Video-On-Demand Modeling

One of the biggest hurdles hindering the ad community's adoption of the cable networks' ad-supported video-on-demand platforms is the cable systems operators' commercial integration restrictions. If an advertiser purchases time on a linear network's VOD channel, such as CNN, Discovery or Nickelodeon, or an independent content provider's VOD channel, such as Music Choice or Havoc, the advertiser is required to provide commercial assets upwards of 30 days prior to the beginning of the month in which their commercial is to air. As an example, for inclusion in an April VOD platform, an advertiser would have to provide its assets by March 1. These onerous integration requirements are often an impediment to advertisers and their agencies recommending and/or engaging the application.

To ameliorate this situation companies like Visible World, Navic, Invidi, Tandberg and Atlas are developing dynamic ad insertion capabilities so that the advertiser can integrate their commercial assets (video and billboards) closer to air date and even swap out creative, at will, within the same month. We applaud these technologists' innovations and appreciate the cable operators' efforts in vetting and deploying these features as soon as bureaucratically and financially reasonable.

Concurrently, with the concentration of energy and resolve that the cable system operators and conspiratorial technologists are directing towards commercial integration, I think we, the media community, should expend gray matter in generating a wider range of ad-supported VOD commercial applications. Presently, AdVOD has modeled itself on the image of public TV. A billboard and commercial are placed at the opening and closing of the program. All of the commercials that ran during the original linear cable network broadcast are stripped out. The following are some models that I have been contemplating:

European Model. A series of billboards and commercials -- like quarter sponsorships -- positioned at the beginning, middle and/or end of a program.

American Model. Including the commercials that ran during the original linear cable network broadcast; however, adding a presenting sponsor (opening and closing).

Smorgasbord Model. Offering a selection of commercials to choose from before accessing content.

Floating Model, Random insertion of commercials throughout the program.

Any thoughts?