Last week, we saw a pretty exciting demo of a brand-new “AdSense for video“-enabling technology from speech recognition firm Nexidia. Sure, the demo depended on canned examples, but the product had only been available for three days at the point Drew Lanham, senior vice president of media for Nexidia, showed it to us.
In the example in this screenshot (larger version after the jump), just as a newscaster starts talking about a new Hewlett-Packard program, text ads pop up for three sites selling HP products. The ads would change throughout the newscast, with enough control allotted so stations so they could specify, for instance, that airline ticket and vacation offers would not appear next to a bit about a plane crash, said Lanham.
Atlanta-based Nexidia, which has $27 million in venture backing, uses a phonetic approach for speech analysis, meaning it compares the bits of sound in audio tracks to sounded-out versions of potential transcriptions rather than translating the audio tracks into text. The company contends this method is faster and more accurate than speech-to-text alternatives, and more informative than depending on metadata and tags.
Nexidia, like speech-to-text competitors Podscope and Podzinger, is entering the consumer space after years of success selling military applications of the same technology. In addition, Nexidia has built a significant business in call center monitoring. About a year ago the company set up a media division headed by Lanham to explore breaking into the exploding markets for digital media online.
Lanham has some interesting ideas for where such technology could be applied: video aggregators could screen uploads to see which files are mature and which files to run against a fingerprint engine; distributed media companies like Gannett could create searchable archives of all their assets; and media companies could get some independence from search engines by offering video and audio search as a proprietary index on their own sites.
The downside, as Lanham admitted, is Nexidia does not generate a text transcript, so it cannot be fully integrated into search.
Nexidia has only one media deployment so far, on 11alive.com, an Atlanta NBC affiliate owned by Gannett. A searchable video archive, when it comes to timely local news, is even better than posting station clips to YouTube.
Imagine being able to find the precise piece on a story you missed last night, or every mention of some public figure’s name, right from your browser. Now imagine why the station would probably like to be able to sell contextual ads based on that, since there’s really no more point in tuning in for the evening newscast besides kicking back with a beer.