Comcast teams with Nielsen on catch-up TV ads

Michelle Clancy | 03-12-2013

Getting up-to-date commercials into video-on-demand (VOD) versions of TV shows has been a conundrum for an industry eager to take fuller advantage of the catch-up TV audience. Typically, VOD versions of TV shows simply incorporate the ads they originally ran with, or incorporate a stripped-down and static stable of thinner ads. But now Comcast is teaming with Nielsen to find a way for advertisers to make better use of the ad time.

In an interview with Variety, Comcast's senior vice president and general manager of video services, Matt Strauss, said that the companies are working with networks to test out measurement for on-demand commercial ratings, with initial results expected in the first quarter of 2014.

Variety noted that advertisers typically pay only for the first-run ad time. But as catch-up TV continues to become mainstream viewing behaviour, ecosystem partners are naturally wondering if there are additional monetisation paths to be had.

While ad viewing has yet to be explored, pay-TV operators and networks are paying close attention to VOD audiences for current season TV. Comcast in fact recently said that 43% of on-demand viewing of a new TV episode happens in the +3 window ó the original air date plus three days after.