NCTC, Imagine strike IP video ad insertion deal

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Imagine’s ad technology is pre-integrated with SpotX and other supply-side platforms. (StockSnap)

The National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) and Imagine Communications are working together on ad tech for broadcasters, content owners, MVPDs and virtual MVPDs.

The companies are collaborating on AdKey, a cloud-based service that supports ad insertion on all IP-based video streams. The deal will involve deployment of cloud-based ad monetization technology from Imagine by independent operators by the third quarter of this year, with trials beginning in the coming months. NCTC represents more than 750 independent cable operators in the U.S., and negotiates master licensing agreements with content providers for over 200 networks.

“AdKey is focused on helping our independent operators preserve existing ad revenue streams based on legacy infrastructure while clearing a path to video monetization on connected devices without requiring high upfront costs or investments in new gear,” said Rich Fickle, president of NCTC, in a statement. “Imagine’s ad tech is proven globally and the company’s embedded status with all of our critical advertising partners will help our members accelerate the shift to next-generation IP distribution for reduced set-top-box costs, increased consumer satisfaction and new opportunities for advertisers to connect with viewers.”

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Imagine said AdKey can mirror everything being done on legacy infrastructures in IP-based offerings, which will likely serve as their primary video delivery service, available on a range of connected devices and platforms. The service also provides a solution for selling inventory on additional channels that operators are not monetizing today via compatibility with an expanding ecosystem of partners from across the advertising value chain.

“Often, the most limiting factor preventing operators from deploying a new service is the inability to build a solid business case to support it,” said Chris Gordon, vice president of product marketing for Imagine Communications, in a statement. “Imagine shifts this familiar dynamic by removing the traditional upfront costs and ongoing support typically required to deliver a world-class video service. We look forward to helping open new possibilities for NCTC members while eliminating so many of the hurdles that can prevent independent operators from being able to upgrade to the latest tech platforms."

Imagine’s ad technology is pre-integrated with SpotX and other supply-side platforms to provide access to programmatic exchanges and campaign fulfillment, helping local operators fill local inventory.