FreeWheel, an Internet video ad-management provider, is teaming up with This Technology LLC to let cable networks manage dynamic VOD ads from within the FreeWheel system.
Under the nonexclusive agreement, This Technology is currently developing a plug-in for its SpotLink interconnect software for VOD ad placement that supports the full functionality of FreeWheel's Monetization Rights Management system. Programmers will also be able to consolidate VOD DAI ad inventory with online video ad inventory within the FreeWheel system.
The companies said they are in conversations with major programmers to implement the plug-in on VOD systems and expect to roll out implementations in early 2012. FreeWheel customers include CBS, Fox, Discovery Communications, Turner Broadcasting System and Univision.
"We effectively open up cable VOD to dynamic ad insertion in a way that extends programmers' reach as an extension of their digital advertising," Brent Horowitz, FreeWheel's vice president of business development, said in an interview.
Horowitz said FreeWheel has completed a trial with This Technology with one programmer and one MSO, and is in the midst of another trial with a different programmer and a second cable operator. He declined to identify them.
FreeWheel has also signed a partner contract with Limelight Networks to enable server-side stitching of ads, which will allow devices with technical limitations -- like some connected TVs, Blu-ray Disc players and feature phones -- to play video with ads loaded before the stream makes it to the device. As with the This Technology partnership, the work with Limelight will let FreeWheel customers extend ads to an expanded number of devices.