ActiveVideo Eyes Scale With Interactive Ad Platform

Las Vegas – International CES -- ActiveVideo is about to do for interactive advertising what it has already done for user interfaces and video applications – give cable operators and other service providers the ability to scale those products to their entire base of IP-capable and older QAM-locked set-tops, rather than just to a smaller subset of new devices.

And it’s not just for service providers. ActiveVideo said its new CloudTVAdCast platform is also targeted to online video providers and the more general CE industry.

Like its original CloudTV platform for UIs and video apps, ActiveVideo’s new advertising-modified version enables its partners to write interactive apps once in HTML5, but allow them to also be rendered on devices that don’t speak IP or house integrated browsers. ActiveVideo does this by handling the heavy lifting and processing in the cloud and stitching the application directly into the video stream.

“The same principals apply to interactive advertising,” Murali Nemani, ActiveVideo’s chief marketing officer, said during a product demo here on Sunday.

In tandem with the launch, ActiveVideo also announced a strategic partnership with BrightLine, a company that develops interactive TV advertising and through its In-Television solution. L’Oreal, a BrightLink client, is already using the ActiveVideo platform to deliver interactive advertising/branding channels via Roku, which announced Sunday that it has shipped just shy of 8 million streaming devices in the U.S. (A screenshot from  L’Oreal’s OnBeauty app/channel is pictured above). It is possible that American Express, another BrightLine client, may be doing the same thing."

Nemani said BrightLine has developed 500 interactive ad campaigns for its client base, and that its partner has found that the click-through rates for TV-based interactive are 20 times better than their Web-only counterparts, and that the TV also keeps viewers engaged with the brand longer.

Nemani said ActiveVideo’s ability to deliver a rich interactive advertising experience across both IP and non-IP devices can help brands of all shapes and sizes reach a massive TV audience. He said ActiveVideo’s CloudTV platform has the potential to bring media-rich interactivity to a base of at least 300 million devices. These days, its software client is present on more than 10 million devices, a figure that includes Roku boxes.

“Scale is the name of the game here,” he said.

But hitting higher numbers on the advertising side will require help from the MVPD universe. At this point, no pay-TV operators have deployed ActiveVideo’s AdCast product, but its existing MSO partners include Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems, Time Warner Cable, Deutsche Telecom, J:COM, Ziggo, and Liberty Global. Comcast is conducting a VOD UI trial with ActiveVideo in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Here at the show, ActiveVideo showed how the same interactive branded advertising channels on the Roku box could be bolted to a pay-TV operator’s interactive programming guide environment.

“Satellite [TV] operators are also very interested” in ActiveVideo’s AdCast product, Nemani said.

The current version of AdCast links users over to the advertiser’s separately branded, interactive area/channel from the guide menu. ActiveVideo is also developing a way for advertisers to telescope viewers to those areas by clicking on a pop-up that appears in 30-second spots. That in-ad “triggering” system is currently in the proof-of-concept stage.

ActiveVideo’s new, additional product focus will also place the company in more direct competition with other vendors in the advanced advertising realm, including Ensequence, Cognitive Networks and Samba TV.