Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Comcast and It's "Project Canoe"

This was teased in another piece a few weeks ago. It is popping up again on the radar. One thought I have after seeing this "top secret" project being written about in very public trades is if it is that secret why does it keep popping up and why do their executives keep talking about it. I suppose the answer is not that it is secret at all - rather these folks want to throw the crumbs out to the market to see how it reacts. My guess is that since Comcast is reportedly throwing $70 million at this project for development, they still have some hesitation, and want to see how their partners, ad purchasing clients and investors react to the news before they take it all the way.

Here is a blurb plus a link to the full story...
"by David Goetzl, Friday, Feb 15, 2008 9:00 AM ET
COMCAST WILL INVEST UP TO $70 million this year as part of cable operators' joint effort to develop a national interactive advertising platform, a top company executive said Thursday.

Cable executives have indicated that leading operators had banded together to fund the development of a system, code-named "Project Canoe," (by industry research arm CableLabs), which would allow an advertiser to easily buy national spots. The added benefit--targeted click-through options depending on locale. Cable operators' set-top box data could yield performance results similar to initiatives by DirecTV/TNS and Google/EhcoStar's Dish Network.

If the system allows advertisers to place buys that run in a fell swoop on just the top-five cable operators--Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Charter and Cablevision--ads could reach some 50 million homes. MSOs get about two minutes an hour of ad time on the cable networks they offer."

Get the full MediaPost article HERE

What is interesting to me is that neither subject or reporter is discussing the real long term potential this model offers. They mention very briefly the measurement component, but they do not discuss the re-positioning of content, the user's control options, etc. All of that is the REAL benefit because it will translate into more value for the audience. If the audience understands and utilizes the model in that way, and realizes the added value, well then I guess these cable operators are offering real value and writing their own checks as a result.

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