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Comcast, NBCU Bring Dynamic Ads to VOD

In a bit of synergy between its cable business and its networks, Comcast and NBCUniversal say they are working together to use dynamic ad insertion in On Demand programming.

Chrysler and Kraft will be the first advertisers taking advantage of the new opportunity.

One issue that has hampered VOD advertising is that with many shows, pre-roll commercials are sold by the month, providing advertisers with little flexibility. Dynamic ad insertion allows operators and the networks providing the shows to change the ads.

Comcast and NBCU said they have begun rolling out dynamic ad insertion in several Comcast markets. They plan to expand to the majority of Comcast markets in the coming year.

Initially they plan to focus on pre- and post-roll spots in programming from NBCU's cable networks, beginning with USA, E!, Syfy, Bravo and Oxygen. Later this year, the company will offer dynamic insertion of mid-roll ads.

Comcast is working with Black Arrow to provide the technology for dynamic ad insertion. Comcast plans to make the capability available to other networks in 2012. At that time, working with Canoe Ventures, dynamic insertion should also be available through multiple operators.

"On Demand programming is a key way to reach today's consumers and an important part of an advertiser's marketing mix," Ed Swindler, EVP and chief operating officer, NBCUniversal Advertising Sales, said in a statement. "This capability helps make the service more advertiser-friendly, giving clients greater flexibility to ensure their ads remain timely and relevant."

With more than 20 billion views On Demand since we launched the service in 2003, and an average of 350 million views per month, the service is a proven platform to reach consumers," said Marcien Jenckes, SVP and general manager of Video Services at Comcast. "Enabling dynamic ad insertion will create more value for advertisers, content owners and Comcast, and allow us to further monetize the VOD platform while presenting more relevant advertising to our customers."