US cable companies are preparing to engage viewers with interactive TV ads, in an attempt to increase their share of television advertising revenue.

An article in USA today points out that cable operators collected just 8% of the $67 billion that advertisers spent on television last year.

“The change coming to TV advertising is tremendous,” according to Eric Schmitt at Forrester Research. As technology allows operators to target specific neighbourhoods or even individual homes, “Cable will capture a greater and greater percentage of TV ad dollars”.

“There isn’t anyone who doesn’t want to talk about this and what we’re thinking,” Larry Fischer, president of media sales at Time Warner Cable is quoted as saying.

The other main area of interest is advertising on demand, widely regarded as a “killer application”. Together with truly interactive television adverts in which viewers respond using their remote control, the world of television advertising is due for change. “These are big ideas. This is going to change the landscape,” says Fischer.