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Last updated on April 25, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

First Advertising Trial Launches on Virgin Media’s On Demand TV Platform

October 13, 2008

Virgin Media (Nasdaq: VMED) today announced the first ever dynamic advertising trial on its on-demand TV platform. Leading brands including Kellogg’s, John Lewis and Royal Mail, will have their ads broadcast around selected on-demand programs from Virgin Media TV, Channel 4 and Warner TV. The three month trial will take place across north London from this week.

The ad insertion technology, SeaChange’s AdPulse On Demand system (Nasdaq: SEAC), inserts ads before and after on-demand content in real time, allowing campaigns to be kept up-to-date and specific to time of day or region. Virgin Media’s trial will match ads to program genres, test a range of ad lengths, including single 30 second pre-rolls, consecutive pre-rolls and end rolls, and update campaigns weekly. The number of ads will be capped and there will be a limit on the volume of programs that will have ads placed around them.

Virgin Media is also working with On Demand Group (ODG) for content aggregation and both Rentrak Corporation and ODG to measure content performance throughout the trial and better understand the impact of on demand advertising on viewer behaviour.

Mark Schweitzer, chief commercial officer at Virgin Media said: “Virgin Media has pioneered on-demand TV in the U.K. and we continue to innovate with new content, interactivity and functionality. As consumer usage of on-demand continues to build, this trial will help us explore the best ways to reach a large and growing audience with engaging and relevant advertising.”

Simon McGrath, chief marketing officer, SeaChange said: “We expect this groundbreaking effort will provide the overwhelming evidence that programmers, operators, agencies and leading brand advertisers have long anticipated about the remarkable revenue-generating value of on-demand advertising.”

Virgin Media is the U.K.’s leading on-demand TV service with 4600 hours of content. 50 percent of Virgin Media’s 3.5 million TV customers watch on-demand regularly and access to this service is provided for free*, regardless of what TV package they subscribe to. Usage continues to grow with 45 million views in August, up from 34 million views in January. This is an increase of 33 percent in less than a year and takes total views of on-demand content to 314 million this year.

ids and Channel 4 Agency Sales are managing the advertising space for the trial with advertisers including: Kellogg’s, Lurpak, O2, John Frieda, COI Army, Alberto, General Motors, Royal Mail, Littlewoods, Bodyform, John Lewis and Anchor.

About Virgin Media

Virgin Media is an innovative and pioneering UK entertainment and communications business. As the UK’s first quad-play of TV, broadband, phone and mobile, plus the most advanced TV on demand service, all delivered through its unique fibre-optic cable network, consumers can get everything they need from one company. Virgin Media launched the UK’s first high definition TV service, is the only TV platform to carry BBC iPlayer, and offers a high-specification, HD-ready V+ personal video recorder. Virgin Media is one of the UK’s largest residential broadband providers, the largest virtual mobile network operator and the second-largest provider of pay TV and home phone.

Virgin Media owns two content businesses – Virgin Media Television (VMTV) and sit-up. VMTV owns seven entertainment channels – Virgin1, Living, Living 2, Bravo, Bravo 2, Challenge and Trouble – and is a 50% partner in UKTV which consists of nine channels including Dave, G.O.L.D, Watch and UKTV History. Sit-up runs retail TV channels bid tv, price-drop tv and speed auction tv.

Virgin Media is the largest Virgin company in the world and has almost 10 million customers. To find out more visit www.virginmedia.com/presscentre.

*Customers have to pay to view movies and depending on what package they are on, may have to pay for music videos and long-running series.

About SeaChange and ODG

SeaChange International is a leading provider of software applications, services and integrated solutions for video-on-demand (VOD), digital advertising, and content acquisition monetization and management. Its powerful open VOD and advertising software and scaleable hardware enable cable and telco operators, as well as broadcasters, to provide new on-demand services and to gain greater efficiencies in advertising and content delivery. www.schange.com.

On Demand Group (ODG) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SeaChange specializing in the development and management of transactional television services. ODG provides customers such as Virgin Media, Kabel Deutschland, Unity Media, Telekom Austria and others with end-to-end content solutions, combining services management and technology with speed to market.

SeaChange AdPulse On Demand delivers revenues with on-the-fly, real time insertion of pre- and post-roll ads into on-demand program streams, including on-demand video games and DVDs. Making ads independent of the shows in which they run allows each to be trafficked separately, at long last reducing lead times for ad copy and enabling ad rotation, targeting and message refresh throughout a campaign. AdPulse further elevates targeting capabilities through insertion of ads into internal program breaks within on-demand streams.