PodZinger Targets Video Ads

Consumers must opt in. The video streams a promotional message between three and five seconds long, based on the subscriber's interest.
PodZinger plans to expand from targeted text-based advertising into video and audio ads to link advertisers with content.

When the service launches later this year, content providers will have an option to sign up for a service PodZinger president Alex Laats calls "playback advertisements."

The strategy will replace the PodZinger logo that plays in the video box after a user receives back content from a search. Each video would include an advertisement related to the query.

"An advertisement playing in that box should be relevant to the search topic," Laats said. "For example, if you're searching on the word 'Yahoo,' an ad related to the search engine would appear."

Companies that own the video content will also have an option to opt-out of adult-related advertisements. Podzinger, a BBN Technologies Corp. subsidiary, also will provide the owner of the video or podcast a report that describes the queries being searched on and played.

PodZinger recently began offering speech-to-text conversion that creates a text index with time stamps of the audio in the video or podcast, a feature that could put a crimp in Laats' advertising plans.

The speech-to-text conversion feature enables users to search for content anywhere within audio or video files. Search results highlight keywords and show the time stamp of where they're located in the podcast or video to let users jump directly to that point in the file.

"We're seeing is a timely convergence of several key market dynamics: broadband penetration, increased ad spending on display, primarily branding, and technological advances," said Kent Allen, an analyst at The Research Trust, an industry consulting firm focused on marketing and advertising. "Many of the big brands are putting money into online, and even some mobile ads, that target consumers."

Enpocket Inc., which serves-up ads for Pepsi, MasterCard and McDonalds to Vodafone, Sprint, Airtel and SoftBank Mobile subscribers, offers target video advertising, but on mobile devices.

The technology recognizes the consumer and delivers a relevant ad based on demographic and behavioral information. "We tie into databases at Airtel and SoftBank and use the information about the customer to display targeted banner ads on the mobile phone," said Mike Baker, Enpocket CEO. "I call it intelligent mobile marketing on the small device."

Consumers must opt-in to text message or video advertising. The video streams a promotional message, between 3 seconds and 5 second long, based on the subscriber's interest. Target banner advertising on mobile browsers is also available.

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