Friday, June 22, 2007

Thoughts on video search and in-video ads

Yesterday afternoon at Supernova, thirteen companies selected by TechCrunch and Supernova presented 5 minutes demos.

ReadWriteWeb coveted the demos very well.

The interesting discussed trends were around mobile applications and experiences, vertical search and in-video ads.

I found the direction of creating an “ad layer” on top of user-generated content very interesting.
The mechanism of adding ‘business value’ at post-production phase seems very scalable.

About 4 years ago, I was working with some of my team members on developing eLearning tools to capture knowledge within enterprises. The concept was very simple.
Take long recording of training sessions, NetMeeting/WebEx sessions and analyze the video stream. We found and indexed video frames where a new side was shown, when a new topic was discussed and so on. We were working on an OCR capability to automate adding labels to the index. The end result was a create tool to capture and generate many eLearning units – used by SAP Developer Network ever since…

Well… These were very simple videos and the eBooks were very structured. Today, the user-generated-videos as well as other high quality video clips are more complex and understanding/mining them can be used for more than smart indexing.

Some of the parameters that could be use to analyze a video could include:

  • Tags
    • Use tags to find key terms
  • Audio
    • Voice-to-Text, find key terms
    • Theme – could be recognize and tagged
  • Video/Image
    • OCR – extract the text, find key terms
    • Colors – colors could be matched to tagged branding colors
    • Refresh rate – indicate the pace of the video and could be use for tagging and matching
  • Time
    • Used to create anchors within the data stream
  • Links to this object
    • Indicates domains with interests in this content

So – by analyzing video content objects using such mechanism, one (or a system) could create a good meta-data level understanding of the content and other parameters which define the content and be able to match it to other content objects (such as ads) with similar characteristics. These days, using Adobe Flash and other multi-media formats, the ‘Ad layer’ could be added to relevant content. The time anchors in the movies provide an opportunity to provide the ads in context and on time. show a great demo of these capabilities.

I was focusing on better service to the users and they found a way to make money out of it... Why didn’t I think about it…


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