Implementing Addressable Advertising In Linear Networks (2008)

By Steve Riedl, Time Warner Cable and Doug Jones, BigBand Networks

Although the potential for addressable advertising to increase revenues is widely accepted, the infrastructural changes needed to support it are still being examined. Existing network functionality needs to be enriched to allow the following abilities to be implemented:  Replication of program streams such that more than one copy can be simultaneously supported on the network – since bandwidthintensive HDTV is increasingly being offered to subscribers the ability to place its replication closer to the edge of the HFC network could conserve IP distribution network capacity;  Managing the multiple copies within the current systems without causing issues with the large increase in sources;  Implementing IGMPv3 to insure only viewed networks are distributed on the IP sections of the operator network;  Association of a particular program stream with viewers of like demographics to enable relevant ads to be delivered to those viewers – grouping these viewers can be accomplished either when theviewer initiates a channel change or by force-tuning that viewer before the ads are to be played;  Addressing of program streams to a single user in order to deliver a particularly relevant ad to them;  Selective insertion of advertising into a program stream to match viewers’ demographics – ad insertion can occur either through seamless splicing or a playlist;  Interoperability between the HFC resource management system and the advertising decision manager to ensure that the available capacity of the HFC network is taken into consideration;  Instantiation of an overall control mechanism to coordinate these activities – the SCTE DPI committee has begun the process of developing standardized interfaces to meet this need. The delivery of advertisements should include extensions of switched digital video known as microcast and unicast, and set-top based ad insertion mechanisms. These methods are complimentary because content can be delivered either over the network or from a local hard disk drive in the set-top box. This paper unifies these topics, describes an architecture designed to satisfy the requirements listed above, and explains its operation. The intent of the authors is to prove a technology framework for converged resource management and addressable advertising for emerging marketing services. The paper also provides relevant context on the addressable advertising service including an architecture for a next-generation advertising system. The authors show how ads can be stored and how the developing standard interfaces will enable next-generation ad delivery systems. Additionally, it identifies a variety of parameters that can be used to size the advertising system by leveraging projections of initial deployments.

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