PodZinger to Offer Targeted Video Ads

Audio and video search engine PodZinger is launching a new advertising platform that targets video ads based on search queries and the content being viewed.

“We’re taking one of the key advantages of PodZinger — the words people are searching for — and using that information to show more relevant advertising,” Alex Laats, CEO of PodZinger, told ClickZ.

PodZinger searches can be conducted from the company’s own site, as well as from the sites of its growing co-branded partner network, including “This Week in Tech” site TWiT.tv, video blog Rocketboom, and two sites for Boston-area radio stations owned by Entercom, which operates in 22 markets nationally. Those co-branded partners submit their content to be indexed by PodZinger’s search engine and place a PodZinger search box on their sites.

PodZinger search returns content from its partners, content submitted by content owners on its site, as well as video discovered through its crawling efforts. Now, when content owners submit content to be indexed in PodZinger’s search engine, they can choose to join the advertising program and share in the revenue generated from ads. Ads will only be shown on content from its co-brand partners or from content owners that have opted in to the advertising program.

Video ads will be shown at the point of entry to each clip. That point is not always the beginning of a clip, since PodZinger’s technology allows users to jump to the most relevant point of a video. Most ads will be between 10 and 15 seconds, which PodZinger says it has determined through primary research of its users to be the ideal length for ads, Laats said. Ads will be targeted primarily by the search query, but also by the context of the video content a user is viewing.

The company’s proprietary technology, initially developed by parent company BBN for U.S. Defense Department use, uses voice recognition and natural language processing technology to determine the content and the meaning of each audio or video clip. Content is also segmented into eight areas, including music, technology, entertainment, news and sports. Those categories will be added to and further segmented as traffic grows, Laats said.

Because all video interaction is done through PodZinger’s player, it can report in-depth interaction metrics to advertisers, including frequency of plays and average length of time users spend with each clip.

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