• Net2TV's Portico to Launch on Roku; Ad Insertion Enabled

    Net2TV is announcing this morning that its Portico service will be available on Roku in June and that it is enabling dynamic ad insertion. Portico, which I last wrote about here, curates and packages short-form content into longer-form, TV-style programs, for viewing on connected TVs. Portico uses the ActiveVideo CloudTV platform with a thin client, which means it can be deployed and updated quickly on connected devices.

    Net2TV co-founders Tom Morgan and Jim Monroe told me in a briefing that the Portico channel in Roku will feature content from CHOW.com, Revision3 and others in a new UI that allows the view to quickly browse and gain access to content. Programming will be available in 30, 60 and 90 minutes segments and will be updated daily.

    Portico content will also include interstitial ads that will feel like TV, but will be dynamically inserted. However, the ad loads will be much lighter than in TV, with Portico programming featuring a maximum of 6 breaks per hour and each break consisting of a maximum of 60 seconds of ads and no pre-rolls. Net2TV is using Unicorn Once for dynamic ad insertion. There will also be options for viewers to link out to microsites and showcases.

    Tom noted that on Roku in particular, there is currently very little advertising, with the exceptions of Crackle and Hulu Plus. As a result, for those viewers that have either cut the cord or shifted a sizable share of their viewing to Roku, they are essentially unreachable by traditional TV advertisers. Tom sees Portico as bringing these types of people back into the addressable environment for TV ads.

    For content providers that have their own direct ad sales capabilities, ads in Portico can be bundled with others online or on tablets, mobile, etc. Then as Portico scales Tom sees it becoming a separate buy. All of the ads are inserted in the cloud, so they are dynamic and targeted, with the device not involved in interfacing with the ad decisioning system.