BlackArrow, which is working with Comcast, Bresnan Communications and Fox Cable Networks for dynamic VOD advertising, is partnering with NDS for a strategic business and technology alliance.

Dean Denhart, CEO of BlackArrow, said the technologies of the two companies are complementary, with very little overlap. The alliance will allow each company to "reach in and partner with each other’s customer base," he said.

The NDS-BlackArrow alliance will allow the two companies to integrate their technologies, focusing on video-on-demand (VOD) ad insertion, interactive advertising and addressable advertising on linear TV, with future plans to enable multiplatform campaigns across multiple devices. NDS will bring its ad measurement capabilities to the table.

"The main NDS product involved in this partnership is NDS Dynamic, which provides solutions to identify, measure and engage audiences, thus creating the framework for the alliance," said Todd Narwid, VP of new media for NDS.

He said programmers and advertisers want detailed, reliable measurement data from set-top boxes. "The real driver for this is the financial incentive," said Narwid. "It incorporates the operator who’s distributing, but is led by programmers and advertisers."

As far as what kinds of measurement data will be provided, that will be left up to operators. Narwid added, "From a technical perspective, the sky’s the limit. We can collect and use data in a number of ways. We aren’t recommending anything relative to that."

The BlackArrow Sales Suite enables national and local ad-sales organizations at media companies and cable operators to define, manage and fulfill multi-platform, multi-operator advertising campaigns. For operators, the BlackArrow Decision Suite offers ad decision logic and system interoperability to deploy dynamic ad insertion rapidly in VOD environments.

On the business side, BlackArrow has closed $20 million in Series C financing, led by NDS Group. The funding round also included existing investors Cisco Systems, Comcast Interactive Capital, Intel Capital, Mayfield Fund and Polaris Venture Partners.  With its investment, NDS gains a seat on the BlackArrow board of directors.

-Linda Hardesty

The Daily

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