Blog Post

Affine Systems sells TV-like video audiences online

Last week, we wrote about how TV ad buying could soon become more performance-based, like buying video ads online as opposed to just amassing audiences based on Nielsen Ratings. Affine Systems, on the other hand, wants to accomplish just the opposite — it wants to make buying online video ads similar to the way TV ads are bought. To do so, the startup is making new technology available to brands and agencies that is designed to provide larger available online inventory and stronger brand protection when serving ads against “non-premium” online video.

Affine accomplishes that with a semantic video ad technology, which scans videos frame-by-frame and then groups them together based upon specific content categories. By doing so, it’s able to reach a scale of audience for ad buying that wasn’t previously available for most online video campaigns, while also ensuring brand protection for brands and agencies that want to serve ads against those videos.

Due to worries about the content of most online video, many brands and agencies stay away from a large percentage of that content, preferring to launch campaigns against professionally produced videos. But with Affine’s technology and repository of online videos, media buyers a much larger inventory to choose from. The company provides tools to enable advertisers to create custom video channels to target. And once their ads have been served, Affine provides full transparency into where those ads appeared.

Over the last several years, Affine has worked to get integrated with non-premium video distributors such as YouTube, (s GOOG) as well as all the major ad networks. It’s done so by doing its own media buying during that time, building campaigns and serving them up while it perfected its technology and built its database of available videos. Now, it’s hoping to take advantage of that work by offering a platform to the ad community.

For advertisers, the result is that Affine reduces the pain of placing ads online, while drastically increasing the scale of inventory that can be purchased. And publishers are now able to increase monetization with more ads being served against their videos and higher CPMs than they were able to get as purely remnant inventory.

Affine has raised a total of $8 million from investors such as Highland Capital Partners and Crosslink Capital. The company, which was founded in 2007, now has 13 employees and is headquartered in San Francisco.