TWC, CableLabs, Comcast Score Advanced Advertising Patent

An advanced advertising patent issued to Time Warner Cable, CableLabs and Comcast on Tuesday details how major service providers and content owners will rely on dynamic and interactive advertising to grow revenue.

Francis Sandoval, Steven Ernest Riedl and Walter Michel are named as inventors on the patent, titled, “Systems And Methods for Implementing A Dynamic And/Or Interactive Media Campaign.”

Steven Riedl
Riedl

Riedl, now senior director of digital TV at Turner Broadcasting, is a veteran of Canoe Ventures, Time Warner Cable and nCUBE.

Michel is executive director of technology in the office of the CTO at Comcast. He worked previously at Comcast Spotlight and CableLabs.

Abstract: Systems and methods for implementing a dynamic broadcast campaign and/or an interactive broadcast campaign are provided, in which an interactive program is broadcast to an audience and in which members of the audience may interact with media content of the interactive program and/or in which a dynamic program is broadcast to a segment of the audience. The systems and methods utilize a platform that facilitates the creation, execution, and monitoring of a dynamic broadcast campaign and/or an interactive broadcast campaign, as well as one or more interactive and/or dynamic programs within the campaign. Each interactive program enables audience members to interact or send messages to the program, such that the messages are received and processed by the program itself or received by the program and processed by the broadcaster that aired the program.

Patent

Claims:

