The recurring nightmare of cable ad sales execs includes consumers in today’s multiplatform, YouTubular world fast-forwarding or skipping linear viewing for video on the Web.
One TV ad technologist has a radical solution for cable operators: Reward subscribers who watch ads all the way through by giving them a rebate on their cable bill.
Sound crazy? Invidi Technologies president and CEO David Downey is pitching MSOs on providing incentives to subscribers by using his company’s software. Invidi technology lets subs choose the ads they want to see and get reimbursed for watching them.
"The average U.S. household will see 75,000 commercials this year," says Downey. "We as a cable industry control about 12,000 of those commercials…so let’s send ads to people based on what their interests are and let’s further reward them for watching."
A former cable operator at U.S. Cable and other companies, Downey is offering two addressable advertising solutions for operators. One of them, called Advatar, anonymously determines who’s watching a particular TV, and delivers ads over a set-top that has been customized to that viewer’s profile.
Downey estimates that local cable ad sales execs could add another few pennies onto their CPM rates if their system participates in such a rewards plan. That would cover the operators’ cost of reimbursing subscribers for the commercials they watch through to the end.
Advatar has completed a two-year technical test at Motorola and Cisco’s Scientific Atlanta unit in partnership with undisclosed MSOs and is ready for launch this quarter.
A companion service, INVIDI ADS (short for Advertising Decision System), helps operators ensure at the cable system level that targeted ads are delivered precisely where they’re supposed to go by integrating their own (privacy-based) cable subscriber information, multiple third party databases and advertiser criteria for each video spot.