Blinkx Adds Behavioral Targeting To Video Site

The video search engine blinkx introduced behavioral targeting services Tuesday supported by AdHoc, the company's contextual video advertising platform.

The updated version of AdHoc targets the ads to the person watching the video. Ads serve up based on information collected in browser cookies and ad tags embedded in Web pages on the site and in the videos. Speech recognition and visual analysis technology pull out information from the videos prior to the piece being added to the pool of content.

AdHoc tracks individual browsers and the consumption of video content on the blinkx site. As long as the site visitor doesn't delete the cookie, the targeting information remains available for up to two months. Information to create a customer profile comes from activity on the blinkx site.

The technology tracks consumption patterns, building awareness of a consumer's interests, which in turn enable advertisers to match ads with an online video audience based on behavior. "We don't buy data from anyone else," says Suranga Chandratillake, CEO of blinkx. "And we're not following browsers from Web site to Web site."



During the past three years, blinkx's speech recognition and visual analysis technology has supported 800 campaigns for more than 585 brands, such as Coca-Cola, Shell and Microsoft.

Chandratillake says some companies have run trials measuring click-through rates, but the CTRs on videos typically have more to do with attractive creative than anything else. The company also measures success through surveys, boasting 300% better engagement rates. Blinkx, which charges per impression, has one customer, Scion, testing the service.

The next challenge for blinkx is transitioning the technology from the PC to the TV. Chandratillake says between 1% and 2% access blinkx content through a video game console or TV. Although it's a minute amount today, those numbers didn't even appear two years ago, so it's time to thinking about what the site and user interface should look like, and how to track the information.

The format is so different, Chandratillake says, that it has become a concern that needs to be addressed. Until recently set-top boxes couldn't support Flash. And what can you do with a remote control verses mouse and keyword, he asks.

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