By Mark Wood

Studio Post is one of the exclusive users of the electronic “Extreme Reach” commercial delivery system and we deliver commercials and campaigns across the country every day.

Our main electronic delivery supplier quarterly surveys 160 brand, ad agency and production companies that are directly involved with delivering television campaigns. Through this research some of the information below has been garnered.

Adoption of HD delivery has increased 4% over the last quarter to 17% of overall. 39% of advertisers have adopted HD which is the same as last quarter. 89% of network affiliates air HD ads while only 42% of LOCAL cable companies support HD.

As a reminder, HD is definitely growing. The issue that does pop up is that not every broadcaster is exclusive to HD. Each broadcaster has various stations that require a HD version and a SD down convert. So if you’re finishing a commercial in HD and it’s running on Global in Alberta, we will also need to provide them with SD deliverable information. Is it 4×3, Center Cut or Letterbox ?

In Extreme Reach`s report, they noticed that advertisers were running into 4 hurdles:

  1. Production Dilemma- Which is how and what format to shoot with and how to finish it. Then to choose if it should be finished for Standard def delivery as Letterbox or Center Cut. If it`s center cut then all the graphics have to be within the safe area.
  2. Coverage Gap- Inconsistent adoption of HD among broadcasters. As of April 1 CBC is now HD. While in Canada this is getting better, some smaller markets still only accept SD delivery
  3. Distribution Split- Complicated HD delivery. HD ads can be delivered on tape or electronically. Delivering on tape can be complicated because each broadcaster requires a different format. Some broadcasters, like the CBC require you to deliver them a HD and a SD tape. Electronic delivery also has some complications like specific file size, formatting and parameters, not all broadcasters are on board with electronic delivery either. In some circumstances a combination of both methods works best.
  4. Higher cost of HD. Some interviewed in the survey indicated that HD production costs were coming down, while other said it prevented them from finishing in HD. 41% of the respondents indicated that distribution in HD was a hurdle and expensive. Experience commercial distribution outlets like Studio Post can help manage a cost effective way to deliver your commercials with a combination of tape and electronic delivery.

*Details of the report were supplied by the Extreme Reach Research Group.

Mark Wood is the General Manager at Studio Post, Edmonton.