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BlackArrow Extends Linear TV Ad Systems To Multiple Screens

Dynamic ad-management vendor BlackArrow is touting a suite of services designed to let pay-TV operators use traditional linear TV advertising systems to deliver the same broadcast ad load -- or swap them out to play targeted ads -- to tablets and other IP video devices.

The vendor said it staged the demo at CableLabs’ Linear and IP Ad Interop event in Louisville, Colo., last month. BlackArrow showed a new set of services and interfaces, collectively called Linear Extensions for Dynamic Ad Insertion, designed to blend output from traditional linear TV ad systems with dynamic ad-insertion capabilities.

The new services include: Linear Replication, which uses linear schedule ingest and dynamic ad insertion to replicate the original linear TV ads on tablets and IP devices; and Linear Addressability, which can swap out linear ads and replace them in real time with household-addressable spots.

“Monetizing live and time-shifted television across multiple screens should not require individual silos for each platform,” BlackArrow chief technology officer Joe Matarese said in a statement. “BlackArrow’s new Linear Extensions, coupled with the sophisticated business rule and policy definition capabilities of our placement opportunity information service, provide multichannel video programming distributors with a single, standards-based platform for all of their multiscreen advertising needs.”

BlackArrow’s Linear Extensions use CableLabs’s new Event Signaling and Messaging (ESAM) specification as well as SCTE 130 standards for dynamic ad insertion.

At the CableLabs interop event, BlackArrow’s placement opportunity information service (POIS) component cross-referenced in-band signaling metadata delivered within a live TV feed against expected ad opportunities scheduled by a traditional linear ad system. According to the vendor, that allowed encoder vendors to ensure the stream was conditioned properly for seamless ad insertion. Then the BlackArrow subscriber-information service and ad-decision service selected the appropriate ad (either the same ad that aired during the original TV broadcast, or a different, addressable ad).

Privately held BlackArrow, based in San Jose, Calif., is backed by Cisco Systems, Comcast Ventures, Intel Capital, Mayfield Fund, Motorola Mobility Ventures, Polaris Venture Partners and Time Warner Cable.

The BlackArrow Advanced Advertising System has been deployed by service providers including Comcast, TWC and Rogers Communications.