NTV Live Launchpad: Taboola Plug-In Keeps Users Plugged In

NEWTEEVEE LIVE, SAN FRANCISCO — Video-sharing sites are struggling to find a way to stand out and attract loyal audiences. Taboola, an Israeli startup launching at NewTeeVee Live today, thinks it has a solution for them — keep your users interested by continually offering them good video recommendations. And in early trials, it appears to be working quite well.

Recommendations are something anything that calls itself a video site should have already developed on its own, but Taboola has made some nifty technology that’s apparently very easy to integrate. Just a line of JavaScript and your video players — as well as embedded versions of them on other sites — will overlay recommendations of videos either similar to the one being watched or videos that others who have watched it have also enjoyed.

Taboola is currently implemented on how-to video site 5min (see an example embedded above; it didn’t always work for me but there was usually a “related” overlay on the bottom left), and has apparently done wonders for its user engagement. Taboola CEO Adam Singolda told us in an interview that video views had increased 23 percent on 5min after it implemented his company’s recommendation overlays. The percentage of movies watching in entirety rose 40 percent, and average session length went up 52 percent. We were unable to verify these claims with 5min before press time, but Singolda insisted they were true. If those kind of numbers can be replicated on other sites it will be hard to argue with adding Taboola.

The company, which has eight employees, declined to give details on its funding situation has raised $1.5 million from Evergreen Venture Partners. It plans to make money by occasionally including clearly marked ads as recommended videos, which doesn’t sound terrible lucrative.

Singolda is participating in NewTeeVee Live‘s video search and discovery panel at 12:15 p.m., which I’ll be moderating.