blinkx Wants to Match Ads to Videos Too

blinkx, the publicly traded video search engine, today announced AdHoc, a video ad platform first reported by the Next Net last week.

The company is touting the product as “AdSense for Video,” matching ads with the context of a video clip using speech analysis and metadata, something we’ve been covering extensively since October. At the time we wondered when search engines like blinkx would get in the game; since then, other search companies like Nexidia, Google itself, and startups like ScanScout focusing exclusively on ads, have volunteered solutions. blinkx is actually one of the last to do so (though in a young market that may not mean much).

A key difference is blinkx is offering AdHoc as a tool for publishers. “We do not have any aim to be an ad network,” Suranga Chandratillake, blinkx founder and CEO, told NewTeeVee in an interview last week. “We’re not hiring an ad sales team to have an inventory of ads.”

Chandratillake said the platform will handle all sorts of ad units — pre-rolls, bugs, banners, video ads — but he does not expect video ads to play a significant part for now because they tend to be broadly related to brands and less plentiful than other types, .

blinkx is not launching the product with any customers, though it does have a commitment for compatibility from ad giant Publicis Groupe.

Shares of the recently IPOed blinkx, which also announced deals with RealNetworks, InfoSpace, and Lycos on Monday, rose 4.5 percent to $40.75 in the day’s trading.

On a related note, four companies in the online video ad space — Adap.tv, ScanScout, XLNTAds, and YuMe Networks — are presenting at the Under the Radar conference in Mountain View on Thursday. We’ll be there to see them duke it out.


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