The Evolution of Addressable Local TV

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The strong consultant interest in addressable advertising demonstrates the power of delivering a specific message to an individual voter’s household television. It’s the promise of digital targeting with TV’s audience.

But beneath consultants’ excitement about the technology is confusion about how it works at the local level and when it’ll be more widely available. Now, this is understandable as adoption is inconsistent across multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD). 

There are currently three MVPDs capable of addressable advertising on television. Cablevision has 2.7 million homes in the New York City designated market area (DMA). Comcast offers addressable TV currently in Pittsburgh, Pa., and has plans to expand to additional markets during the first half of 2016. Moreover, Comcast also offers addressable with Xfinity.com (digital targeting) and video on demand (VOD) across its entire coverage area. D2, a partnership between Dish and DirecTV, has coverage reaching about 20 million homes nationally. But that comes with the lowest level of targeting offered on the statewide level.

In addition to television, addressability capabilities are available with Time Warner’s TV Everywhere product that inserts ads on VOD, online and through the TV app. A number of MVPDs offer digital addressability, including Verizon, Suddenlink, CenturyLink and Midcontinent.

Still, I’ve heard some consultants ask, how do addressable MVPDs deliver ads and place schedules?

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