Dynamic ad insertion is all the rage as it slowly rolls out to set-top-based VOD—with more static pre- and post-rolls remaining prominent on the Web. But dynamically inserted commercials placed in ways more like traditional TV commercial spots—are popping up online as well.
 
Just this week, Net2TV’s Portico TV online channel, which re-packages programs from CBS Interactive’s CHOW, Cinequest and Discovery Comm’s Revision 3 among others, said it’s doing away with overlays and pre-rolls in favor of shorter, dynamically inserted ads to better emulate lean-back TV viewing. News came right as the company also inked a deal to get a channel on the popular Roku box, now a popular device to view OTT content for its 5 million users. “We believe having short, interstitial commercial breaks with relevant advertising content is the right way to monetize this experience,” said Net2TV founder/CEO Tom Morgan.
 
Net2TV, which uses the Unicorn Once service from Unicorn Media, appears to be trying to tap into the thirst for highly targeted, dynamic ads already creating buzz within the cable environment. In terms of details, Portico TV’s commercial breaks will run six times an hour. Each break will have no more than two spots with a total break time of 60 seconds maximum. Interestingly, the commercial breaks are non-skippable—a familiar concept to those who have toiled over VOD rights deals with content owners, some of whom have required that MSOs disable fast-forwarding to protect linear ad revenues.

The big question: How competitive will these kind of spots become as Roku and other third-party boxes make viewing OTT content increasingly indiscernible from linear or VOD TV? Only time will tell…

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First Circuit Swats Maine A la Carte Law

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