Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ad-Insertion is back - Spotted at Mediacom

Karl Bode reports to DSLReports.com that "Mediacom has started using Javascript to inject their own advertisements onto the top of websites -- including the normally stark Google main page".

See "Mediacom Injecting Their Ads Into Other Websites Among Other Annoying New DPI Ad Endeavors" - here.

Mediacom provides broadband service over cable in 22 states in the US and has 838,000 broadband subscribers (end of 2010).   
Source: DSLPorts.com
Carrier based behavioral advertizing, or ad-insertion, gained some popularity 3 years ago with startups such as Nebuad and Phorm. The way that some ISPs deployed it (without notifying customers) killed the business (and gave it - and the whole DPI industry a bad name) - although the main concern, privacy, could be solved by not saving the subscribers' behavior data and only use it, anonymously, during the process of matching the right ad. 
As the business model was based on advertising revenue sharing (between the carrier and the vendor), using an opt-in model would not justify the investment.

DPI was used with ad insertion for two reasons - one is technical - so only relevant flows will be re-directed for ad insertion processing. Then, DPI was used to analyze the subscriber's behavior - mainly by looking at his or hers HTTP traffic and inserting the most relevant ad into the web page (see screenshot above).

See also - "[WSJ] Carrier Ad-Insertion Returns!" - here and "Japan - ISPs May Use DPI for Behavioral Advertising" - here.

1 comment:

  1. This is odd that people are still letting cable companies do this to them. After years of abuse I finally got tired of it and switched to satellite. As a DISH customer and employee I can use their TV Everywhere app on my smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and watch live or recorded shows anywhere I can get a 3G connection. Cable customers can’t do that.