BlackArrow launches new linear-IP ad platform

Michelle Clancy | 05-10-2012

BlackArrow has announced new television advertising technology that bridges the gap between traditional linear TV ad sales and ad execution on new platforms to extend premium pay-TV advertising to new screens.

At the September 2012 CableLabs Linear and IP Ad Interop event in Louisville, Colo., BlackArrow previewed a new set of services and interfaces, collectively called Linear Extensions for Dynamic Ad Insertion, which are designed to seamlessly blend the outputs from traditional linear TV ad systems with dynamic ad insertion capabilities.

Consisting of services that manage linear schedules, linear placement opportunities, ad decisioning, subscriber and zone information services, as well as services which interface with the new CableLabs Event Signaling and Messaging (ESAM) specification, the BlackArrow technology enables pay-TV operators to monetise linear TV delivered to tablets and other IP devices in a number of ways, including linear replication and linear addressability. Replication uses linear schedule ingest and real-time dynamic ad insertion to replicate original linear TV ads on tablets and IP devices. Linear Addressability combines subscriber information from the BlackArrow Subscriber Information Service product and real-time dynamic ad insertion to deliver household-addressable linear TV advertising to any platform.

Working together with other leading vendors and leveraging ESAM and SCTE 130 standards, BlackArrow showed how the new technology interoperates with downstream signal acquisition, encoding, packaging, and manifest proxy providers to provide an end-to-end solution for delivering live and linear adjustable bit rate (ABR) IP streams to multiple screens.

At the Interop, the POIS component of the BlackArrow solution cross-referenced in-band signaling metadata delivered within the live TV feed against expected ad opportunities scheduled by a traditional linear ad system. This allowed encoder vendors to ensure the stream was conditioned properly for seamless ad insertion. For packager vendors, the BlackArrow system provided the necessary metadata to be encapsulated within the stream to inform the ad decision process. The SIS and ADS components of the BlackArrow solution were used to select the appropriate ad*—in the Linear Replication scenario, the same ad that aired during the original TV broadcast, and in the Linear Addressability scenario, a new addressable, dynamically inserted ad.

"Monetising live and time-shifted television across multiple screens should not require individual silos for each platform," said Joe Matarese, CTO of BlackArrow, in a statement.

"BlackArrow's new Linear Extensions, coupled with the sophisticated business rule and policy definition capabilities of our placement opportunity information service, provide multichannel video programming distributors with a single, standards-based platform for all of their multiscreen advertising needs."