Donovan Data Systems And Canoe Ventures Partner For Interactive TV

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March 8, 2011 – 10:04 am

DDS and Canoe VenturesAccording to a release, Canoe Ventures and Donovan Data Systems (DDS) announced yesterday "that DDS is developing technology within its cable TV buying systems to support Canoe Ventures’ advanced advertising solutions." Read more.

JT Batson is President of DDS Digital at Donovan Data Systems, a supplier of back office systems to the agency market, discussed the deal and its implications. Why should agencies care - what problem is it solving for them?

JTB: Agencies have been buying interactive overlays on cable TV commercials directly from multichannel video program distributors (MVPD’s) for some time. Most interactive TV (iTV) implementations are in the RFI category, which means request for information. Specifically, RFI enables viewers to request information, samples or coupons during commercial breaks simply by using their remote controls.

Marketers and their agencies enjoy the real time feedback from these interactions. However, up to now, there’s been no way to implement these nationally. So, the appeal to the largest national marketers has been limited. The Canoe initiative addresses this.

While Canoe is starting with RFI, expect to see many more forms of iTV. Some of these include telescoping, microsites, long-form videos and virtual channels. Since the Canoe software is in the set top box, you will in the not too distant future see iTV use forms of addressability to further target the iTV overlays.

In the release, you say, "DDS and Canoe Ventures have been working together for the past six months to better understand the way iTV affects the buying process." Generally, speaking how does interactive TV affect the buying process?

The process is quite similar to standard TV buying, but with some nuances.

The iTV terms have to be added to the overall deal terms: iTV usually includes rates per response. This is new for linear TV. Post buy, these deal terms are facilitated through the DDS system so that client billing and vendor payment happen seamlessly.

The main differences are at the creative delivery level – making sure the systems can actually pull this transaction off. This is where Canoe comes in.

Canoe also provides extensive reporting at the set top box level to the network, which is an added benefit to the buyer.

Can you talk about timetable? When will the buying system tech go "live" within DDS cable TV buying systems?

We now have a workflow application for our agency clients to buy, track, bill and pay enhanced units.

Next up is to make interactive TV buying as automated as standard cable TV buying where are all possible buy/sell interactions are 100% automated. We’re in process working with the supply side vendors to replace the current manual processes (which would seem normal for a digital display buy). This is a role that DDS is very used to playing. We can make this happen quickly.

What are the implications of this for digital buying channels (display, mobile, video)?

Digital buying channels have long held the exclusive ability to include interactive engagement for national campaigns. This restriction is coming to an end. We will now see linear TV providing marketers with this capability.

Are there additional costs for buying Canoe / iTV through DDS?

DDS will not charge extra for this enhanced feature.

By John Ebbert

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March 8, 2011 – 10:04 am

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