  1. An electronic communication system for facilitating coordination of interactive broadcast campaigns via a communication network, the system comprising: a central processing unit configured to selectively execute one or more program modules; an interface configured to transmit data from the central processing unit to the communication network, and to receive data from the communication network and provide the received data to the central processing unit; and a memory storing the plurality of program modules, the memory being accessible by the central processing unit, wherein the program modules include: a coordination module configured to enable a media coordinator to coordinate interactive broadcast campaigns of media buyers with broadcasting capabilities of media sellers; and a seller interface module configured to provide a seller communication interface to media sellers, the seller communication interface enabling the media sellers to provide broadcasting information to the coordination module and to receive campaign information from the coordination module, wherein the coordination module includes: a campaign planning submodule configured to provide an interface for receiving from a media seller at least one of: inventory information, footprint information, and audience information pertaining to the media seller; a campaign delivery submodule configured to provide an interface for performing at least one of: providing to one or more of the media sellers a campaign information package pertaining to an interactive broadcast campaign, and receiving performance information from the one or more of the media sellers regarding the interactive broadcast campaign; a media-content delivery submodule configured to provide an interface for providing to the one or more of the media sellers media content for an interactive program corresponding to the interactive broadcast campaign, the media content including at least one of: content metadata and a content encoding profile; an interactive applications support submodule configured to provide an interface for providing to the one or more of the media sellers processing information for the interactive program, the processing information including interactive response handling information used to enable viewer interaction with the interactive program; an information services submodule configured to provide an interface for receiving from the one or more of the media sellers service measurement information regarding performance of the interactive broadcast campaign; and a viewer-response fulfillment submodule configured to provide an interface for receiving from the one or more of the media sellers results of viewer interactions with the interactive program, and wherein the interactive program is a broadcast in which viewers interact with prompts displayed during airing of the broadcast to make a selection that is used to determine an outcome of the broadcast.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 1, wherein the content metadata is format data regarding at least one of: an entertainment content and an advertising content of the interactive program.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 1, wherein the content encoding profile includes encoding information used to facilitate at least one of: ingestion, distribution, and presentation of the interactive program.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 1, wherein the service measurement information includes information used for at least one of: campaign planning, campaign evaluation, and campaign billing.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 1, wherein the results of the viewer interactions with the interactive program are aggregated according to predefined criteria.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 5, wherein the predefined criteria include at least one of: a geographical region, a time range, a date range, a viewer-demographic category.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 1, wherein the footprint information includes at least one of: one or more geographical regions served by the media seller, a number of households served by the media seller and having interactive service, and demographic information on the households served by the media seller and having interactive service.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 1, wherein the audience information includes at least one of: one or more geographical regions of viewers served by the media seller, demographic information of the viewers served by the media seller, and psychographic information of the viewers served by the media seller.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 1, wherein the inventory information includes at least one of: available advertisement spots during scheduled broadcast programs, available openings for broadcast programs, and pricing information.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 1, wherein the campaign information package includes information used by the one or more of the media sellers to broadcast media contents of the interactive program campaign and to interpret viewer messages corresponding to interactions with an interactive program of the interactive program campaign.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 10, wherein the campaign information package includes at least one of: configuration information used for broadcasting the media contents of the interactive program campaign, delivery information used for delivering the media contents to a designated destination, identifiers for resolving measurement categories with the viewer messages corresponding to interactions with the interactive program, addresses for delivery of the viewer messages, and addresses for delivery of measurement data.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 1, wherein the performance information includes status information on a current execution status of the interactive program campaign.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 1, wherein the interactive broadcast campaigns include any one or a combination of: a request-based interactive program campaign, which enables a viewer to interact with a display screen to request information regarding content displayed on the display screen, such that the information requested by the viewer is delivered to the viewer as an electronic document, or as a hardcopy document, or as both an electronic document and a hardcopy document, an on-demand interactive program campaign, which enables a viewer to interact with a display screen to view a content item selected via the display screen, such that a selection made by the viewer causes the selected content item to be displayed on the display screen, and a vote/poll-based interactive program campaign, which enables a viewer to interact with a display screen to cast a vote or to take a poll regarding content displayed on the display screen.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 13, wherein the request-based interactive program campaign is an advertising campaign.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 13, wherein the on-demand interactive program campaign is an advertising campaign.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 13, wherein the display screen is a monitor of a television apparatus, and wherein a viewer interacts with the monitor via a remote controller.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 13, wherein the seller interface module includes a viewer-response fulfillment submodule configured to provide an interface for receiving from a media seller results of viewer interactions with an interactive program.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 17, the results of the viewer interactions include, for a request-based interactive program campaign, any one or a combination of: a total number of requests for information, a regional distribution of the requests for information, and a distribution of the requests for information based on a psychographic characteristic.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 17, the results of the viewer interactions include, for an on-demand interactive program campaign, any one or a combination of: a total number of requests to view a program, a distribution of durations that a program is viewed, a distribution of times when requests to view a program are made, a distribution of ad selections made by viewers with respect to a plurality of programs offered for selection, a distribution of telescoping selections made by viewers in response to a telescoping program, a regional distribution of a selected program, and a distribution of a selected program based on psychographic subscriber characteristics.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 19, wherein, for an on-demand interactive program campaign, the display screen displays a short-form interactive program having an interactive function that enables a viewer to select to view a corresponding long-form program.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 19, wherein a telescoping program is an interactive program that allows a viewer to sequentially select to view topics and subtopics relating to subject matter of the telescoping program.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 17, the results of the viewer interactions include, for a vote/poll-based interactive program campaign, any one or a combination of: a distribution of votes or polls made by viewers with respect to a plurality of items offered for voting or polling, a regional distribution of votes or polls made by viewers with respect to a plurality of items offered for voting or polling, and a distribution votes or polls based on psychographic subscriber characteristics.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 1, wherein the seller interface module includes any one or a combination of: a campaign manager submodule configured to provide an interface for performing at least one of: providing footprint information to the coordination module, providing inventory information to the coordination module, providing audience information to the coordination module, providing to the coordination module performance information regarding an interactive broadcast campaign, receiving from the coordination module a campaign information package pertaining to an interactive broadcast campaign, and receiving from the coordination module processing information for an interactive program, the processing information interactive response handling information used to enable viewer interaction with the interactive program; an asset manager submodule configured to provide an interface for performing at least one of: receiving from the coordination module content metadata, the content metadata including format data regarding contents of an interactive program, and receiving from the coordination module a content encoding profile, the content encoding profile including encoding information used to facilitate at least one of: ingestion, distribution, and presentation of an interactive program; a service measurement submodule configured to provide an interface for providing to the coordination module measurement information regarding performance of an interactive broadcast campaign; and a viewer response submodule configured to provide an interface for providing to the coordination module results of viewer interactions with an interactive program.