Invidi Strikes Comcast Deal To Extend Addressable TV To 60 Million

Michael-Kubin-BNEW ORLEANS -- One of the barriers to wide-scale addressable TV advertising -- where specific ads are sent to individual households -- has been the limited number of homes with access to platform-ready delivery systems. Executives discussing the subject at a 4As Conference session Wednesday morning estimated that up to now, the number of homes equipped to receive such ads total upwards of 40 million.

But that number is about to accelerate.

Addressable TV company Invidi has just struck a deal to deploy its system in Comcast Cable households around the country. Comcast, the largest cable operator in the U.S., has a total of more than 22 million subscribers. Confirming the news during the session, Invidi Executive Vice President Michael Kubin said that the company’s addressable system would be brought to Comcast Cable systems in phases, although he did not provide a timetable. He did say the deal would bring the number of TV homes with addressable capability to 60 million.

For advertisers that have been waiting for scale in the addressable space, Kubin said, “we’re at the tipping point.”

It’s been a long wait, as session moderator Bob DeSena, CEO, Engagement Marketing pointed out, noting that industry white papers about the promise of addressable TV were written in 1970’s, including one by prominent industry researcher Bill Harvey, a co-founder of shopper data research firm TRA.

That said, the industry has made significant progress in the last decade, when addressable trials in Huntsville, Ala. and Baltimore included just 8,000 and 75,000 households, respectively.

“If there’s one takeaway from this panel it’s that we are well past the days of trials,” said George Shababb, president, Kantar Media Audience, which provides detailed viewing and segmentation reports about addressable homes based on set-top-box data. “It works.”

Asked to rate how ready the industry is for scaled deployment of addressable campaigns Steve Murtos, senior vice president, Starcom MediaVest Group, gave the sector an 8 score out of a possible 10 points. “We’ve gotten past a lot of hurdles,” he said.

No one expects addressable ads to become the dominant commercial format any time soon, said Nick Troiano, president of VOD addressable service BlackArrow. “It’s in addition to linear TV not a replacement for it,” he said. “TV dollars are shifting to digital channels with ROI metrics. We’re doing that for TV.”

Models for doing business in the space also need refining, but as Shabaab said, “Linear TV had 60 years to get the business model right.” For addressable TV, he added, the model will “self-select itself out.”

Tags: advertising, deals, tv
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3 comments about "Invidi Strikes Comcast Deal To Extend Addressable TV To 60 Million".
  1. Jonathan Sims from Independent , March 14, 2013 at 6:22 a.m.
    A foundational economic model that needs to be in place in order for addressable TV to realize its full potential is: (1) The buy-side must see lower target CPMs with addressability; (2) The sell-side must see more dollars for any given addressable ad unit. All will be for naught if (1) and (2) do not come to pass.
  2. Rob Contreras from Whole Media Concepts , March 14, 2013 at 8:18 a.m.
    Comcast is innovative, but they're just one MSO. By the time this is built, deployed, tested and measured, more dollars will have leaked toward online marketing. This conversation has been circulating since the late 90's. @WholeMedia, we're early adopters and we'll be following this story very closely. Smart TV technology and TV app. development is where the industry should focus.
  3. leslie hamer from addressablemediagroup.com , April 15, 2014 at 2:56 p.m.
    I agree with Jonathon. There also needs to be a strong process which we are at the forefront of. There are many media tools that need to be integrated successfully and the cost needs to be right