Blinkx Brings Behavioral Targeting to Video Watchers

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video_smallADOTAS – Unfortunately, contextual search for video is nothing like text, notes Suranga Chandratillake, CEO and founder of video search engine Blinkx. While language engines can be employed to determine what a text web page is all about, Blinkx has had to create spider technology — which uses visual, facial and speech analysis among other specialties — to analyze the contents of videos.

The five-year old video search engine, which boasts 60 million monthly uniques and 17.5 million video searches a day, has already witnessed monetization success through the contextual ad matcher AdHoc, which Chandratillake compares to AdSense for video: “The theory is you get better results for the advertiser and a better ad to the consumer because it’s relevant to what he/she is watching.” Since its launch in 2007, nearly 600 brands have run more than 800 campaigns with improved engagement rates of up to 300%

Now Blinkx taking the platform a step further by initiating opt-out behavioral targeting. AdHoc Behavioral builds on the current AdHoc platform to assemble in-depth portfolios of blinkx community members’ tastes via dropping cookies on frequent users.

“One video on a topic doesn’t make you a fan,” Chandratillake says. “So we built technology that figures out user interest over a period of time.”

A user may watch a great deal of news coverage, but AdHoc Behavioral will determine what kind of news content he or she is viewing. If it happens to be a great deal of environmental coverage, appropriate advertising — Toyota, the first advertiser to sign up with the program, has got a hybrid you’ll love, tree-hugger! — will pop up next to the video. Banners and takeovers are Blinkx main products and the service avoids text ads.

Early testing has witnessed a doubling in CTRs, very similar to what blinkx saw when introducing its contextual ad system.

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