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Innovid’s Second-Screen Solution Eyed by Pay-TV Operators

22 Jan, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey

Several pay-TV operators are taking a look at a new second-screen solution from interactive ad company Innovid and Cisco, one that delivers interactive advertising based on relevant keywords heard in TV shows, according to Tal Chalozin, chief technology officer and co-founder for Innovid.

“Our play here is for advertisers to open up more opportunities for content,” said Chalozin, who added that broadcasters, service providers and other third-party app providers can all employ the technology. “And what’s exciting about this is that the technology understands the context of the word, and not just the word itself. When Damian Lewis talks about ‘Homeland,’ we know it’s the show and not Homeland Security.”

Interactive ads for everything from razors to games to TV shows pop up on the second screen (while using a broadcaster or pay-TV operator app) on a two-second delay after keywords are picked up by the second screen from the content on the main screen. Innovid’s interactive advertising platform is paired with Cisco’s cloud-based system Contexta, which analyzes broadcast content and generates relevant metadata from what’s spoken.

Contexta also uses broadcast times, channel and service provider information and subsidiary information taken from the Web to generate the information relayed to the second screen.

“We’ve gotten pretty amazing reactions,” Chalozin said. “The first response is that it’s innovative, and almost like science fiction for someone like a Comcast. The second thing they think is that it’s very complicated, but part of the advantage we’re offering is all of this is 100% cloud based.” No new hardware is needed, with the system working as a plug-in with current set-tops.

“We make sure we’re not reinventing the wheel and creating another ad format,” Chalozin said.

As for maybe the most important question — why would consumers want more ads? — Chalozin said the demos have shown consumers do want more when it’s something in which they’re interested.

“One thing I believe would happen is the ads suitable for this type of environment would be relevant to the viewer, more content they can’t watch anywhere else, a trailer for a movie, coupons and discounts,” he said. “This opens the door in terms of creativity and storytelling with advertisers.”

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