Cable Hits Rought Waters Wtih Project Canoe
I’m reading up on broadcasts attempt to catch Google’s lead in interactive and the attempt to move toward “addressable” advertising. This is from early Feb 2012…later that month it Project Canoe shut down.
The cable industry wins a lot more than it loses, and now that it has negotiated a cease fire with the wireless industry, its future looks even better. But there is one threat it hasn’t figured out how to tamp down: interactive advertising. Web advertising can target audiences with amazing precision, even though it may be invading your privacy to do so. And when consumers are interested in whatever is being advertised, they can click on a link for an immediate response. After spending a lot of money trying to devise a way to deliver interactivity via set top boxes, cable is giving in.
Canoe, the cable-industry consortium aimed at developing interactive TV commercials through use of a set-top box, said Wednesday that it would shutter that part of its business and lay off 120 employees, closing its New York office in the process.
Canoe will focus solely on creating ways to advertise alongside video-on-demand content. CEO Kathy Timko, who was named to the position just last summer, is also set to leave as part of the company’s shift in direction. Canoe’s slimmed staff will be headed by Joel Hassell, previously chief technology officer.
“This is in line with Canoe’s founders’ original vision, which is to make cable-television households the most attractive platform for advanced advertising,” Mr. Hassell said in a statement. “National standards and practices for dynamically inserting ads into cable’s on-demand content will monetize and support the on-demand platform as well as the MSOs’ investments in TV Everywhere deployments. Canoe is committed to making this happen.”
Canoe’s bump is a sign of just how fleeting the promise of so-called interactive advertising has become. Once heralded one of the technologies that would make TV ads more valuable even as audiences for TV content splintered, ITV has been hard to master. The idea of running commercials that viewers can respond to with a click of their remote has appeal. But big TV advertisers have been accustomed to playing commercials across the nation with a few simple buys. Because the interactive ads use set-top boxes, and because many cable and satellite companies have varying standards and policies for technology, creating a simple solution for marketers has proved a more challenging task than some imagined.