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11 Dec

Running Ads When Viewers Pause Streaming Content

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As video viewing trait of consumers gravitates to on-demand streaming platforms or services, cable and internet companies will obviously get astute about how to keep generating ad revenue that would have otherwise come from traditional commercials.

Reports  say that Hulu and AT&T® are apparently considering a type of advertisement that would run when customers pause a video content, such as a TV show on AT&T’s DIRECTV® or a movie on Hulu.

“As binge-viewing happens more and more, it’s natural they are going to want to pause,” said the VP and Head of Advertising at Hulu, Jeremy Helfand, while speaking about cord cutters. As per Helfand, they will roll out “pause ad” sometime next year and the company hopes that it will give “a natural break in the storytelling experience.”

AT&T® also intends to introduce a similar type of advertisement in 2019 when an audience pauses a video. Matt Van Houten, the VP at AT&T’s advertising and analytics unit named Xander Media, said that, “We know you’re going to capture 100 percent viewability when they pause and unpause. There’s a lot of value in that experience.”

Of course, an adversarial relationship is at play here, with solid arguments on both sides. Audiences generally do not take to commercials, and a lack of them on major streaming platforms became an early selling point for cord cutting and sparked the adoption of On-Demand, Over-the-Top-TV many years ago.

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Getting rid of advertisements is considered a perk now for a certain streaming service tier, such as “No Commercials” of Hulu and YouTube Premium. Prior to the advent of streaming, viewing TV sans commercials was a key pillar of paying for a DVR service from any of the cable providers or, several years ago, recording people’s favorite shows on VHS.

Audiences expect that shifting to streaming services from cable and internet companies should translate to fewer advertisements, which makes this “pause ad” idea especially remarkable on several counts. At the same time, they have no easy way to keep producing topnotch shows and offering high-quality movies at the rate in which streaming platforms offer, without additional revenue streams.

Netflix earlier said that it planned to produce original content, and that it has begun experimenting with running advertisements during Netflix Originals shows. Other companies have also begun running them on the home interface of their streaming service, and allowing production firms and studios to pay to endorse certain programs and movies.

Companies could increase subscription prices, but subscribers might switch. So that would make it tougher to produce more video content, which in turn means that it will be less likely that new subs will sign up or previous subs will return. It is a cycle, which appears to indicate that creative ways to get viewers to watch ads is the easiest solution, despite the fact that not all viewers will appreciate it.

18 Jun

Comcast® to Offer Bilingual FIFA World Cup Coverage on XFINITY® X1

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With the FIFA World Cup 2018 around the corner, one of the best cable and internet companies is readying to entertain the soccer fans in the US who subscribe to XFINITY® X1. As part of that, Comcast® has decided to integrate the FIFA World Cup coverage on two networks in Spanish and English to XFINITY® X1 platform. While Fox Sports™ will broadcast the global football fiesta for English speakers Comcast-owned Telemundo will offer the same for the Spanish-speaking community in the country.

Spanish is spoken by a majority of the Latinos, the descendants from certain North American countries, who make up a portion of the total population of the US. It is also seen that people of Hispanic descent settled in America speak Spanish, so having coverage in both languages can help the Football World Cup reach households with Comcast XFINITY® subscription. The soccer event is slated to be held in Russia from June 14 until July 15 and will feature 32 teams competing for the coveted trophy.

With video features that integrate the coverage of Fox Sports™ and Telemundo on XFINITY® X1, Comcast® has announced a bilingual viewing experience of FIFA World Cup to soccer fans in the US who also subscribes to the cable, voice, and internet service. Comcast® is one of the top cable and internet companies, whose bundled packages are bettered with advanced features of X1.

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The cable platform from Comcast® offers residential subscribers a voice remote, on-demand movies, and other related video content. If you have an eligible set-top-box and subscribe to at least a cable bundle with the said sports channels, you can watch this year’s FIFA World Cup on XFINITY® X1. The integrated features on Comcast’s cable platform will comprise match replays, on-screen statistics, highlights, real-time analytics, etc. Moreover, XFINITY® is adding sports-related notifications for mobile and TV for the 1st time.

The Executive Director of Technology and Product at Comcast Cable®, Jason Angelides, said that FIFA World Cup draw attention to “changing demographics of TV viewing audiences — particularly underscoring the increasingly important and growing base of bicultural households in the U.S.” The Comcast® spokesperson also added that XFINITY® X1 allows the cable provider to “build viewing experiences customized” for the target population, including speakers of the native and Spanish language.


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