FiOS TV Launches Ad Zones

Verizon Communications is getting more sophisticated in how it delivers local ads for FiOS TV, with the Feb. 1 launch in the Rhode Island and New York/New Jersey designated market areas of a system that allows the telco to run different ads in different zones.

Verizon deployed the capability using an ad-targeting system from Princeton, N.J.-based Invidi Technologies. The telco is expected to offer the ad zones across the entire FiOS footprint by the end of 2010.

To date, Verizon has been limited to delivering the same ads on FiOS TV to an entire DMA through a service area's video hub office, or VHO (except in the New York DMA, where it was separated into New York and New Jersey). With the Invidi system, Verizon can subdivide DMAs into smaller ad zones, according to Verizon spokeswoman Heather Wilner.

“We are able to design zones that make the most sense for each market, rather than being forced into zones based on network design parameters such as headends, and we have the ability to change the zones to meet market demands,” Wilner said.

Many cable operators already have similar capabilities to deliver different ads to zones within a DMA. Canoe Ventures, the advanced advertising initiative formed by six cable operators, had been planning to provide a national service to deliver different ads based on ZIP codes by overlaying a system on top of local cable ad zones, but scrapped the idea last year after concluding it was too complicated.

Verizon has partnered with Comcast Spotlight and Viamedia to sell local advertising in various markets.

Invidi's investors include Motorola, GroupM, Menlo Ventures, EnerTech Capital and InterWest Partners.