News

VOD Ads Growing, But Barriers Remain

6/14/2010 10:35 AM Eastern

Philadelphia — As consumer
use of on-demand viewing
has increased, advertising has
followed.

However, several obstacles remain
to wider Madison Avenue
activation: a standard metric,
the comfort factor of marketers
to spend in the on-demand space
and striking the right balance on
ad load. But what business leaders
should be focusing on is not
cost, but the value.

That was the consensus of the
“Attracting Advertisers to On-Demand”
panel at B&C/Multichannel
News
’ On-Demand summit.

“It’s about impact, not impressions,”
said Nick Troiano, president
of BlackArrow.

There is a wide gap (and the potential)
between advertising on
linear television, with its “push”
model of inundating the consumer
with ads for products they may
have no interest in, and the “pull”
of on-demand advertising, which
can target consumers based on
their on-demand purchase.

“In the end you’re getting content
you want to see,” said Kevin
Smith, group vice president of integrated
media sales at Comcast
Spotlight. “Whether that’s measured
in CPMs or impressions
or it’s part of an integrated campaign,
there’s clear value there.”

Andrew Capone, senior vice
president of marketing and business
development at NCC, added
that the less than $9 billion upfront
market may not be so scientific either. (Capone called the
annual ritual “Kabuki theater.”)
And simply superimposing the
linear TV model (i.e., pre-roll and
post-roll) on VOD has not “moved
the needle.”

Warren Lapa, vice president of
digital sales and business development
at Time Warner Cable,
took a somewhat counter view,
talking up the value of local advertising
in the on-demand space.
“We have scale within our markets,”
he said. “If we can move the
needle for a local advertiser, it’s
not about impressions, it’s about
customers.”

Andrea Pritchard, programming
manager at Sunflower
Broadband, noted that the on-demand
viewer is an engaged viewer
and, perhaps more important,
a smart viewer. And that should
be a boon for advertisers.

“VOD is a smart platform,” she
said. “You have to be smart to use
it, precisely because the navigation
system is so horrible.”

September