User-Generated Ads Step Up with ViTrue

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Reggie Bradford, the former President of Tanberg Television, CEO of N2 Broadband and CMO of WebMD, has launched ViTrue, Inc with General Catalyst Partners. ViTrue, Inc will, according to the release, be the world’s first user-created advertising platform, and the company will receive $2.2 million in funding from General Catalyst Partners and ViTrue’s founder. The company has also acquired Sharkle.com, which is one of the top five consumer-generated online video sharing communities with more than 100,000 registered users, more than one million unique visitors and more than 15 million page views per month.

Bradford, founder and CEO of ViTrue, Inc, said in a press statement, “Broadband Internet has completely disrupted the model for creating and distributing video. At the same time, the Internet is a viral marketer’s dream come true. ViTrue takes advantage of these market dynamics, enabling the advertising community to spearhead the next realm of user-generated content — consumer created advertisements.”

The president and founder of Sharkle.com, Trevor Wright, also commented, “The combined vision of both ViTrue and Sharkle presents the next wave of user generated content, and answers the industry’s question of how this phenomenon will be monetized. Now not only can our video producers continue to share their personal creativity worldwide, they can earn serious money and we’ll make them famous by aligning this creative passion with the products, services and brands they choose to use in their daily lives. The result will be more creative and less expensive advertisements that benefit everyone involved.”

The online video ad market is growing at a 61% CAGR and is expected to reach $1.5 billion in 2009, according to data released by eMarketer. ViTrue will maintain Sharkle.com as a destination for people to watch and share original video, while simultaneously leveraging its base of consumer video producers across ViTrue’s soon-to-be-launched platform. The platform will feature applications and services needed for consumers to generate video advertisements for free as well as the necessary technology required for major brands to align these consumer efforts with their key marketing campaigns.

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