Ten years since we launched On Demand, "timeshifted" viewing has become integrated into how many people now watch television. More and more consumers are turning to our On Demand platform to catch up and stay current with the season’s most buzzed-about show.
This shift in how people view content has led networks to provide more current season content than ever On Demand. At this time last year we had six, and now we offer nearly 200 full, current season TV series on our platform. "Banking" episodes in this manner gives viewers the opportunity to catch-up at any point throughout the season, get current and participate in the social conversation following the live airing. For the network, this means more viewers are able join the series after the premiere and as the season progresses, which in turn can translate into higher ratings.
As significant as the opportunity is, timeshifting has also presented a challenge for the industry – namely, how to monetize it through advertising opportunities. Nielsen’s current C3 ratings model (which measures On Demand commercial viewing within three days of the show’s live airing) only works with the most-recent episode; it doesn’t apply to any of the TV series’ previous episodes On Demand. So, in the catch-up scenario outlined above, the network wouldn’t get commercial ratings credit for the views of all the prior episodes. We see this limitation of rating measurement as an opportunity, and we’re looking to change the dynamic.
So we’re announcing plans to implement a new solution that gives networks an opportunity to better monetize the C3 window. Specifically, together with Nielsen, we are trialing a new advertising product called ODCR, or On Demand Commercial Ratings. By combining Comcast technology and Nielsen measurement capabilities, ODCR will enable us to insert the full C3 ad load not only into the most recent TV episode, but into every prior episode of a series’ On Demand programming for three days after the live airing. We will leverage our Canoe joint venture to help facilitate the launch of ODCR. We are currently testing this capability with NBC Universal and plan to begin working with other major broadcast networks soon.
Here’s an example of how it will work. One TV series we’re using in our technical trials is USA Network’s Psych. Today, if a viewer watches the most recent episode of Psych On Demand within three days after its live airing, they will see the same advertising that ran during the live broadcast. Now, with ODCR technology, the catch-up viewer - the one using On Demand to watch prior episodes of the season during the same window - will see those same ads too. And this means the programmer – in this case USA Network – could receive C3 advertising credit for viewers who are watching any episode – not just the most recent one. Advertisers in the most recent episode of Psych will also benefit from reaching incremental viewers who may not have watched the most recent episode during the three day window. See the accompanying infographic which helps illustrate how ODCR works. Early indications from our ODCR technical trial are very promising for the ecosystem. We’re excited at the prospects of yet another On Demand opportunity that has the potential to benefit all programmers and advertisers across the industry. And over time, as even more On Demand advertising solutions emerge, we will be able to continue to bring our customers more of the best and most recent content available anywhere.