BlackArrow announced today that its targeted TV ad platform is now live on Comcast’s On Demand programming in Jacksonville, Fla.. This is BlackArrow’s first market implementation with a major MSO.
Typically, ads inserted into operator VOD programming are stitched into the content itself, which limits the flexibility of the ad placement. According to BlackArrow CEO Dean Denhart, usually it takes 60 to 90 days to get a video ad into a piece of VOD content. Denhart said that using BlackArrow’s system, cable operators like Comcast can dynamically change up the ads served in real-time to deliver more relevant ads. BlackArrow allows operators to target ads based on demographics, genre, time of day or any number of different factors.
The company says it can deliver this level of targeting because its system lives in the network, with no software on the set-top box. BlackArrow sits with the regional operating centers before the content reaches the consumer, so targeted ads can be inserted into the videos before they are delivered to the end user. Comcast will use BlackArrow’s technology to insert 15-, 20- and 30-second promotional spots designed to drive tune-in for upcoming shows and specials on PBS KIDS Sprout and FEARnet.
BlackArrow is four years old and has raised $38 million in funding from investors including Comcast Interactive Capital, Cisco Systems and Intel Capital. Other players in the addressable TV advertising space include Canoe Ventures (which Denhart sees as more of a partner), Microsoft and Google TV Ads.