Canoe Drops Set-Top-Box Interactive Ads Scheme

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Canoe — the cable industry consortium intended to develop a comprehensive interactive Ads system — has shut down part of its business and laid off 120.

Canoe Ventures Ends Its Interactive TV Commercials Business – Jeanine Poggi via Advertising Age

Canoe was formed in 2008 by six cable giants — Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks. The company launched its first Interactive TV ad product in 2010.

The change in strategy had perhaps been foretold. Because Canoe’s backers are all industry rivals, individual companies such as Cablevision and Time Warner Cable have all continued to sell interactive-ad opportunities on their own, even as Canoe worked to develop itself as a seller of interactive advertising that would be distributed nationally — no matter what cable entities were involved.

These folks have been blind-sided by new technology, based on on smartphones and audio fingerprinting, that can totally sidestep the cable companies. Audio fingerprinting — as used in Shazam, WiOffer, and others — simply requires and advertiser to build an audio fingerprint so that TV viewers can sample an ad coming through whatever cable or broadcast vehicle and get more information through a smartphone app.

TFA Team

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