Sunday, October 14, 2007

Targeted Video Ads on Google: A Better Approach from Blinkx?

Blinkx is a small British video search company.

The company released a tool Wednesday that lets online publishers place targeted text ads in any video embedded on a Web site based on the actual content of the video. That's a lot different (and may be a lot better?) than the Google approach you'll find above. Google figures out what ads to pair with a video based strictly on the video's title and any keywords attached to the clip.

Blinkx software "listens to" and "watches" the video, then inserts text overlay ads based on the spoken words and to some extent, the images in the clip. That technology depends on algorithms developed by a longstanding Google competitor, search engine Autonomy.

Here's an example of how Blinkx's contextual advertising might work: Imagine a teenager doing a podcast about a new digital camera. Blinkx software might create a text ad for the camera at the bottom of the video player, even if the clip isn't labeled with the digital camera brand.

Blinkx Chief Executive Suranga Chandratillake says the software can also recognize written words and even a small library of faces. That means that automatic ad targeting isn't limited to the relatively small amount of video content generated by media companies and savvy bloggers who carefully label all of their content with text tags, he says.

Advertisers will be able to insert targeted ads into the massive number of amateur videos on the Internet, many of which often weren't intended to generate revenue and so carry no content-related tags. Will they have to obtain rights to do this...we'll see?

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