With Canoe No Longer Pulling The Boat, What's The Future Of Cable Addressable Ads?

Big Internet companies might now look at the cable industry and its mostly failed Canoe Ventures and say, "Not all that easy, is it?"

Over the past several years, media agency executives put a lot of promise into cables addressable advertising efforts -- and much more promise into cable than into the Internet when it came to premium TV efforts.

Why? A strong belief was that, unlike with the Internet, cable offered more easily accessible big time scale to send, say, Purina commercials to pet owners or Yamaha commercials to motorcycle owners.

Canoe Ventures issued a statement that it had responded to the "marketplace." Was that the marketplace where not every cable network wanted to give up inventory for addressable ads? Or the marketplace where major issues still existed in getting all the multiple-system cable operators to work out their technical problems due to different set-top boxes?

Could it have been the marketplace where major advertisers wanted different things -- with different metrics? (A lot of this could be said of Internet platforms and publishers as well, where different metrics and varying opinions about research standards seem to be at issue.)

What happens now? TV-oriented media and marketing executives can only put so much money into the likes of separate premium video sites like Hulu, and into video-enabled social media efforts.

While digital is growing, the greater piece of overall consumer media behavior till resides around the big video screen in the evening hours.

Can a Canoe Ventures-like effort be saved? Incentives could work. But not until cable operators really need addressable ads. Unlike with many Internet platforms, cable operators have never been that interested in boosting their local advertising businesses -- especially now that big consumer revenues are still coming in for triple-play packages of phone, video and Internet.

If anything, cable operators have long coveted a bigger video-on-demand business -- an effort the big cable company owners of the now smaller Canoe Ventures promise to continue. That makes sense, because cable companies have greater vested interests in their owned VOD services.

In the end, addressable advertising on a large scale now has too many different entities -- cable operators, cable networks, and advertisers -- pulling in different directions for their own interests.

A simpler formula with fewer parties -- perhaps one network and one big media agency holding company -- might be able to slowly work through the technical issues. Then, if successful, the formula would get the attention of other parties. But that's a big if.


1 comment about "With Canoe No Longer Pulling The Boat, What's The Future Of Cable Addressable Ads?".
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  1. Herb Lair from CUO,Inc., February 23, 2012 at 9:22 p.m. Based Social Media System for the Cable TV Market
    Herb Lair
    Cable has long history of failing to develop 1-1 target marketing. Canoe Ventures (latest MSO venture) was touted as the Holy Grail of targeted advertising and is reportedly less than a success at this stage.

    Excerpt from above link on January, 2011 –

    “Advertisers will spend $56 billion putting ads on TV this year,...The cable industry thought it would be a big opportunity too, but its efforts have fallen short. Canoe Ventures, a two-year-old project of the six biggest operators, has launched just one notable product…”

    Excerpt from above link on February, 2011 Business Insider

    Identifies advertising market being missed by Cable TV operators

    In the near future, advertisers will demand the ability to target their messages to people rather than targeting their messages to TV shows as proxies for people.”

    The obvious alternative, with the least cost to implement is an independent Cloud CRM solution designed to cross index cable subscriber households with their corresponding social network interests. The current regulatory and privacy issues experienced by cable TV operators gathering unauthorized data from set-top boxes could be minimized, by validating subscriber and even eliminated by essentially having an opt-in plan (provided conveniently by the social media). Access along with profile and interests of households would be controlled by the subscriber’s social media platform of choice. Facebook has high consumer acceptance and could be used for household profiles, product interests, social interests, and viewing entertainment interests. There would be incentives to the subscribers to opt-in including notification and reminder of viewing favorites, Groupon type ads, and specific ads matching interests with infomercial type group discounts and urgency to buy.

    The current design of target marketing advertising ventures is fundamentally flawed. They focus on demographics, and fail to identify the individual behavioral current and future household interests.

    I would propose using a data cross indexing similar to a data warehouse project I was involved with at iN Demand. .

    Project would involve developing a bidirectional Cloud interface program using a CRM application between the social media and MSO subscriber records and communicating behavioral marketing - business advertising, discounts, specific videos/groups, family albums – providing subscriber awareness of TV programming -- movies, products, etc. similar to Amazon and Groupon. This would make subscriber stickier and substantially reduce turnover.

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