The delay-plagued cable ad targeting company Canoe Ventures has decided to turn off the lights on its ad zone project after too many hold-ups. Canoe CEO David Verklin tells Multichannel News that he has shut down the company’s first product, the Community Addressable Messaging program. The product was intended to make it easier to sell targeted ads across cable zones, but the limited technology of some local cable systems made the rollout an untenable proposition. So what now? The company plans to focus on a lead-gen product that has the virtue of, among other things, being a bit more simple to sell to advertisers and less unwieldy from a technology standpoint. More after the jump
— CAM shall rise again: Canoe, which is backed by Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) and the five other major cable operators, found several insurmountable problems. For one thing, Rainbow Media was the only MSO to do a full test of the system. Others were likely averse to using it due to the rigid scheduling requirements by local cable systems and the inadequate ad-insertion capabilities of the MSOs. The CAM project is not completely dead, Verklin said. Canoe hopes to revive it when technological conditions are more favorable.
— Coming up: lead-gen: In the meantime, Canoe has another trick up its sleeve. The company is turning its attention to “interactive TV” in general, with a lead-gen initiative planned to be released in Q4. Verklin promises that the lead-gen offering is right on schedule. But then again, last month, the same was said of CAM. Canoe has been around for well over a year and so far, has little to show for its efforts. Granted, getting the major MSOs together on anything is a bit like herding cats. But if the company misses another deadline, especially one that slated for the end of the year, Canoe Ventures could find its own plug eventually pulled.