Indivually Targeted Advertising In A Switched Services Environment (2006)

By Steve Riedl, Paul Delzio

Enhanced network switching technologies are becoming available throughout cable plants and providing operators with an opportunity to dramatically change the way advertisements are delivered and viewed by subscribers. Instead of subscribers being exposed to advertisements chosen on assumed demographics, ads can be forwarded based upon more personally relevant data such as viewing preferences, hobbies, interests, personal demographics and other parameters. Targeted advertising offers marketers greater confidence that the promotional messages they are paying for will result in improved response rates among their intended audiences.

Service providers benefit by having the ability to sell more valuable advertising content to more refined subsets of subscribers. This could also satisfy subscriber demands to receive only relevant content and potentially less cumulative advertising.

Additionally, by moving away from a “push” model that delivers ads of little interest to viewers, to a scenario in which subscribers are more likely to be engaged, opportunities exist for greater interactivity. Within their own streaming experience, subscribers can request additional information or other follow-up from the vendor regarding what’s being advertised, possibly going so far as to complete a transaction. For example, after viewing a promotional message about a new sports car, a subscriber can be invited to request a longer form of the advertisement and schedule a test drive.

This paper compares two broadcast architectures, switched and stored. Each can analyze data about what programs are being viewed and deliver ads that have the highest probability of achieving the desired responses, based on subscriber profiles and household classification data. Furthermore, the paper considers multiple models for delivery of targeted advertising in switched environments. Direction of advertising towards its correct destination can be achieved from multiple network locations, ranging from switched digital broadcast techniques based at headend and hub locations to dynamic digital tuning within set-top boxes.

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