its service markets.

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Imagine’s solution could make it much easier for the broadcast industry to regionalize their OTT streams, at least for advertising, which would take one problem off their plate.

It also enables both national and regional TV broadcasters or station groups to change how ads are managed by region. “Their expectation on the affiliate side is that the affiliate is going to do the local ads,” said LeBrun. They have a block to go to their local ads, and now the local ads can be done in effect by the network. So you’ve got a dynamic there of having the affiliate work with the network on what the network is going to advertise, which is a different deal than has been done before.”

For example, a national commercial for a major auto brand could be adjusted region by region and distributed by the network, with ad insertion done in the HTTP stream before it’s converted to QAM, or a hybrid QAM/OTT stream, at a headend.

The Regional Advertising Distribution System (RADS) was developed from Imagine’s Selenio VDE, introduced earlier this year at NAB. “When we came out with VDE, some of our technology people started talking & saying hey, we can actually adapt our VDE and DAI functionality and actually go create this thing that allows networks to go and create regionalized ads,” said Glenn LeBrun, vice president of product marketing at Imagine, in an interview with FierceOnlineVideo here at IBC.

The solution could be pretty affordable, too. While not going into specifics on cost, since RADS is part of the Selenio VDE portfolio and varies in implementation, Nam Ly, architect in Imagine’s CTO office, said the hardware is all commercial off the shelf (COTS) and takes up only a modest footprint depending on the size of the customer’s network. “What reduces the cost too, is all the legacy hardware splicers are out of the picture now. You’re more efficient, you have this unified system to do all your ad decisions,” Ly said.

Source: Imagine Communications

For more:
- see the release

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