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Cracking the Online Video Monetization Nut: CEO Amir Ashkenazi (Part 9)

Posted on Monday, Jul 2nd 2007

According to Amir, the learning system is an important aspect which will lead to optimized ad campaigns for content providers. Is it? I’m still very skeptical …

SM: I see, so what you are basically doing is trial and error while the learning system figures out effectiveness, and then you push ads out accordingly. AA: Exactly. This is also why we called the company, because we are adapting to user interaction with the ads to make the best selection.

SM: Are you live on any sites? AA: We are live on MetaCafe on two channels, the video game channel and the travel channel.

SM: Great. Let’s talk about the video game channel. What is the behavior like in that channel? AA: MetaCafe is one of the world’s largest video sites, they have user generated content. I call it the great entertainment site. The challenge is obviously there are tens of thousands of new videos added to the system every day, and it is difficult to analyze all of that and tag advertisements to that content. It is very difficult to effectively advertise, so we analyze the video and place ads accordingly, and what MetaCafe sees in that is a user friendly way to monetize their content.

SM: So how would this work in a Video Game Chanel? AA: If you visit, and you select the video games channel from the pull down menu you will see the first one is StarCraft II Cinematic Preview (under recently popular). If you click on that, it will play, and about 15 seconds into the video you should see the first ad. If you click on that it will open the advertisers page in a new window, and if you go back to the previous page you will see that it has paused the original video.

SM: I just clicked on the ad and it paused the video and took me to the advertisers’ site. I guess it is impossible for me to judge how your algorithm is performing, but for the moment I will take your word for it that it is performing well! Let’s switch gears. In this business, what do you see as your competitive landscape and what are the different approaches you see which are interesting when taken from an overall market context? AA: It is obviously still the early days of video advertising, and there are a lot of startups and big companies procuring their solutions. It will be very interesting, and the potential of this industry is huge. The company which finds an innovative way to monetize video advertising will do well, and it will probably be more than one.

[to be continued]

[Part 8]
[Part 7]
[Part 6]
[Part 5]
[Part 4]
[Part 3]
[Part 2]
[Part 1]

This segment is part 9 in the series : Cracking the Online Video Monetization Nut: CEO Amir Ashkenazi
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Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Cracking the Online Video Monetization Nut: CEO Amir Ashkenazi (Part 10) Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 6:53 AM PT