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PlayStation Vue serving dynamic ads to subscriber household members

As part of what is expected to be a broader push in 2018, Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Vue has begun targeting ads to different members of its subscriber households on select networks.

While content recommendation is one of the key product attributes of the virtual multichannel video programming distributor, PlayStation Vue has integrated technology enabling advertisers to reach members of its subscriber households with specific ads.

Dwayne Benefield, vice president and head of PlayStation Vue, told investors at UBS Global Media and Communications Conference on Dec. 5 that more clients and agencies would be able to dynamically deliver ads on the streaming service next year.

Benefield said the offering is not only beneficial to advertisers who are looking to connect with more targeted viewers, but to the users themselves who may have more receptivity to messaging around certain types of products or services.

A PlayStation Vue subscription features a master profile and can accommodate eight additional household member profiles, according to Benefield. As such, each profile has his/her own favorite channels, personalized DVR and tailored content recommendations.

After the presentation, Benefield said PlayStation Vue is currently working with a number of networks, which he would not disclose, to match customized ads to the profiles of the distinct household members. "It's a scaling issue," he said, with the company looking to expand its capabilities across more channels in 2018.

Advertisers looking to tap PlayStation as a delivery mechanism should know that its primary subscriber base remains largely millennial, as the group has a strong affinity for using connected devices in the home. Engagement is also high: where Benefield cited Nielsen data indicating the group watches 70 to 80 hours of TV per month, he said PlayStation Vue customers double that level.

Despite proffering 25,000 video-on-demand content assets and expansive DVR capacity, most PlayStation Vue viewing occurs with the live TV channels it offers. "We're shocked, it's about 80%," said Benefield, before noting that sports is a very strong category among its subscriber set. He pointed out that NFL Network (US), highlights channel NFL Red Zone, MLB Network (US) and NBA TV (US) are part of its sports lineup, with the latter performing well, as pro basketball is enjoying a strong year with viewers on various networks televising the sport.

Although not the case during its early day, Benefield said news is now a growing category, perhaps owing to "the political landscape."

Benefield said as PlayStation Vue has broadened its channel lineup, the service has begun attracting some different audiences, noting that Hallmark Channel (US), which was added to the roster last month, is generating strong viewing with its holiday programming schedule.

Although he didn't disclose subscriber numbers for the service, Benefield said that recently released benchmarks for the virtual MVPD space as a whole are "very close to being right." Although a figure of 3.5 million at the end of this year "might be a little low," he thinks the projection calling for 15 million of these subscribers by 2020 is on target.