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Pilat, NDS Team on Addressable Ads

Pilat Media, a provider of traffic, content management and other "back-office" software, is teaming with set-top software and conditional access provider NDS to create an end-to-end system for delivering addressable advertising.

The U.K.-based companies say they will integrate the "NDS Dynamic" software suite of advanced advertising solutions, which provides accurate viewing analysis, audience addressability, and interactive advertising, with Pilat's IBMS (Integrated Broadcast Management System), a modular software system for the management of content, multi-platform programming, commercial airtime and non-airtime sales, and traffic operations.

NDS Dynamic, which was announced by NDS at the IBC show last September in partnership with measurement firm TNS Media Research is based on "pushing" targeted ads in advance that will be stored on the hard-drive of a set-top DVR based on a subscriber profile that TNS creates (subscribers have to opt-in for such targeting, given privacy regulations). Then, when a consumer is watching either a live or time-shifted program, the ads stored on the DVR will be inserted to replace the non-targeted ads included in the normal linear program stream, using MPEG-2 splicing technology. NDS and TNS will then pull the set-top data via the phone line or broadband return path and will be able to report to advertisers whether viewers watched the ad or skipped it. NDS demonstrated the system running on Pace set-tops with NDS middleware last year.

NDS and Pilat say their partnership will allow joint customers to deliver addressable advertising on DVRs. Those might include satellite operators BskyB and DirecTV Latin America, for whom such a "push" model of targeted advertising makes sense. U.S. cable operators are taking a different approach to targeted ads, as their Canoe Ventures initiative is focusing on delivering live ads through linear program streams using equipment at cable headends.

"Both NDS and Pilat Media have extensive experience in advertising and share a number of customers," said Gideon Gilboa, advertising solutions product marketing manager for NDS, in a statement. "Operators deploying IBMS can now extend it to support NDS Dynamic and deliver on the promise of advertising that is addressed at a household level, together with all the underlying business processes to book, broadcast, and bill for this type of advertising."

"While NDS Dynamic allows operators to strengthen their relationship with advertisers, agencies, and ad-funded channels, viewers also benefit by seeing advertising that is more relevant to them and more engaging than has been previously possible," added Ron Bar-Lev, EVP of product strategy for Pilat Media. "IBMS integrates these Internet-modeled capabilities into the TV operations - optimizing ad placement across multi-platform campaigns, helping operators keep the big-picture view of their advertising business performance, and offering a unified bill to advertisers."

Pilat is currently in talks to be acquired by Israel-based traffic software provider Sintec Media.