VideoClix Enables Links in Videos, Tracks Metrics

It was one of earliest fantasies of interactive marketing. In the latest James Bond movie, the super spy touts his expensive watch, his car and his cell phone in overt product placement efforts by advertisers, but what if viewers could click on those items and even purchase them on the spot? VideoClix is looking to make that possible with the latest version of its VideoClix software, slated for release next week.

Using VideoClix, a video can be layered with any number of clickable links that can provide information about an object within the video or even direct a viewer to e-commerce sites where they can buy it.

“If you don’t want to click, you don’t click. It’s very non-intrusive. But at any time you’re interested in an item you just click on it,” said Babak Maghfourian, CEO of VideoClix. “Impulse shopping is what the Internet is all about right now.”

Already VideoClix has seen interest from media companies and agencies, including Universal McCann and Chiat Day who have used its previous version. VideoClix 3.0 has added features to enable metrics tracking of videos and what is clicked upon, which is then reported back to the content owner. Licensees can track clicks, sales and viewing behavior, and will continue to do so as videos are copied and distributed online, said Maghfourian. That feature is essential to VideoClix’s business model, as the company bills .01 cents per click in addition to the upfront purchase fee for the software.

“Files can be copied over and over again, but all the videos report back to you, just like any log analysis file,” he said.

The upgraded platform works with Flash .swf files, as well as Apple’s Quicktime, and supports MPEG1, MPEG4, DV, AVI, and 3GPP file formats. The system does not work with RealNetworks RealPlayer and Microsoft Windows Media Player as the lack of “interactivity” with them made it difficult, said Maghfourian. The system does require videos be watched on computers, mobile devices or DVD-ROM enabled machines.

When VideoClix 3.0 is released next Monday, Maghfourian intends to court additional entertainment and advertising customers. Current licensees include Disney, SonyBMG, Dreamworks, Lucas Films, Honda, L’Oreal, Levi’s and others.

“We’d like to see this more in Hollywood and in New York City’s Madison Avenue,” said Maghfourian. “They can monetize their video libraries. It’s dynamic product placement.”

(Note: This story has been altered from its original format to remove references to “plinking” and to Entertainment Media Works as a licensee of VideoClix.)

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