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Smarter Spots, Bigger Revenue

3/03/2013 7:00 PM Eastern

NEW YORK — TV executives are finally prying open the treasure chest of data in set-top boxes, but its value depends on how it is used.

Tim Hanlon, founder and CEO of The Vertere Group, noted on an Advanced Advertising panel that television may have finally joined the Web in having access to Big Data. “Until recently, we were not able to crowbar open the set top box,” he said.

Hanlon was joined by Cathy Hetzel, corporate president and president, AMI division, Rentrak; and Warren Schlichting, senior vice president of media sales and analytics at Dish Network. Schlichting said Dish was getting true revenue from a national addressable ad product.

“It’s real and it works and we’re enjoying real business with it,” he said.

As many as 8 million of Dish’s 14 million subscriber homes are equipped for addressable ads. And the spots go well beyond the geotargeted ads cable has been serving for years. “I’m not turning my back on nine years in cable,” he said, “but these are not zoned ads.”

Examples of advanced advertising showcased by the panelists included Dish sending different spots to homeowners and renters, and two ad campaigns by Obama for America leading up to Election Day: one that addressed adults 35-64 in swing states, and a more sophisticated one using Dish subs and the PAC’s voter list to specifically target sporadic voters and swing voters.

“It’s about making the buy much more effective,” said Hetzel.

September