The eBay TV ad auction marketplace died a quiet death. The only real surprise was that this DOA defensive action's demise even warranted a story. As I recall, this "coalition of the billing" was created to try to keep Google out of broadcaster knickers (Google was at the time looking for broadcasters to partner with to test their own auction-based TV model, and no-one wanted them mucking around in the special sauce. eBay was easier. Less threatening. And uncompetitive). With no real mandate, poor funding, lackluster participation and an agenda driven by fear, not innovation, I'm honestly surprised it lasted this long. Did they finally go through all the stationary they had printed up? Run out of creamers and call it a day?
Next up: Canoe. As in 'up the creek without a paddle'. The cable industry sees Canoe as "[their] solution to the growing amount of ad dollars flowing to the Web." David Verklin (ex-Aegis/Carat) had this to say:
"We will have all of this new data and features that can prove to clients that people are actually watching the ads."
Darn. He could have said a lot of things. Things like "I'm excited to examine how we can continue to improve our value proposition and provide real value for our customers and marketers?" or "Advertisers need to create more compelling viewer engagement experiences and we're here to help them make sense of the opportunities", or "Brands needs to serve their brand communities more effectively in an era of infinite choice", or "Cable and broadcast still command massive audiences and we are seeking new more creative ways to leverage those effectively for advertisers and respectfully for viewers?". Naaaah.
TV (cable and broadcast) isn't going away. Not by a long shot. Among other things, it's getting smarter and more interactive. Does the cable industry really need an industry group stuffed with folks not incented to innovate OR collaborate? Heck - I was a sales guy once. Damned if I'd have given over my best inventory - the stuff I could count on to help me hit my numbers - to a 'consortium' for the 'good of the industry'.
"Something that may concern programmers -- and damp enthusiasm: Because targeted advertising theoretically offers more bang for the marketing buck, advertisers may end up reducing their overall cable spend."
Unless there's more here than meets the eye (and there may be), Canoe, like the eBay SNAFU, strikes me as another Maginot line for an industry in need of forward motion. Canoe may last - but not in this incarnation, and not with this roster of participants.