AT&T Wins Interactive TV Advertising Patent

AT&T is exploring how it may be able to deliver advertising to pay TV subscribers based on content of chats viewers have while watching the same program, according to a U.S. patent it was issued on Tuesday.

Viewers who discuss the idea of visiting the Canary Islands while watching a Discovery Channel program may receive ads from cruise lines or airlines offering trips to the volcanic archipelago, according to images contained in the patent.

Boynton Beach, Fla.-based inventor Linda Roberts is named as lead inventor on the patent, titled, “Apparatus and Method for Tagging Media Content and Managing Marketing.”

Abstract: A method that incorporates teachings of the present disclosure may include, for example, the steps of transmitting media content to a group of set top boxes for presentation with an overlay superimposed onto the media content, where the overlay can include a timeline corresponding to the presentation of the media content and receiving a first comment from a first set top box of the group of set top boxes, where the first comment is presentable with the overlay and the media content by the group of set top boxes. Additional steps can include receiving a tag generated at a first set top box during presentation of the media content, presenting the tag while the media content is presented, correlating the tag to a portion of the media content timeline and analyzing metadata associated with the portion of the media content timeline that is tagged to determine a first marketing parameter. Other embodiments are disclosed.

Patent

Claims:

  1. A server, comprising: a memory that stores instructions; and a controller coupled to the memory, wherein the controller, responsive to executing the instructions, performs operations comprising: transmitting media programming to a group of set top boxes for presentation with an overlay superimposed onto the media programming, the overlay including a timeline corresponding to the presentation of the media programming; receiving a user-generated comment associated with the media programming, the user-generated comment being generated at a first set top box of the group of set top boxes during presentation of the media programming and being presentable in the overlay during presentation of the media programming; receiving a tag generated at the first set top box during presentation of the media programming in response to a user request, the tag representing a portion of a runtime of the media programming at which the tag was requested and the user-generated comment was generated, the tag having a first designation or a second designation; analyzing metadata associated with a portion of the timeline that is tagged to determine a first marketing parameter; obtaining an advertisement in accordance with the first marketing parameter, the advertisement corresponding to the user-generated comment associated with the media programming; and determining whether the advertisement is to be presented, wherein, in accordance with a determination that the advertisement is to be presented, the advertisement and an advertisement icon are presented during the media programming in addition to the tag and correlated to the portion of the timeline in accordance with the first marketing parameter, the advertisement icon placed in the overlay along the timeline corresponding to a temporal position of the tag and corresponding to the portion of the runtime at which the tag was requested and the user-generated comment was generated, the advertisement icon representing content of the advertisement, wherein according to the first designation the tag and an associated public-display advertisement are presented via all the set top boxes among the group of set top boxes, and wherein according to the second designation the tag and an associated limited-display advertisement are presented via a selected set top box among the group of set top boxes.
  1. The server of claim 1, wherein the operations further comprise transmitting a first advertisement to the first set top box for presentation with the overlay, the first advertisement being determined based on the first marketing parameter.
  1. The server of claim 1, wherein the operations further comprise transmitting a first advertisement to a second set top box for presentation with the overlay, the first advertisement being determined based on the first marketing parameter.
  1. The server of claim 1, wherein the operations further comprise transmitting a first advertisement to the first set top box and to a second set top box for presentation with the overlay, the first advertisement being determined based on the first marketing parameter and viewer behavior.
  1. The server of claim 1, wherein the first marketing parameter is associated with a product that is shown in the overlay based on the metadata associated with the tagged portion of the timeline.
  1. The server of claim 2, wherein the operations further comprise selecting a remote media server based on the tag, and wherein the obtaining further comprises querying the remote media server to obtain the first advertisement.
  1. The server of claim 1, wherein the icon is displayed at a location along the timeline corresponding to a media programming runtime at which the tag was received.
  1. The server of claim 1, wherein the operations further comprise transmitting a first advertisement to a user of the first set top box via an email containing a link to advertised goods or services.
