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Comcast Buys This Technology to Boost Digital Ad Platform

Leading cable MSO (multi service operator) and media company Comcast Corp.CMCSA recently acquired This Technology LLC., a video delivery and advertisement technology specialist. However, the financial terms of the contract are yet to be disclosed.

The core business area of This Technology is dynamic ad insertion. The company provides solutions for metadata management and integration of diversified video infrastructures with a wide range of ad server platforms. It also offers solutions for new content substitution into an existing video stream. Earlier this year, This Technology was awarded a patent in the field of ad inventory attributes identification.

Notably, just a couple of days ago, Business Insider reported that Comcast is set to launch a digital video platform in the coming weeks. The new service is likely to be called "Watchable" which will offer non-exclusive, unlicensed and original content of several digital content developers. With this, Comcast will foray into the highly lucrative digital advertising market. Watchable will primarily compete with Google Inc. GOOGL controlled YouTube and Facebook Inc.'s FB online video platform.

Over the last one year, Comcast has been strengthening its digital advertising technologies. In 2014, the company acquired online video ad-serving company FreeWheel Inc. The takeover enables Comcast to place advertisements on its own content through several platforms, including TVs and handheld devices. Similarly, through FreeWheel, other content developers can offer more TV shows to Comcast's cable platforms in order to boost advertising revenues.

In Jun 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Comcast has decided to acquire Visible World, a leading provider of targeted-advertisement for TV programs. Comcast will get a solid foothold in the thriving data-driven TV advertisement market, if the deal materializes. Notably, Visible World's subsidiary -- AudienceXpress -- allows TV broadcasters to sell advertisements through a web-based (online) interface.

Meanwhile, cable TV operators are gradually adopting the data-driven advertising technique which is already popular in the web-based advertisement arena. To derive the maximum synergy from the combined video content and video distribution platform, Comcast is extensively penetrating into the advertising technology market. Inclusion of dynamic ad-insertion, targeted audience advertising and data-driven TV advertisements are steps forward toward the same objective.

At present, the web-based digital media market is growing rapidly. Yesterday, in a related development, Comcast announced that its NBC Universal division has invested $200 million in online social news site BuzzFeed. NBC Universal stated that it aims to develop a partnership with BuzzFeed through collaboration on video, movies, the Olympics and advertising for multi-national corporates.

BuzzFeed's websites have over 200 million monthly viewers and its videos are watched by around 1.5 billion a month. The company generated more than $100 million of revenues in 2014. Notably, last week, NBC Universal invested $200 million in online media company Vox Media.

After acquiring a 100% stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co. GE , Comcast has been striving to revamp the media company to gain competitiveness. Comcast has identified digital media platform as a major growth area for NBC Universal. The company has also announced plans of launching an Internet TV service called "Stream" later this year.

The digital media brands are gradually gaining significant market traction especially among the young generation. With the massive growth in demand for smartphones and tablets, these people are increasingly watching videos online and are discontinuing costly cable TV connections.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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