BLACKARROW will unveil its multi-platform ad management system today. The company will help manage, deliver, and measure targeted ads that appear in online video and VOD. In the future, BlackArrow will allow advertisers to update ads that have already been recorded to DVRs. The company is funded by some major players, including Comcast, Intel, and Cisco. Its overall goal is to capitalize on the migration away from traditional broadcast television towards newer on-demand solutions.
MAVEN NETWORKS is prepared to launch a new Internet TV advertising platform, which will be used by Scripps Networks, Fox News, and others. Maven is ditching the pre-roll and post-roll model entirely, and focusing on ads that integrate into videos in (mostly) non-interruptive ways. The system will analyze the average overall viewing time for a specific video, and ensure that an ad is inserted before that time is reached. Overlays will allow viewers to purchase items seen on-screen, view short spots, sign up for mailing lists, and more.
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS will acquire the fascinating and informative site HowStuffWorks.com for $250 million. The site draws about 3.8 million uniques per month, and Discovery will leverage it to bring its extensive video library online. Until now, Discovery’s own sites have largely failed to capture an audience. Chief Executive David Zaslav admitted that Discovery is “way behind in new media and digital.” The deal, which directly addresses this short-coming, should be announced today.
PROCTER & GAMBLE has started a new Internet and mobile television show, aimed at younger demographics. “Crescent Heights” follows a recent college graduate in her attempts to enter the “real world.” It will come in three-minute episodes produced by Hollywood veterans. A supporting role is played by Tide, the laundry detergent — which solves the occasional laundry mishap.
TMZ is heating up computer screens and now, increasingly, TV screens. The online video site’s TV offering is the top-rated new show in syndication, drawing a 1.7 household rating. Its nearest rival reaches an audience half that size. The show draws a younger audience than “Entertainment Tonight,” showing its web roots. Online, TMZ.com draws over 10 million uniques per month and over 100 million page views. The site has a heavy video component, offering fascinating video of celebrities walking down the street, ordering lattes, and occasionally falling down.