  1. A method, comprising: transmitting, by a server, media content to a group of set top boxes for presentation with an overlay superimposed onto the media content, the overlay including a media content timeline corresponding to the presentation of the media content; receiving, by the server, a user-generated comment associated with the media content from a first set top box of the group of set top boxes, wherein the user-generated comment is presentable with the overlay and the media content by the group of set top boxes; receiving, by the server, a tag generated at the first set top box during presentation of the media content in response to a user request, the tag representing a portion of a runtime of the media content at which the tag was requested and the user-generated comment was generated, the tag having a first designation or a second designation; presenting, by the server, the tag while the media content is presented; correlating, by the server, the tag to a portion of the media content timeline; analyzing, by the server, metadata associated with the portion of the media content timeline that is tagged to determine a first marketing parameter; obtaining, by the server, an advertisement in accordance with the first marketing parameter, the advertisement corresponding to the user-generated comment associated with the media content; and determining, by the server, whether the advertisement is to be presented, wherein, in accordance with a determination that the advertisement is to be presented, the advertisement and an advertisement icon are presented during presentation of the media content and correlated to a portion of the timeline in accordance with the first marketing parameter, the advertisement icon placed in the overlay along the timeline corresponding to a temporal position of the tag and corresponding to the portion of the runtime at which the tag was requested and the user-generated comment was generated, the advertisement icon representing content of the advertisement, wherein according to the first designation the tag and an associated public-display advertisement are presented via all the set top boxes among the group of set top boxes, and wherein according to the second designation the tag and an associated limited-display advertisement are presented via a selected set top box among the group of set top boxes.
  1. The method of claim 9, further comprising transmitting, by the server, a first advertisement to the first set top box for presentation with the overlay, the first advertisement being determined based on the first marketing parameter.
  1. The method of claim 9, further comprising transmitting, by the server, a first advertisement to the first set top box and to a second set top box for presentation with the overlay, the first advertisement being determined based on the first marketing parameter.
  1. The method of claim 11, wherein the obtaining further comprises querying, by the server, a media server to obtain the first advertisement using the marketing parameter.
  1. The method of claim 12, further comprising transmitting, by the server, the first advertisement to a user of the first set top box via an email containing a link to advertised goods or services.
  1. The method of claim 12, further comprising transmitting, by the server, instructions to the first set top box to display a pop up window with the first advertisement.
  1. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium operating in a first set top box of a group of set top boxes, the storage medium comprising instructions, which when executed by a processor, cause the processor to perform operations comprising: presenting media content; presenting at the first set top box an overlay superimposed onto the media content, wherein the overlay includes a media content timeline corresponding to the presentation of the media content and the overlay is presentable by a second set top box of the group of set top boxes; receiving an input of a user-generated comment at the first set top box, wherein the user-generated comment is associated with the media content and is presentable by the overlay by the second set top box; receiving a tag generated at the first set top box during presentation of the media content in response to a user request, the tag representing a portion of a runtime of the media content at which the tag was requested and the user-generated comment was generated, the tag having a first designation or a second designation; presenting the tag while presenting the media content; correlating the tag to a portion of the media content timeline; analyzing metadata associated with the portion of the media content timeline that is tagged to determine a first marketing parameter; obtaining an advertisement in accordance with the first marketing parameter, the advertisement corresponding to the user-generated comment associated with the media content; and determining whether the advertisement is to be presented, wherein, in accordance with a determination that the advertisement is to be presented, the advertisement and an advertisement icon are presented during presentation of the media content and correlated to a portion of the timeline in accordance with the first marketing parameter, the advertisement icon placed in the overlay along the timeline corresponding to a temporal position of the tag and corresponding to the portion of the runtime at which the tag was requested and the user-generated comment was generated, the advertisement icon representing content of the advertisement, wherein according to the first designation the tag and an associated public-display advertisement are presented via all the set top boxes among the group of set top boxes, and wherein according to the second designation the tag and an associated limited-display advertisement are presented via a selected set top box among the group of set top boxes.
  1. The non-transitory computer-readable storage medium of claim 15, wherein the operations further comprise presenting a first advertisement at the first set top box in a carousel graphical user interface.
  1. The non-transitory computer-readable storage medium of claim 15, wherein the operations further comprise presenting a first advertisement at the second set top box in a carousel graphical user interface.
  1. The non-transitory computer-readable storage medium of claim 15, wherein the icon is displayed at a location along the timeline corresponding to a media content runtime at which the tag was received.
  1. The non-transitory computer-readable storage medium of claim 15, wherein the operations further comprise transmitting via an email address associated with the first set top box presenting advertised goods or services.