Podcast measurement firm Podbridge has been awarded a patent for technology that allows ads to be dynamically matched with time-shifted audio and video content. The system is aimed at delivering fresh, up-to-the-minute ads, rather than ads that age along with the stored content.
Patent 7,080,400, granted to Podbridge founder and CEO Murgesh Navar on July 18, governs a “system and method for distributed storage and presentation of multimedia in a cable network environment.” The basic premise is that multimedia content should be stored locally, on a set-top box or computer, but can be combined with ads on the fly when the user plays it so that only fresh, relevant marketing messages are actually played.
“The idea is that when content is time-shifted it’s sitting on the user’s storage,” explained Navar. “Now our technology allows us to stitch anything into that content that’s just sitting there.”
Because the system described in the patent involves a cable system utilizing TV set-top boxes, it’s conceivable that it could apply not just to podcasts or video podcasts, but also video-on-demand or DVR systems. However, Navar told ClickZ the patent is mostly aimed at protecting Podbridge’s own technology, rather than netting the company licensing fees.
Navar admitted that the patent only encompasses systems that use cable networks. Even similar IP networks, such as those run by telecom players, wouldn’t be infringing on the patent.