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Cable Technology Feature Article

April 17, 2014

FourthWall Chases 'Googlenomics' with Targeted Advertising Patent

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

FourthWall Media, an independent provider of set-top box (STB) viewing data for advertising, is beefing up its monetization capabilities with a new intellectual property win: It has been awarded a patent from the U.S. Patent office for its Method of Targeting Broadcast Messages Using Embedded Sets. The technology allows advertisers to target ads to a STB via the MAC address, without downloading information to the box in advance. Execs say the company is thus well on its way of making good on the promise of “Googlenomics.”

“Googlenomics” is the theory that online, addressable advertising isn’t about simply capturing revenue from selling ads to generate profits; it’s also the directive to generate a constant feedback loop, using the firehose deluge of data about users’ tastes and habits gleaned from their online behavior, which is then analyzed and used to better target marketing and, guess what, sell more ads.

“This new patent allows for the targeting of specific audiences for advertising or other programming using any broadband device, be it a set-top box or smartphone,” said Louis Slothouber, chief scientist and co-founder of FourthWall Media. “What makes this technology unique is that you do not have to download information onto the target device prior to airing the commercial. Nor do you have to assign the device to a particular audience segment or demographic attribute in advance. The magic is how we embed the ad with specific targeting information.”

The patent will dovetail with a prior award received last year, for the Ad Widgets product that delivers targeted overlays that are essentially advertising applications that capture data marketers can leverage to drive sales. These include billboards, voting and polling, request for information functionality, click-to-call, video-on-demand (VOD) telescoping, microsites, cable MSO cross-sell and up-sell, and “t-commerce,” for TV remote-based purchasing.

“More and more cable operators are launching our Ad Widgets product, a complete end-to-end interactive advertising solution,” said Tim Peters, FourthWall CEO.  “Targeting specific creative advertisements to individual viewer’s homes is a critical element of Ad Widgets. It can drive new revenue from what is still today the most powerful and persuasive medium available, television. When you couple interactivity and targeting with our ability to report instant campaign performance metrics, you have the foundation of Googlenomics for TV.”

The interactivity and the more holistic STB targeting together address the concept. “Together the two patents provide intellectual property for a complete end-to-end targeting solution across devices,” said Slothouber. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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