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 23, wherein the service measurement information includes information used for at least one of: campaign planning, campaign evaluation, and campaign billing.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 23, wherein the results of the viewer interactions with the interactive program are aggregated according to predefined criteria.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 25, wherein the predefined criteria include at least one of: a geographical region, a time range, a date range, a viewer-demographic category.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 23, wherein the footprint information includes at least one of: one or more geographical regions served by the media seller, a number of households served by the media seller and having interactive service, and demographic information on the households served by the media seller and having interactive service.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 23, wherein the audience information includes at least one of: one or more geographical regions of viewers served by the media seller, demographic information of the viewers served by the media seller, and psychographic information of the viewers served by the media seller.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 23, wherein the inventory information includes at least one of: available advertisement spots during scheduled broadcast programs, available openings for broadcast programs, and pricing information.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 23, wherein the campaign information package includes information used to broadcast media content of the interactive program campaign and to interpret viewer messages corresponding to interactions with an interactive program of the interactive program campaign.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 30, wherein the campaign information package includes at least one of: configuration information used for broadcasting the media content of the interactive program campaign, delivery information used for delivering the media content to a designated destination, identifiers for resolving measurement categories with the viewer messages corresponding to interactions with the interactive program, addresses for delivery of the viewer messages, and addresses for delivery of measurement data.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 23, wherein the performance information includes status information on a current execution status of the interactive program campaign.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 23, wherein the processing information enables a media seller to selectively broadcast different versions of an ad to different groups of subscribers, the different groups of subscribers having different psychographic characteristics.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 23, wherein the processing information enables a media seller to selectively broadcast different versions of an ad to different geographical regions.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 1, further comprising a buyer interface module configured to provide a buyer communication interface to media buyers, the buyer communication interface enabling the media buyers to provide information to and receive information from the coordination module.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 35, wherein the information received by the buyer communication interface from the coordination module includes at least one of: information for a production toolkit used to produce an interactive program suitable for broadcasting by one or more of the media sellers as part of an interactive program campaign, and information for a stream generator used to incorporate interactive features into a live program to produce a live interactive program, the live interactive program being suitable for live broadcasting by one or more of the media sellers as part of an interactive program campaign.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 36, wherein the information for the production toolkit includes at least one: application development information used to provide an application programming interface for enabling interactive functions to be incorporated in an interactive program, and content distribution format information used to transfer application resources from the coordination module to the stream generator.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 37, wherein the application programming interface includes a set of customizable application templates for enabling a media buyer to customize a predefined set of interactive functions.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 37, wherein the application resources include any one or a combination of: configuration metadata for signaling pertaining to the stream generator, configuration metadata for timing parameters pertaining to the stream generator, ETV formatted files, and OCAP formatted files.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 37, wherein the stream generator embeds the application resources in a stream of media content to be broadcast live.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 36, wherein the production toolkit outputs fulfillment information to the coordination module, the fulfillment information including runtime data pertaining to interactive features of an interactive program displayed during broadcasting of the interactive program.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 35, wherein the buyer interface module is configured to provide a plurality of buyer communication interfaces to the media buyer, the plurality of buyer communication interfaces including any one or a combination of: a campaign research submodule configured to provide an interface for providing research information to a media buyer; a request submodule configured provide an interface for receiving a proposal request for an interactive broadcast campaign; a proposal submodule configured to provide an interface for providing a campaign proposal to a media buyer; an order submodule configured to provide an interface for receiving from a media buyer an order for an interactive broadcast campaign, based on a campaign proposal; an invoice submodule configured to provide an interface for providing a media buyer with an invoice for a completed order; application development submodule configured to provide to a media buyer an application programming interface for enabling interactive functions to be incorporated in an interactive program; content distribution format submodule configured to perform at least one of: provide an interface for providing to a media buyer information used to transfer application resources from the coordination module to a stream generator, and provide an interface for receiving from a media buyer media contents to be broadcast by a media seller; a service report submodule configured to provide an interface for providing a service report to a media buyer, the service report pertaining to a status of an interactive broadcast campaign; and a viewer response submodule configured to provide an interface for providing a viewer-response report to a media buyer, the viewer-response report pertaining to results of viewer interactions with an interactive program of the interactive broadcast campaign.
  1. An electronic communication system for facilitating coordination of broadcast campaigns via a communication network, the system comprising: a central processing unit configured to selectively execute one or more program modules; an interface configured to transmit data from the central processing unit to the communication network, and to receive data from the communication network and provide the received data to the central processing unit; and a memory storing the plurality of program modules, the memory being accessible by the central processing unit, wherein the program modules include: a coordination module configured to enable a media coordinator to coordinate broadcast campaigns of media buyers with broadcasting capabilities of media sellers; and a seller interface module configured to provide a seller communication interface to media sellers, the seller communication interface enabling the media sellers to provide broadcasting information to the coordination module and to receive campaign information from the coordination module, wherein the coordination module includes: a campaign planning submodule configured to provide an interface for receiving from a media seller at least one of: inventory information, footprint information, and audience information pertaining to the media seller; a campaign delivery submodule configured to provide an interface for performing at least one of: providing to one or more of the media sellers a campaign information package pertaining to a dynamic broadcast campaign, and receiving performance information from the one or more of the media sellers regarding the dynamic broadcast campaign; a media-content delivery submodule configured to provide an interface for providing to the one or more of the media sellers media content for programs corresponding to the dynamic broadcast campaign, the media content including at least one of: content metadata and a content encoding profile; an applications support submodule configured to provide an interface for providing to the one or more of the media sellers processing information for the programs; and an information services submodule configured to provide an interface for receiving from the one or more of the media sellers service measurement information regarding performance of the dynamic broadcast campaign, wherein the dynamic broadcast campaign is updatable during execution thereof, and wherein the programs include a broadcast in which viewers interact with prompts displayed during airing of the broadcast to make a selection that is used to determine an outcome of the broadcast.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 43, wherein the dynamic broadcast campaign is updatable during execution thereof to cause a second of the programs to be broadcast by the one or more of the media sellers instead of a first of the programs.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 43, wherein the dynamic broadcast campaign is updatable during execution thereof in response to the service measurement information regarding the performance of the dynamic broadcast campaign.
  1. An electronic communication system according to claim 45, wherein the service measurement information regarding the performance of the dynamic broadcast campaign is at least one of: viewer interaction information and viewership demographics information.