New York -- Free video on demand, by far the most popular on-demand service for most cable operators, has largely missed the advanced advertising boat. But with the continued deployment of dynamic ad insertion, advertisers, programmers and distributors are beginning to take notice and advantage of the multibillion-dollar opportunity they have been missing, according to a panel session at the B&C/Multichannel News Advanced Advertising event here Wednesday.
According to SNL Kagan, pay TV customers accessed about 7.8 billion VOD streams in 2011, with free VOD programming accounting for 76% of those transactions.
"Free VOD is highly popular, but it's a huge missed opportunity," said B&C Business Editor Jon Lafayette, moderator of the panel entitled "VOD Advertising: Unlocking the Dynamic Opportunity."
That is beginning to change. Comcast has rolled out dynamic ad insertion in 17 million homes using the SCTE-130 suite of standards approved by the International Telecommunication Union earlier this year. That deployment -- representing about 80% of Comcast's footprint -- was a huge step in giving the product the scale, scope and credibility need for it to catch on with other distributors. And advertisers and programmers are beginning to realize the business potential of being able to target ads in particular VOD shows.