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Beachfront Lets XITE Deliver Targeted Ads Via Set-Top Boxes

Music video service XITE is working with ad technology company Beachfront to monetize the viewing it gets through cable operator set-top box with programmatic advertising sales.

XITE, available on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 platform in the U.S. and Sky in Europe, lets viewers customize the music videos they see, creating an opportunity to send those viewers customized commercials.

Beachfront, which previously said it has the only automated platform for selling ads on set-top boxes in real time, worked with XITE for about six months to set up the technology to handle delivery, tracking and monetization of its set-top box app inventory.

XITE has already been able to sell programmatic ads to viewers watching on over-the-top services, such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV. It will also also be launching soon on Samsung smart TVs.

“Unlocking our inventory on Roku, Apple and Amazon is relatively straightforward and a lot of other apps have done that, said XITE co-CEO Cees Honig.

“In today’s digital media world, you need innovative partners who can solve complex challenges quickly and efficiently, and Beachfront has become a tech and monetization problem-solving lab for us,” said Honig. “Beachfront is addressing a major issue for XITE, allowing us to unlock and monetize inventory that was previously under-performing due to broken IPv4-based targeting.”

OTT streaming services use IP-based video, while set-top boxes use secure QAM technology. Streaming services also use IPv4 technology, which delivers ads to households, while the set-top box system delivers ads to individual devices using IPv6.

Beachfront put its engineers to work for XITE.

“Our product team is helping to ease the transition from IPv4-based addresses to IPv6-based identifiers to enable the seamless buying and selling of media across all devices. And in doing so, we’re ensuring XITE is monetizing against its entire total addressable market,” said Ben Abbatiello, VP of advanced TV at Beachfront.

Beachfront’s set-top-box technology is being used by Frontier Communications and the company is in conversations with other multichannel video programming distributors, Abbatiello said.

Abbatiello said XITE’s set-top-box inventory was interesting because the ads are usually viewed on a big screen, they’re usually unskippable, and delivered through the MVPD’s QAM network.

“It has a lot going for it,” said Abbatiello, who joined Beachfront earlier this year from SpotX.

With Beachfront’s system, XITE now is able to sell ad with geo-targeting and the two companies are working to be able to sell audience-based advertising.

“We have a lot of data because our users are logged in and so we already know a lot about who’s watching and what they’re watching,” Honig said.

With Beachfront, XITE is able to deliver a good experience for viewers and more valuable, targeted advertising for clients.

“Studies have shown that the younger generation responds to advertising that speaks directly to them. We want to match relevant advertising with that comfortable user experience,” Honig said.

Beachfront and XITE have met with agencies and demand-side platforms about XITE’s ad inventory. “We’re getting a lot of interest from direct-to-consumer brands,” Abbatiello said