Verizon Delivers Audio Ads to Viewers Who Hit Pause

 

Verizon won a U.S. patent on Tuesday for an invention which can deliver audio-based advertising messages to DVR or video-on-demand viewers who pause content.

Don Archer
Archer

Former Verizon associate technical fellow Don Archer is named as inventor on the patent, titled, “Pause-based advertising methods and systems.” Archer is now CTO at Euless, Texas-based ACA Express.

Abstract: An exemplary method includes monitoring an interaction of a user with a media content access subsystem, receiving a command input by the user to pause a media content instance being presented by the media content access subsystem, and dynamically selecting at least one advertisement in accordance with the monitored interaction for presentation to the user by the media content access subsystem while the media content instance is paused. Corresponding methods and systems are also described.

Patent

Claims: 

1. A method comprising: receiving a command input by a user to pause a media content instance being presented by a media content access subsystem by way of a display screen; pausing the media content instance in response to the receiving of the command; monitoring an interaction of the user with the media content access subsystem within a physical area in which the user is located and during a period of time in which the media content instance is paused in response to the receiving of the command; determining, based on the monitored interaction while the media content instance is paused, that the user is viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused; dynamically selecting, in response to the determining that the user is viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused, a visual-based advertisement included in a first data stream provided by a media content provider subsystem communicatively coupled to the media content access subsystem by way of a network and that focuses on a visual message for presentation to the user by the media content access subsystem while the media content instance is paused; and determining, after the visual-based advertisement is presented to the user and based on the monitored interaction while the media content instance is paused, that the user is no longer viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused; and dynamically selecting, in response to the determining that the user is not viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused, an audio-based advertisement included in a second data stream provided by the media content provider subsystem and that focuses on an audio message for presentation to the user by the media content access subsystem while the media content instance is paused, wherein the visual message and the audio message are from different advertisements.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising monitoring an interaction of the user with the media content access subsystem for a predetermined period of time immediately prior to the command being input by the user to pause the media content instance; wherein the dynamic selection of at least one of the video-based advertisement and the audio-based advertisement is further performed in accordance with the monitored interaction during the predetermined period of time.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the monitoring comprises detecting a movement of the user within a monitoring zone associated with the physical area in which the user is located and the media content access subsystem while the media content instance is paused.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein, when the detected movement of the user indicates that the user has moved outside of the monitoring zone, the monitored interaction indicates that the user is not viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the monitoring comprises detecting a handling of a remote control device associated with the media content access subsystem.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein: the monitored interaction indicates that the user is not viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused if the detected handling indicates that the user is not handling the remote control device; and the monitored interaction indicates that the user is viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused if the detected handling indicates that the user is handling the remote control device.

7. The method of claim 1, further comprising detecting an ambient sound level within a monitoring zone associated with the physical area in which the user is located and the media content access subsystem.

8. The method of claim 7, further comprising selecting an additional visual-based advertisement for presentation to the user by the media content access subsystem while the media content instance is paused if the detected ambient sound level is higher than a predetermined threshold level and selecting an additional audio-based advertisement for presentation to the user by the media content access subsystem while the media content instance is paused if the detected ambient sound level is lower than the predetermined threshold level.

9. The method of claim 1, further comprising: detecting a presence of one or more objects within a monitoring zone associated with the physical area in which the user is located and the media content access subsystem, and selecting an advertisement associated with the one or more objects for presentation to the user by the media content access subsystem while the media content instance is paused.

10. The method of claim 1, further comprising detecting a number of commands input by the user to change a channel associated with the media content access subsystem during a predetermined period of time immediately prior to the receiving of the command to pause the media content instance.

11. The method of claim 10, further comprising selecting at least one advertisement having a duration less than or equal to a predetermined threshold duration for presentation to the user by the media content access subsystem while the media content instance is paused if the detected number of commands is greater than a predetermined threshold number.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein the monitoring comprises detecting a trick play pattern during a predetermined period of time immediately prior to the receiving of the command to pause the media content instance.

