Liberty Global, one of the world’s largest international Pay TV and broadband companies, has selected Cadent to deliver an addressable TV advertising platform for its operators as they enable household-level targeting within broadcast TV channels appearing on set-top boxes as well as within content delivered to multiscreen devices in operator homes. The Liberty Global subsidiary, Virgin Media, will be the first to deploy the new platform (in the UK). Virgin Media has previously provided addressable advertising around VOD using Cadent as its technology partner.
A notable technology innovation for addressable TV on set-top boxes, with the new Cadent solution, is the use of server-side ad insertion as opposed to the pre-loading of advertisements onto set-top box hard drives. This approach makes addressable advertising to STBs possible without a DVR. For Liberty Global operators, this will be made possible by the super high-speed and reliable DOCSIS link on the cable networks.
Cadent says the result is ‘just-in-time’ addressable campaign decisioning and execution. In other words, without having to load ads into a DVR in advance, you have a larger choice, in theory, of advertisements to choose from. More important is the ability for quick feedback from the STBs, like reporting which ads have been seen, as this will help rapid adjustments to campaign management, like when capping frequency levels so a home only sees a particular ad three times.
The Cadent addressable solution has an open API that can support multiple workflows from broadcasters and their partners, as well as an architecture that controls and processes data without leaving the Liberty Global footprint. The solution being deployed with Liberty Global also unifies all addressable advertising for planning and campaign management, whether it is served within linear or VOD or on STBs or multiscreen devices. The reporting is also unified and ‘normalised’, meaning it is easy to show advertising agencies or brands who has seen the targeted ads, which in turn helps link TV exposure to households that then acted upon an ad, like visiting a website or booking a showroom visit.
One immediate use of the open APIs will be to integrate the Cadent-developed addressable system at Virgin Media with the Cisco/Sky developed addressable system at Sky, since the two Pay TV operators have a landmark deal whereby Sky AdSmart campaign management and decisioning will be applied across Virgin Media homes. This gives advertisers a bigger footprint to aim their addressable ads at.
Scale is an important consideration in addressable advertising, because if you narrow your target audience based on behaviour, need-states or interests, for example (which is one of the main benefits of addressable) you want to start with the biggest pool of consumers possible at the outset, so the final audience target group is not too small.
There are a number of benefits for addressable advertising, starting with less waste for advertisers who only want to reach a subset of the total population. Some digital brands are coming to TV (and indeed, TV advertising growth is currently being driven by born-digital brands who have reached sufficient scale to need TV to help them grow further) but they expect more data-enabled capabilities, whether for targeting, reporting or attribution (all of which benefit in an addressable system). Meanwhile, big brands who need to reach all consumers can still benefit from addressable by finding light TV viewers who are expensive to reach via ordinary linear TV advertising.
John Paul, Managing Director of Advanced Advertising and Data for Liberty Global, comments: “We are focused on enabling advertising experiences that improve outcomes for both our content partners and customers. Not only does addressable TV enable today’s national brand advertisers to reach target audiences more effectively, it also enables first-time or more regionally focused businesses to benefit from TV in ways never before possible.”
Nick Troiano, CEO of Cadent, adds: “Liberty Global continues to be at the forefront of innovation with advanced and addressable advertising. As the demand for both data-driven and brand-safe video advertising accelerates, we are proud to be playing such a central role in helping Liberty Global serve their TV content owners, advertisers, and viewers.
“We are also very excited to expand deeper into the European market after a long-history of success in the U.S. Cadent is committed to empowering the evolution of TV advertising with an extensible technology platform designed to manage the complexity of campaign management and execution.”
Cadent provides marketers, agencies, operators and media owners with data-driven solutions for buying and selling TV advertising. Earlier this year the company consolidated its brands – Cross MediaWorks, Cadent Network, Cadent Technology (formerly BlackArrow) and one2one media – into a unified new brand, simply called Cadent.