The Cable Show 2014: Cablevision Upgrades Interactive TV Ad Platform

Cablevision is making notable improvements to its interactive advertising capabilities with the deployment of ActiveVideo’s new CloudTV AdCast platform later this year.

The upgrade should make it much easier for advertisers to create and deploy new interactive campaigns with operators in a way that would both expand reach and reduce costs.

When the system goes live in the later part of 2014, this new capability will enable the delivery of HTML5 interactive ads from the cloud. This will allow applications written once in HTML5 for mobile or connected TV platforms to be easily used on settop boxes or other devices and greatly simplify and speed up the process of bringing rich, graphic-intensive ads to television.

As a result of the upgrade, American Express interactive “Amex NOW” mobile app, which expanded its reach earlier this year to Roku, will be able to use that app on Cablevision’s interactive ad platform.  

Amex will be the first customer to use the new platform.

“Interactive TV has always been a promising area,” says ActiveVideo CMO Murali Nemani, who adds that this promise had been limited in the past by fragmentation of the device landscape.

Currently advertisers are forced to develop different apps to fit the different operating systems and technologies used by various settop boxes, connected TV players, smart TVs and other internet connected devices.

That greatly increases costs and made it harder to deploy campaigns over the whole footprint of a multichannel operator without costly upgrades of older settop boxes.

“This is a technology breakthrough and [an important] market opportunity because it allows advertisers to deliver interactive ads to the full footprint of devices,” Nemani adds.

Ben Tatta, president of Cablevision media sales noted that they have had considerable success with the deployment of the ActiveVideo platform five years ago but that the upgrade to the new cloud-based system is a major development for both the operator and the industry.

“This gives us the ability to have a more ubiquitous distribution,” by making it easier for major advertisers to develop and deploy the apps, Tatta explains. “They are able to extend the second screen to the first screen. Any application they have created for web or mobile in HTML5 can be extended to the TV.”

“There has been a lot of interest in interactive TV for those willing to make the investments but this will help it being adopted by a much broader set of advertisers,” Tatta added.

Cablevision has worked with American Express on interactive ads in the past. As the operator installs the new cloud-based system, they plan extensive tests before going live to the public later this year.

The CloudTV AdCast platform was first demonstrated earlier this year at CES.

In addition to more robust interactive features, the new platform also offers improved analytics and features for determining the effectiveness of the campaigns.