BlackArrow powers national VoD ads with Ad Router

Cable MSOs are beginning to deploy technology from BlackArrow that lets national cable networks and local cable systems deliver targeted ads in programs distributed on free VoD platforms.

BlackArrow, whose customers include Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Canadian MSO Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI), said its Ad Router product resides at data centers owned by cable MSOs, and can control ad routing requests that are based on various platforms and inventory owners, and that it can allow operators to place national and local ad avails in VoD programs.

New York-based BlackArrow said its Ad Router and Business Suite software is "deployed and in trials with major operators," but it didn't name the companies. Likely candidates include Rogers, which announced an agreement last week to use advanced advertising technology from BlackArrow, and Comcast, which began deploying BlackArrow technology to support dynamic VoD ad insertion last summer. Comcast Interactive Capital is an investor in BlackArrow.

One of the challenges operators and programmers have faced with VoD advertising in years past was that ads had to be included in to the programs that networks supplied operators. Dynamic VoD ad-insertion technology gives networks and operators more flexibility, and allows for the placement of targeted ads in VoD programming based on time of day or geographic factors.

"Prior to this, advertisers and programmers would have to send us promotions and advertising that was baked into the content. Now they can send us the content and the advertising separately, and it can be relative to where the consumers are," Comcast executive director of video business operations Caroline Brown said in a video blog about the BlackArrow deployment last August.

Comcast, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and other major MSOs that back the Canoe Ventures interactive TV consortium said earlier this year that they would focus on using Canoe to develop a national platform for VoD advertising. BlackArrow's Ad Router could help those efforts.

For more:
- see the news release

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