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Comcast Is Gearing Up For IP Video-Ad Insertion

After ratcheting up its ability to dynamically insert ads into live and on-demand video sent to legacy set-top boxes, Comcast has since turned its attention to repeating the feat on Internet protocol-connected tablets, smart TVs, smartphones, gaming consoles, and a new generation of gateways and set-tops.

Comcast on Sunday (Dec. 8) announced that it is using a dynamic ad-routing platform from Denver- based company This Technology to help it accelerate, streamline and scale up its DAI capabilities for the IP world and on devices capable of receiving that video both in the home or on the go.

The system, which also aims to preserve the ad model as video shifts to Internet protocol-based delivery, routes the ads and identifies placement opportunities on those video streams.

This Technology CEO Jeff Sherwin said the system provides Comcast with a key abstraction layer, giving the MSO the ability to integrate with ad campaign managers from a variety of vendors (BlackArrow, Nagra/OpenTV, Harris Broadcast, FreeWheel and Google’s DoubleClick are among the suppliers in that market) while also avoiding the headache of repeating the development cycle for individual IP video platforms.

Establishing openness on the ad-campaign management side is important, Sherwin said, because operators want to avoid vendor lock on their internal advanced advertising systems while still being able to plug into IPbased DAI systems used by individual programmers. Because campaign-management products are not core to This Technology, the company is “incentivized to do integrations,” Sherwin said.

Comcast has already begun to deploy This Technology’s platform in support of various authenticated TV Everywhere offerings, including its recently updated Xfinity TV Go app, which currently supports 35 live-TV channels, its Web browser-based apps and its managed IP-video app for the Microsoft Xbox 360 console.

The multiyear agreement calls for This Technology to support Comcast’s existing IP-video platforms and to extend that support to others, Denise MacDonell, This Technology’s vice president of product management, said.

The multiyear IP-ad deal with Comcast is a sizable one for This Technology, though financial terms were not disclosed. This Technology, founded in 2006, has raised $7.5 million so far. Its other announced customers include Verizon Communications, NBCUniversal and ABC.


Comcast has tapped This Technology to bring ad insertion to its Internet protocol-powered video products.