BConrady: Conrad Clemson, VP of business development, Cisco Service Provider Video

Let’s start this blog with this simple observation: TV didn’t kill radio, but it did disrupt how advertising flows. Same for the impact of online media, on print.

And by our reckoning, it’s about to happen again — the diverted flow of advertising resources and revenues away from traditional, big broadcast TV, to online and over-the-top video.

Will TV advertising dominate over other forms of video consumption, for a really, really, really long time? Unquestionably. But increasingly, brands want a mixed media spend, because it gets them greater reach and greater engagement — and that’s what advertising is all about.

Our work to help service providers expand advertising beyond the primary TV screen, to the other screens we’re all watching, is a big part of what we’re demonstrating at this week’s CES, in Vegas. And we’re not going it alone — we’ve strengthened our work with Black Arrow, on ad decisioning, and with Innovid, on multi-screen.

Here’s what you’ll see: Dynamic advertising insertion (DAI), but not just for traditional, set-top based video on demand (VOD). Also for the over-the-top types of video, service providers are offering to IP-connected screens. That means an “ad decisioning” engine that can deliver different ads to different screen types.

Maybe it’s to satisfy a regulatory or ethical concern, like how many countries disallow the advertising of junk food and candy to children, as one of many use cases. Or to push to the tablet a link to the local auto dealership, when the national truck ad is airing: Would you like to book a test drive?

In those two examples, Black Arrow is providing the decision engine that chooses the best-targeted ad to deliver to the screens associated with the big TV (tablet, smart phone, laptop.) Innovid is providing the elements that actually deliver the ad to the respective screens.

Our part involves our cloud-based work on context. Our cloud-resident software analyzes what’s being said during some particular piece of video content. Then combines this with other relevant information – guide data, prior episodes, imagery, logos, even faces, over time — and ultimately returns a set of qualified, contextual keywords that can be used for advertising. These are then provided to Black Arrow to make the ad decision..

(On a lighter note, the whole thing involves Jimmy Fallon and Movember.)

Last but not least, we’re showing an application of DAI that enables geographic segmentation, for locally-relevant content. Maybe the economy car to one part of town, and the pickup to the adjacent and rural part of town.

For a person with a long history of finding and building new ways for linear TV advertising to advance, what feels different about this chapter is that it … makes sense. It parallels the activities people are already accustomed to doing, on second screens: “Info-mining” to further inform something that’s happening on the big screen.

For forever and a day, advanced advertising has been the thing that’s going to bring the next big source of revenue. Our position is this: Television advertising revenue will migrate to multi-screen. It’s already happening. It’ll be slow, but, the greater reach and engagement that comes with multi-screen, and the “multi-media spend,” is upon us. We’ll be showing this off this week to customers during CES at Cisco’s Service Provider Video setup at The Wynn Hotel.


David Yates

as Director of Service Provider Video Marketing at Cisco