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NDS ready with advertising solutions on digital TV

By Tarana Khan , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | March 23, 2009
Sue Taylor of NDS talks about the opportunity of advertising in digital TV

NDS, the technology provider for the pay TV industry, is all set to offer advertising solutions to digital TV service providers.

Sue Taylor, senior vice-president and general manager, Asia Pacific has seen the market evolve since NDS first set foot in India in 2000, for an R&D centre. She feels that it's about time that service providers explore the various advertising options available to them on the digital TV platform.

"India is not a true pay TV market yet and will not be until the legislation is streamlined," she says, adding that if the government tries to set technical standards, it will always fall behind, because technology changes so fast.

& #BANNER1 & #In India, NDS caters to clients such as Tata Sky, Airtel digital TV and Hathway.

Taylor agrees that the introduction of pay TV will introduce greater addressability, but maybe, fewer eyeballs. "But this is when the advertising will get more valuable, as it will be targeted at specific customers. Business models will have to change, because you can't stop technology," she adds.

One of the major factors that will drive advertising on digital TV platforms is the use of PVRs (personal video recorders), which will allow advertisers to display ads that are specifically targeted at the device owners.

The advertising options include display ads -- either graphics or video -- on the interactive screen and on the EPG (electronic programme guide), which is accessed very often.

"Our customers are familiar with the roadmap and they realise that the advertising is more targeted and will bring in more money, because of its exclusivity," adds Taylor.

She sees a period of 12-18 months before the adoption of PVRs picks up, opening a new revenue stream for service providers.

"The cost of PVRs is also expected to come down. Apart from this, technology like PVR-to-go is already available, through which customers can record their shows and download them on a USB drive," says Taylor.

Sharing NDS' plans in India, Taylor says that the company will be making investments of about $150 million next year.

"Our sales objectives will be focused on the cable marketplace, because DTH and cable are going to coexist," says Taylor.