IBC 2013: Cisco and Innovid take a stab at second-screen advertising

Michelle Clancy | 15-09-2013

Cisco Systems is partnering with immersive video advertising company Innovid to develop advanced second screen and personalised advertising solutions to enable additional monetisation opportunities for the service provider industry.

At IBC 2013, the two will showcase real-world scenarios for the joint solution. "Advertising revenue is a major topic of discussion with our customers as the second-screen phenomenon continues to take hold," said Nigel Smith, vice president of market strategy for service provider video software, Cisco. "We are excited to showcase this technology for enabling true second screen monetisation and competitiveness in the television ecosystem of the future."

Contextual second screen advertisements is the subject of a proof-of-concept demo, which shows how consumers can interact with a relevant advertisement from a tablet without interrupting their television viewing experience. Viewers will see how contextual metadata is transferred and analysed in order to provide consumers with interactive ads. Enabling this capability will allow service providers to offer advertisers better viewer targeting, and it lets them offer consumers a more personalised TV experience.

The second demonstration concerns geo-personalised advertisements. It will show how service providers can target or deliver to consumers based on location. After choosing a video to watch on their tablet, viewers will be presented with an advertisement for a local business, such as a popular restaurant or movie theatre.

"As the television business rapidly evolves, there are plenty of opportunities for service providers to capitalise on its future," said Tal Chalozin, co-founder and CTO of Innovid.

IBM predicts that by 2016, eight out of every ten people will use some kind of mobile device as their primary interface with the “world of information, commerce and health.” And thanks to the rise of the second screen, TV viewing is becoming more social and interactive. Viewers can flood the Internet with programme-related chatter, contact content producers, or just find out more about what is going on in front of them. And in the US this year, both the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards were major second-screen events.

“IPTV vendors and operators have also been very slow to take leverage this opportunity,” said Huawei’s Mark Copas, writing in the company blog. “The sheer volume of people accessing social networking contextual data has become significant in Europe, and it is a safe assumption that most other regions are following suit, if not moving faster. All primary service providers are looking for a golden bullet service that will significantly reduce churn.”

Social networking has potential to be a powerful tool for raising revenue and creating a cohesive personal digital network, he added. “The minute the TV becomes my TV, churn is arguably reduced as the service being delivered becomes immediately personal; therefore creating an aura of mineness that is hard for a competitor to penetrate,” he said

According to Forrester, social networking may become more influential in branding and relationships than corporate websites and customer relationship management systems. In what the firm calls “the era of social context,” sites will start to recognise users’ personal identity and social relationships to deliver a more personalised and customised experience in cyberspace.

Recent research from FutureScape shows that young adults are already using second-screen, regardless of whether television providers integrate it. Up to 50% of Americans aged 18-24 discuss TV programmes while watching them. In a survey of 8,000 respondents across Europe, 38% said that they discuss TV content via social networking during viewing, including 53% of those aged 16-24.

“Content creators are already creating their own interactive second-screen social apps to help drive awareness and brand loyalty, which means that operators need to get in the game and exploit the revenue opportunities there before they are seized by more nimble competitors,” Copa said.