Adap.tv, another VC-funded online video ad network, launches Monday. This one has some reasonably good claims to legitimacy — a signed customer, Metacafe; the experience of its leadership at Shopping.com (now owned by eBay); venture backing (amount undisclosed) from Gemini Partners; “millions” of ads in its initial inventory — but also the same fuzzy claims about how its multi-faceted approach to understanding the context of a video is better than the competition.
Adap.tv, founded in 2006, is notable amongst companies serving ads against online video in that it is serving only static text ads from places like Amazon, with a small image when appropriate.
The Adap.tv ad unit looks quite a bit like the new YouTube ad unit we wrote about Friday at first glance; however it does not telescope out into a video ad (as competitors ScanScout and VideoEgg, like YouTube, do). It is simply text linking to an outside site.
Adap.tv co-founder and CEO Amir Ashkenazi (formerly founder and CTO at Shopping.com) told NewTeeVee in an interview last week his company would be interested in transacting video-format ads, but currently did not feel enough of them were on the market to launch a product (though you’d have to assume it’s the job of ad platforms like his to rally interest!). He said his goal is to build a video marketplace that is “contextual, granular, and scalable.”
Videos and advertisements will be matched based on natural language processing, learning about users’ habits, metadata, and other methods.
The company’s product currently only works on Flash 8 and Flash 9, using a partnership with thePlatform to help publishers get video online. It is starting out on a cost-per-click model, though Ashkenazi would not disclose an expected price range.
Initial partner Metacafe will be using Adap.tv for clips related to video games and travel. See a screenshot below (as of Sunday night the pictured video did not display advertising when we watched it).