YuMe Launches Video Ad Network

The well-funded YuMe Networks is launching today a video ad network, aiming to match video publishers with video advertising using a bit of contextual analysis.

It’s not quite a highly automated AdSense for video, as ad placements are based on broad categories and in some cases human filtering is used. However, YuMe stands out from the competition in that it is working exclusively on video ads.

Redwood City, Calif.-based YuMe has taken more than $7 million in funding from Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners, and BV Capital. We chatted briefly today with Molly Glover Gallatin, YuMe director of marketing, on the occasion of the company’s launch.

Both YuMe and competitor ScanScout are highly focused on making brand advertisers comfortable with online video. However, YuMe is not yet working with much user-generated content, except for early tests on Metacafe (also funded by Accel), said Gallatin.

Gallatin said video content is targeted based on tags and metadata, something that generally works much better for established content creators who label their work well. YuMe uses such information to slot videos into ad-friendly content buckets such as auto, finance, and entertainment.

When placing ads on user-generated content, YuMe employs people (yes, actual humans!) to screen content and group it into such categories. That’s in contrast to companies such as TVEyes’ Podscope and Nexidia, which are applying speech recognition tools to decipher what’s going on in a video and place an ad next to it.

YuMe is building out its own ad inventory, though much of it consists of repurposing 30-second television slots into shorter bits appropriate for the web, said Gallatin.