CableLab® Announces Next in Series of Interactive and Advanced Advertising Specifications

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 
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Industry Moves Toward Goal of Standardized Reporting, Fulfillment Across a National Footprint; Specs Part of Advanced Advertising 1.0 Architecture

LOUISVILLE, CO — CableLabs® today announced the issuance of a new set of specifications called the Stewardship and Fulfillment Interfaces, created to further the development of cable advertising and other interactive products.

CableLabs’ Stewardship and Fulfillment Interfaces (or SaFI) comprise a set of component specifications that will allow cable companies to provide more innovative types of advanced ads, such as interactive advertising, advertising within existing video on demand platforms, and advanced forms of addressable advertising. Taken together, the SaFI interfaces will allow multi-system operators (MSOs) to offer such ad products with consistent technologies, metrics and interfaces across a national footprint. Consistent metrics will and interfaces will help MSOs deliver timely and usable measurements to their advertising customers. The SaFI specs were developed and will be maintained by a CableLabs Working Group composed of MSO, Canoe and CableLabs technical leads, with selective input from the vendor community.

“These interfaces are another building block in a standard and efficient approach to building out advanced advertising capabilities for Cox’s systems,” said Terri Swartz, Director of Advertising Technology, Cox Communications and a member of the MSO Executive Team overseeing CableLabs advanced advertising work. “We will look for compliance with SaFI specs as a key requirement for our advanced advertising vendors.”

Don Dulchinos, Senior Vice President of Advanced Platforms at CableLabs observed, “These specs represent some fairly fast track work put together by specialists from our member MSOs, Canoe Ventures and vendor companies. Their long experience makes it possible for new capabilities around standardized reporting and fulfillment to be plugged right into technologies that support a range of advanced advertising products.”

“We are very pleased to see the SaFI specifications released on a timely basis, as was promised earlier this year,” said Arthur Orduña, Chief Technology Officer of Canoe Ventures, LLC. “Their publication is the critical next step in the development of the cable industry’s Advanced Advertising 1.0 architecture specification.”

The SaFI specification includes the following component pieces:

  1. Service Measurement Summary Interface (SMSI)–enables MSOs to export information about the execution of a campaign.
  2. Interactive Fulfillment Summary Interface (IAF)–provides a means for messaging generated by an interactive application to be exposed to an external entity.
  3. Interactive Application Messaging Platform (IAM)–provides a critical interface between interoperable applications (apps distributed to more than one MSO) and MSO systems, defining the common form of messages instantiated by interoperable apps and how MSO systems decode them.
  4. Campaign Information Package Interface (CIP)–provides information to the MSOs on the configuration of application messaging processing, such as identifiers relevant to the messages.

There is already strong vendor community support for these SAFI specifications. This was evident at an interoperability event held by CableLabs in early June of this year. Fourteen companies demonstrated interoperability among their products based on the CableLabs’ Stewardship and Fulfillment Interface (SaFI) standards (working off an early draft version), and integrated with the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) 130 standards for advanced digital advertising. (The sample ad product demonstrated as part of that interop was dynamic insertion of ads into VOD avails based on addressability, but the SAFI specs are designed to work across all types of advertising and interactive products.) The participating companies were ARRIS, BIAP, BlackArrow, Cisco Systems, Concurrent, Ensequence, Motorola, OpenTV, RGB Networks, Sigma Systems, TANDBERG Television (Part of the Ericsson Group), This Technology, TVN Entertainment, and UniSoft Corporation.

More: Advanced Advertising 1.0