Verance unveils solution to prevent unauthorised dynamic ads in SVOD

Acting it said amid industry fears that fingerprint-based dynamic advertising insertion technology debuting in new TVs this quarter will insert ads or measure content from Netflix, Hulu and other SVOD services, Verance has launched what it says is a mechanism to prevent issues emerging.

Indeed, the watermarking solutions firm says that its new technology solves one of the biggest challenges standing in the way of new DAI technology enabling broadcasters and advertisers, with the ability to deliver different ads to different viewers in broadcast systems, from putting ad-supported broadcast television on par with OTT video services.

In addition, Verance says that while TV makers are able to ensure automatic content recognition (ACR) technology is turned off when apps run natively on a smart TV, they currently have no way to do that for SVOD content played or casted from devices connected to the TV via HDMI. SVOD content is indistinguishable from broadcast content when each is received from attached devices including media sticks, set-top boxes and A/V receivers.

Verance cited a possible issue with an SVOD platform such as Hulu, which offers US-wide and local advanced advertising reach options for brands with automated, data-informed ad buys. It warned that the impact of lost revenue from having inventory replaced by DAI could translate into higher subscription fees for consumers.

The solution developed by Verance would enable SVODs to identify privately content to TVs to ensure that each service’s content is neither measured nor manipulated via the insertion of unauthorised dynamic ads. This it says would help alleviate industry fears over, for example, Nielsen’s fingerprint-based dynamic advertising insertion (DAI) technology, because fingerprint-based systems are unable to always differentiate content from streaming services with content from syndication. It added that with Nielsen’s DAI technology baked into new smart TVs this quarter, SVOD services and TV makers are concerned it could soon lead to ads or measurement functions meant for broadcast being mistakenly placed into the streams of Netflix, Hulu and other video services.

Verance CEO Nil Shah believes the solution will keep the SVOD firms’ consumers happy by assuring the integrity of the services’ seamless experiences; allow manufacturers and chipmakers to sell more TVs; continue to provide significant backend revenue to studios; and permit advertisers and ad-supported services to benefit from dynamic advertising growth, even with devices connected to the TV via HDMI.

“We believe this will create a path forward for the subscription VOD and ad-supported broadcast worlds to co-exist,” he explained. “As broadcast TV becomes more interactive, it is important for TVs to have more advanced ACR technology. We not only need to know what content each person is watching but how it is being distributed. If I am watching ‘Seinfeld’ on Netflix and hit pause or playback, that shouldn’t be an opportunity for an ad that is supposed to appear in broadcast syndication to play and ruin my ad-free viewer experience on a subscription service.”

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