Digitalsmiths unveils contextual video ad solutions

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Looking to help publishers and content creators better monetize the growing opportunities created by online and mobile video, Raleigh-Durham-based Digitalsmiths has unveiled what it claims is the first completely automated multi-platform contextual video ad-targeting solution.

The product, VideoSense, was first developed by Digitalsmiths as a video indexing solution, but was then adapted for video ad matching. Combining video image recognition, audio/speech recognition and traditional targeting tools, gives VideoSense a distinct advantage over other targeting tools currently on the market, according to Digitalsmiths CEO Ben Weinberger.

"You can look at things like object detection and object classification and at-scene detection and classification, which are really the only ways of getting the best targeting data so you can make the best contextual decision about which ad to serve," he said. "We've got technology that does all of that in an automated fashion."

With publishers and content sites looking to better exploit the explosion of video, Digitalsmiths can also help ad networks like Tremor Media better serve their clients. "We can come in and enhance what Tremor and other companies are doing by contextualizing the data and making it relevant to what people are watching," Weinberger said.

After interpreting a piece of video, VideoSense contextually targets ads to specific sections of a given video stream, changing out the ads as frequently as desired by the advertiser or publisher. VideoSense also incorporates industry-standard targeting data and yields real-time user analytics for ad optimization.

Privately-held Digitalsmiths is currently setting up two business models - flat fee software licensing that is likely to appeal to publishers who already have a definable revenue stream, and a revenue sharing model likely to appeal to ad services looking to bring Digitalsmiths on an enhancement to what they're current offering..

Because of NDA agreements, Weinberger said Digitalsmiths can't yet publicly announce any clients, but he did note there are several firms already beta testing VideoSense, including a terrestrial cable company looking to better match ads not just in broadband, but also in their cable TV and mobile video offerings.

On the cable front, Weinberger said VideoSense can better help operators more efficiently market ad inventories.

"By using our technology, they can say we have X amount of opportunities for financial, or food or consumer goods," he said. "They can pre-sell all that ad inventory contextually."

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