HD Radio Ad Substitution

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Figure 2. Implementing targeted advertising in a radio receiver.

Figure 2. Implementing targeted advertising in a radio receiver.

The Importer will insert playback triggers that activate radio operation. The signal to insert a trigger comes from the automation system. When an ad plays and when the automation system signals, the Importer inserts the substitution trigger into the transport stream. Radio addressability is a key system factor. The system must make a connection between the customer grouping or demographics and the targeted radios.

The connection is made through NDS Radioguard HD Radio conditional access, which includes receiver addressability. Every radio carries a unique identification, serialized at the HD decoder IC level. In addition to the addressability, the Radioguard implementation will enhance the delivery through its security, eliminating possible spoofing.

The system translates and automates the demographic and grouping information into addressable entitlements for participating radios. The content is associated to groups, thus defining the delivery destinations. The system packages the content and schedules the deliverables through the carousel playout.

Radio/receiver architecture

A target radio must have memory storage to accommodate the system. Recorded target advertising will be played back as directed. Content stored in memory is identified by associated metadata. The playback system utilizes that information and organizes a playout priority. When signaled by the radio station broadcast, the substitute advertising will play in place of the aired commercial.

Any ad delivered by and associated with the tuned radio station may be substituted. Ads delivered by another station but still associated with the tuned station are OK, meaning that the advertising participants can and may cooperate.

The radio must identify the station that the consumer is listening to and the source of the advertising content. The metrics system may automatically report, may report later, or may provide assumed information based upon recording, listening and playback statistics. The primary source of this information may be the radio receiver itself.

For this system to become a completed product, several entities must participate, including NDS for conditional access and datacasting, Ibiquity for the HD Radio transport stream and recording, broadcasters, advertisers, ad agencies, a demographic/grouping creator, automation system manufacturers, metrics and measurement services, and radio receiver manufacturers. While this appears to be a lengthy list, most of the required technology pieces already exist. Coordination is the important issue, combining all the technology into one cohesive package. The most difficult portion will be the legal contracts.

Conditional access is only used on multicast channels. The main HD Radio channel is always free-to-air. However, targeted advertising works on any broadcast channel, including the main channel. While the delivered ads may be targeted, encrypted, addressed and delivered by the conditional access system through the multicast only, decrypting and substituting on the main channel is easily accomplished by the radio.

Latapie is chief technology officer at NDS Americas, and Rucktenwald is the director of data applications sales at NDS Americas, Costa Mesa, CA.

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