Cadent Technology Targets Addressable Linear TV

Cadent Technology, a new ad-tech unit that merged the teams of BlackArrow and Cadent Network, said it has developed a new network-based addressable ad platform for linear TV for its partners in the pay-TV industry.

To demonstrate that capability, the company recently showed its campaign platform splicing in 30-second ads, based partly subscriber demographic data, on set-tops from Pace (now part of Arris) equipped with the Reference Design Kit, a preintegrated software stack managed by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global.

In the demo, the system delivered an ad for potential car buyers, and another that would be associated with a set-top for a subscriber that is not part of that specific group.

Rather than having the ad-decisioning occur in the set-top, Cadent’s system implements that in the network, whereby the box detects the in-band signal that calls back to the network to receive the proper ad that’s driven by the campaign manager.

That system, explained Les Carter, vice president and chief architect at Cadent Technology, in a recent briefing, can deliver real-time ad insertion and ad-decisioning based on linear multicast feeds. The solution can still use use QAM-based multicast content feeds, but can also use an IP-backed backhaul (via a box’s integrated DOCSIS modem, for example) to make the ad-decisions back in the network and use IP technology to acquire the ad assets.

Cadent also claims that its new unified ad control plane now supports a range of delivery methods, including QAM, IP, IP adaptive bit rate, and mobile, while also supporting live TV, as well as time-shifted video.

Carter also noted that the system is now equipped to be agnostic, as it can work with the company’s own ad servers, or ad servers from companies such as FreeWheel (now part of Comcast) or Google’s DoubleClick, for example.

That product, he said, is the first to emerge from the recently combined teams, whereby BlackArrow is best known for dynamic ad insertion, while Cadent’s expertise has focused on linear advertising.

Carter said Cadent Technology is in the process of setting up lab trials with partners.

BlackArrow, now part of the unit, has DAI partners that include TWC, Comcast, Charter Communications, Bright House Networks, Rogers Communications and Liberty Global/Virgin Media. BlackArrow has also been a partner of Canoe Ventures, the MSO-backed advanced ad J.V. backed by Comcast, TWC, Cox Communications, and Bright House Networks.

Of that group, Time Warner Cable Media, the ad sales arm of Time Warner Cable, announced recently that its Ads Everywhere platform now offers addressable campaigns for linear TV and VOD that can be targeted to the household level.

Cross MediaWorks (Cadent’s  holding company) announced the acquisition of BlackArrow in August 2015.