Comcast Media Center (CMC) is aiming to make a large dent in the HD advertising market using broadband connections to deliver HD ads that will make such transportation “substantially” less expensive than the status quo, the CMC chief Gary Travers says.

A product called AdDelivery allows CMC to transport HD or SD ads electronically using broadband connections instead of physically shipping tapes. “The economics of HD is upside down right now,” Travers believes, due largely to the expense of transporting HD ads. While HD ads are just 3% of the total market inventory, HD ads deliver about 20% of the revenue on the “digital trucking side of the business,” he adds.

AdDelivery was developed from a Comcast product called TruDelivery, which manages high-value digital assets quickly and securely across the public Internet. “We integrated TruDelivery with all the processing capabilities we already had at the CMC,” Travers says. Denver-based CMC delivers some 9K SD and HD on-demand assets monthly and handles 20K+ pieces of media per week. For the past 7 years, the CMC has been doing a lot of work in the advertising environment, “even though we haven’t been publicly open about it,” he says.

Currently, CMC’s solidly in the interactive advertising space. “We wanted to build the business around traditional linear channel advertising,” Travers says. “But in reality, we’ve been very focused all along on the aspects of interactive…we have a product on the HITS side called HITS Access, which is really all about creating an ITV eco  system for the small and medium-size market.”

Of course this push toward interactive advertising dovetails nicely with Canoe. “We have to be absolutely in alignment with Canoe,” particularly with how they want to manage and steward ads, Travers says.

AdDelivery puts a light piece of software at the post-production or ad agency’s location and one at the end destination’s location, ie, at a cable operator, programmer or broadcaster. “The reason we can be much cheaper [than competitors] is because we are leveraging what we do at the CMC and we are using broadband connections,” Travers notes.

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