IPTV Subscribers On The Rise; Pivoting To Targeted TV Ads; Ensequence Wants To Go Over-The-Top

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May 23, 2011 – 12:03 am

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IPTV Subs’ Big Rise

After several years of waiting, IPTV subscriptions are set to explode over the next three years. SNL Kagan is forecasting that IPTV subs will have grown 75 percent between 2010 and 2014 to 70 million globally. Surprisingly, the biggest growth will be in Western Europe, not the U.S. Actually, it shouldn’t be that unexpected; the growth will be driven by about five telcos and the turf lines among the major U.S. carriers are harder to cross than it is across the Atlantic. After Europe, where IPTV subs will reach 26.7 million households by 2014, China is poised to be the next largest market with 12.4 million, followed by the U.S. in third place. IPTV represents just 6 percent of the world’s pay-TV subscribers, the platform is fueling hyper-competition and video service innovation in major markets globally, says SNL Kagan media analyst Julija Jurkevic. But the revenues should grow nicely from that point with IPTV video service dollars more than doubling from 2010’s $12 million  to $27 billion in 2014, equal to 11 percent of global pay-TV revenues. Read the release

Morgan’s Antenna Adjustment

Over the past few months, Simulmedia’s Dave Morgan, a pioneer of online advertising from ad serving to behavioral targeting, has been adjusting the antenna on his current business. Initially started about two years ago as a “TV ad promotions” service, Simulmedia is now fully in the targeted TV space (see our sibling AdExchanger’s February Q&A with Morgan). In a video interview with MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka, Morgan says he’s just “discovered” that the business for TV targeting has come around sooner than he thought. So he’s switched gears a bit. Call us cynical, but we think Morgan had been plotting this out all along, using the promotions service to get in the door with the TV networks. Now that he has, he’s hitting up brand advertisers like packaged goods, movie studio and insurance companies for targeted TV buys. A bit of a Trojan Horse strategy, though it’s not quite as hostile to the networks, who should benefit from the growth of addressable TV. Morgan still says that he’s in no way interested in the notion of “convergence” between the Internet and TV, but just wait and see if he continues to hold to that stance.

Beyond The Daypart

Speaking of Simulmedia, former Magna Global research director Brian Wieser, who’s now CMO of the Dave Morgan company, has some musings about the role of buying TV ad inventory according to dayparts in a world that is increasingly time-shifted. In a MediaBizBloggers post, Wieser acknowledges that primetime is still the most widely viewed daypart. But advertisers aren’t just interested in reaching the largest audience anymore. They want more than that, as many primetime viewers are watching on their computers or DVRs. A lot has changed since dayparts became a media buying staple 40 years ago. For one thing, advertisers want to gather reach over the course of a campaign that may play out in different dayparts thanks to the sophisticated audience-modelling tools that weren’t available in the Mad Men era. The point is buying dayparts isn’t becoming extinct, at least not just yet. But it’s importance is clearly diminished and that trend is never going back.

Ensequence Goes OTT

Up to now, Ensequence has been focused on offering interactive apps for cable and satellite systems. But with more consumers adopting over-the-top services such as Yahoo’s connected TV widgets, the app developer tells Multichannel News’ Todd Spangler that it wants to be wherever the viewers are. Yahoo claims it has a position on nearly 10 million TV sets from Samsung, LG, Vizio, Sony and Toshiba. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean 10 million homes are watching. Far from it at this point. Part of the reason is that there’s not that much compelling content available on the Yahoo widget. But a few more deals like the Ensequence could help make that option more attractive to viewers and bridge the cable/Internet divide more tightly.

TWC Targets BlackArrow

BlackArrow, a provider of video-on-demand ad insertions for DVRs and other “advanced TV” systems, has added Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) to its $20 million third funding round, which was secured last month. TWC’s add-on, along with further funding from Motorola Mobility, brings the total amount of the round to $27 million. In conjunction with the MSO’s financial support, Joan Gillman, TWC’s president, media sales, has been named to the BlackArrow board. For TWC, it’s another step toward building a “TV Everywhere” world, where “authenticated” cable subs can view programming on web-based devices – and hopefully, in the MSO’s view, avoid all thought of cutting the cord, notes paidContent’s David Kaplan. The concept has gained momentum with recent apps from TWC, Cablevision and individual channels such as the HBO Go feature, which also allow for possibility of developing incremental ad environments outside the regular TV viewing ecosystem. BlackArrow, heavily backed with a total of $67 million by investors such as Cisco Systems, Comcast Interactive Capital, Intel (NSDQ: INTC) Capital, Mayfield Fund, Polaris Venture Partners and NDS above, is in a good position to help lead that race. Read the release

IAB Takes On TV

Depending on the forecaster, online advertising is either about to surpass newspapers as the second largest ad spending category or its about it. Either way, newspapers is on an ineluctable downward spiral and much of the reason is the Internet, which has taken away classified advertising (Craigslist, eBay, others) along with readers and major advertisers. But no one seriously thinks online ad spending, which averages about $26 billion a year in the U.S., is going to beat TV, which takes in over $60 billion annually, right? Well, Bob Carrigan, CEO of IDG Communications and chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, is putting the TV industry on notice. “Well, we’ve picked off newspapers, we’ve picked off magazines,” he tells DigiDay’s Mike Shields. “It’s really about TV next. Marketers spend more on TV than any other medium in terms of revenue per user. But that time spent measure, I know that is very popular, but I’m not sure if that is the right indicator. Time spent on social media sites, for example, is not comparable to TV.”  Be that as it may, the online ad industry has a long way to go to topping TV in media buys. Carrigan concedes that TV inventory is far simpler to buy and measure effectively. But if one day, if the Internet ad industry can develop a common set of metrics that can reach across platforms, well, then yes, the web can go toe-to-toe with TV ad spending. But the fragmented nature of the Internet has so far made that a problem that’s years away from being solved.

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May 23, 2011 – 12:03 am

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