Soon, you might be using your iPad to watch a video and then see a commercial directed at your specific hobbies or shopping habits.
Naperville-based Tellabs Inc. and Acton, Mass.-based SeaChange International will jointly unveil a new multi-screen TV advertising technology based on your web browser activity. The demonstration will take place Monday through Wednesday during The Cable Show, a trade expo in Boston. The companies said it's the first technology that will "marry" web behavior with TV advertising delivery.
The new technology aims to makes sure a consumer sees ads that are relevant to him or her while streaming video over the Internet to a TV, tablet or smartphone, said Tellabs spokesman George Stenitzer.
At the same time, the technology protects the consumer's privacy "because no personal information is passed through the ad insertion software," Stenitzer said. "The software looks at what you're browsing, creates an anonymous profile and maps it to categories of people's interests. The categories of people's interests assure that the ad delivered is relevant to you."
Such technologies already exist to present consumers with relevant ads for their wired high-speed Internet. What's new is that Tellabs and SeaChange are demonstrating this capability for mobile networks, such as on an iPad, and for the so-called "over-the-top" video, such as Hulu and ESPN, that is streamed through the Internet to the TV, Stenitzer said.
For example, if you like gardening, you'll see ads about gardening, instead of ads about other things, like mortgages, that you'd consider irrelevant.
There is no immediate date on when consumers could see this. It all depends on when a mobile provider or cable TV company considers using it. "So the timing will depend on when they decide to implement it, which is hard to predict," said Stenitzer.
The technology also addresses the business problems faced by Tellabs' customers -- that they need to invest in networks to deliver the bandwidth for this type of content, such as Internet video, but they currently don't get any revenue from delivering that.
"With the Tellabs ad-targeting technology, mobile and pay TV operators can expand into the lucrative online premium video and mobile advertising opportunity," Pankaj Shroff, director of new-media solutions and strategy at Tellabs, said in a statement. "Users prefer relevant ads, while advertisers are looking for ways to reach their target audiences in more precise and relevant ways."
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