Advanced Advertising - Top cable technologies in 2013

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Cable operators are pitching several new advertising formats and technologies to media buyers, including interactive advertising, video-on-demand advertising, online advertising and products that allow marketers to target ads to cable subscribers at the zone, or neighborhood level.

With Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cablevision and other major MSOs increasing the amount of free VOD content available from both broadcast and cable networks, 2013 may be the biggest year yet for VOD advertising. Canoe Ventures shifted its focus last year from developing interactive advertising to develop a national platform for VOD advertising. The company, which is owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) and Cablevision, says it can help advertisers place pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll ads in free VOD programs that can run on platforms from multiple MSOs. It has also integrated its platform with several VOD technology vendors, including Arris (Nasdaq: ARRS), BlackArrow, Concurrent, Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC), SeaChange (Nasdaq: SEAC), and This Technology.

Pay TV rivals Cablevision and Verizon have seen increased demand for telescopic VOD ads in which the companies allow subscribers that use their remotes to respond to an interactive overlay placed in a 30-second commercial. Subscribers that respond to the ads are redirected to a dedicated advertising channel that features long-form videos and interactive content. American Express launched interactive advertising channels last fall on Cablevision, Verizon, AT&T, DirecTV and Dish Network.

As more subscribers watch TV while using smartphones and tablets, pay TV distributors are stepping up efforts to introduce multiscreen advertising technology. Technology vendors are also racing to develop unique multiscreen advertising products, including SeaChange, which teamed up with Tellabs (Nasdaq: TLAB) at The Cable Show to demonstrate how ads could be targeted to viewers watching programming on an iPad based on activity from the tablet's web browser.