The cable industry’s advertising consortium, Canoe, is launching its ad exchange and interactivity platform (Enhanced Binary Interchange Format, which it calls EBIF — catchy, huh?) This format will allow TV advertising to be as precise in terms of demographic targeting as in online advertising, and also support viewer interactivity to get more product information or even request contact.
In short, EBIF largely eradicates the difference between what you can get with online ads and what you get with TV ads. This shifts the whole TV/online battle (particularly in video) to the question of who and when you get them. Online video will need to sell itself based on its ability to attract users who aren’t as accessible on TV. On demand is a part of that, but only as long as the cable companies and networks don’t turn more to video on demand (VoD) for the mission. It will take about a year for this to gel, in our view, so there’s some time for the online markets to think up a counterpoint.