13. The method of claim 1, further comprising: maintaining an interaction profile associated with the user based on the monitored interaction; wherein the dynamically selecting of the visual-based advertisement and the audio-based advertisement is further performed in accordance with the interaction profile.

14. The method of claim 1, further comprising dynamically selecting at least one additional advertisement in accordance with the monitored interaction for presentation to the user by the media content access subsystem after presentation of the media content instance is resumed.

15. The method of claim 1, embodied as computer-executable instructions on at least one tangible computer-readable medium.

16. A system comprising: at least one computing device including at least one processor and comprising: a digital video recording facility that receives a command input by a user to pause a media content instance being presented by a media content access subsystem by way of a display screen, and pauses the media content instance in response to the receiving of the command; a monitoring facility that monitors an interaction of the user with the media content access subsystem within a physical area in which the user is located and during a period of time in which the media content instance is paused in response to the digital video recording facility receiving the command; and an advertisement facility that determines, based on the monitored interaction while the media content instance is paused, that the user is viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused, dynamically selects, in response to the determination that the user is viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused, a visual-based advertisement included in a first data stream provided by a media content provider subsystem communicatively coupled to the media content access subsystem by way of a network and that focuses on a visual message for presentation to the user by the media content access subsystem while the media content instance is paused, determines, after the visual-based advertisement is presented to the user and based on the monitored interaction while the media content instance is paused, that the user is no longer viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused, and dynamically selects, in response to the determination that the user is not viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused, an audio-based advertisement included in a second data stream provided by the media content provider subsystem and that focuses on an audio message for presentation to the user by the media content access subsystem while the media content instance is paused, wherein the visual message and the audio message are from different advertisements.

17. The system of claim 16, wherein the monitoring facility further monitors an interaction of the user with the media content access subsystem for a predetermined period of time immediately prior to the command being input by the user to pause the media content instance; wherein the advertisement facility is configured to perform the dynamic selection of at least one of the visual-based advertisement and the audio-based advertisement in accordance with the monitored interaction during the predetermined period of time.

18. The system of claim 16, wherein the advertisement facility dynamically selects at least one additional advertisement in accordance with the monitored interaction for presentation to the user after presentation of the media content instance is resumed.

19. A system comprising: a media content access device that presents a media content instance on a display screen; and at least one sensor communicatively coupled to the media content access device; wherein the media content access receives a command input by a user to pause the media content instance, pauses the media content instance in response to the receiving of the command, monitors an interaction of the user with the media content access device within a physical area in which the user is located and with the at least one sensor during a period of time in which the media content instance is paused in response to receiving the command, determines, based on the monitored interaction while the media content instance is paused, that the user is viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused, dynamically selects, in response to the determination that the user is viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused, a visual-based advertisement included in a first data stream provided by a media content provider subsystem communicatively coupled to the media content access device by way of a network and that focuses on a visual message for presentation to the user by the media content access device while the media content instance is paused, and determines, after the visual-based advertisement is presented to the user and based on the monitored interaction while the media content instance is paused, that the user is no longer viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused, and dynamically selects, in response to the determination that the user is not viewing the display screen while the media content instance is paused, an audio-based advertisement included in a second data stream provided by the media content provider subsystem and that focuses on an audio message for presentation to the user by the media content access device while the media content instance is paused, wherein the visual message and the audio message are from different advertisements.

20. The system of claim 19, wherein the at least one sensor monitors the interaction of the user with the media content access device for a predetermined period of time immediately prior to the command being input by the user to pause the media content instance; and wherein the selection of at least one of the visual-based advertisement and the audio-based advertisement is further performed in accordance with the monitored interaction during the predetermined period of time.

21. The system of claim 19, wherein the media content access device is further presents at least one additional advertisement selected in accordance with the monitored interaction to the user after presentation of the media content instance is resumed.

22. The system of claim 19, wherein the at least one sensor comprises at least one of a video camera, a microphone, a motion detector, and an accelerometer.

Description