NCTC And Imagine Team To Expand Ad Ecosystems For North American Cable Operators

LAS VEGAS – NCTC WINTER EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE – FEBRUARY 19, 2020 — Imagine Communications, which provides open, end-to-end advertising technology solutions for broadcasters, content owners, MVPDs and vMVPDs, today announced an agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) to power AdKey, a cloud-based, platform-agnostic service that supports ad insertion on all IP-based video streams. The deal will initially see the deployment of cloud-based ad monetization technology from Imagine Communications by independent operators by Q3 of this year with trials beginning in the coming months. NCTC represents more than 750 independent cable operators in the United States and negotiates master licensing agreements with content providers for over 200 networks.

“AdKey is focused on helping our independent operators preserve existing ad revenue streams based on legacy infrastructure while clearing a path to video monetization on connected devices without requiring high upfront costs or investments in new gear,” said Rich Fickle, President of NCTC. “Imagine’s ad tech is proven globally and the company’s embedded status with all of our critical advertising partners will help our members accelerate the shift to next-generation IP distribution for reduced set-top-box costs, increased consumer satisfaction and new opportunities for advertisers to connect with viewers.”

As independent cable operators transition to IP-based operations, they want to maintain the lucrative sales infrastructure and revenues they’ve built around their most popular channel offerings. AdKey unlocks this opportunity by seamlessly mirroring everything being done on legacy infrastructures in IP-based offerings that will eventually serve as their primary video delivery service, available on a range of popular connected devices and platforms. It also provides a simple solution for selling inventory on the hundreds of additional channels operators are not monetizing today via compatibility with an expanding ecosystem of partners from across the advertising value chain.

“Often, the most limiting factor preventing operators from deploying a new service is the inability to build a solid business case to support it,” said Chris Gordon, VP of Product Marketing for Imagine Communications. “Imagine shifts this familiar dynamic by removing the traditional upfront costs and ongoing support typically required to deliver a world-class video service. We look forward to helping open new possibilities for NCTC members while eliminating so many of the hurdles that can prevent independent operators from being able to upgrade to the latest tech platforms."

Video distributors use Imagine’s cloud-based ad monetization technology to support ad insertion for linear services with hosting, management, monitoring and updates all provided by Imagine. The previously announced solution eliminates complexities associated with video providers’ on-premises ad systems, including support for multiple ADS vendors, client players and video formats, as well as the need to dynamically scale for peak demand. Imagine’s ad technology is pre-integrated with SpotX and other popular supply-side platforms to provide access to programmatic exchanges of choice and campaign fulfillment, helping local operators more easily fill local inventory.

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