Thursday, June 21, 2007

Video AdSense - Relevant Ads

Remember Blinkx? It's the publicly traded video search site. Mashable reports that Blinkx will soon be offering an advertising network based on speech recognition. So whenever a certain keyword that advertisers bid on either shows up in Meta tags or within speech, the ad will be shown in pre, post, or mid-roll ads.

This is definitely an improvement from Revver's model of fitting an ad in (at the end) that users have to click. Relevance should improve the response that advertisers get. How well will it work? Well the service hasn't launched yet, but I'm going to preface my statements by saying that Blinkx's service is definitely something that we need in the online video space. YouTube is doing something similar but there is only so much information that you can mine from meta tags. With the ability to actually gage what someone is saying, you can really figure out what the content is. That'll really be of value to the entire food chain of users, content creators, and advertisers since more relevant ads will be served to users, content creators will make more money, and advertisers will be minimizing wasted eyeballs.

Great. Or is it? Again, I'm not sure how Blinkx's software will work, but context is everything. Let's say Apple wants to buy the phrase Apple Computer. So everytime Apple Computer is said an Apple ad should run. Well, I think that you can see where we might run into some problems. What if I have a video where a character says "Apple Computer sucks" or "Apple Computer is a piece of s--t" or worse yet "Shove that Apple computer up your..." you get where I'm going hopefully. So then the video that bashes Apple becomes financed by Apple. Probably not where Apple wants to spend its ad dollars. The problem with this model is still that we need some type of human intervention to determine the qualitative parts of the video. It's similar to MySpace problems where advertisers didn't want to purchase ads or even AdSense because they were not sure of the context of the page. Context is key and while keywords will help in relevancy and is a step in the right direction toward advertiser AI, we still have a while to go. In the meantime, good job Blinkx for taking us one step closer to free content and relevant commercials!

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