blinkx Lets Consumers Cash In on Video Search
Forget making money from YouTube video. Blinkx has a way for college students and bloggers to make extra scratch.
Blinkx, which has made its name as the platform for video searches behind Ask.com, InfoSpace and Lycos, has worked out a way for consumers to make money through its AdHoc ad-serving platform.
Beginning Oct. 10, AdHoc will allow consumers to search for videos they want, grab them and drop them into their blog or some other content mechanism, and watch the money roll in as readers click on an ad link embedded in the video.
Users can grab the embed code of a video they want to put in their blogs, log into Blinkx AdHoc, paste the code into the Blinkx site and hit “next” to create the link between the video content and AdHoc. This step generates new code that closely matches video content with an ad in the system. Users then embed this new code in their blogs.
When users click on the ads, they are directed to the site sponsoring the ad. Revenue generated from this action is split 50-50 between the person who embedded the ad and Blinkx.com.
Blinkx CEO Suranga Chandratillake said Blinkx has tested this system with videos from YouTube, Google Video, Daily Motion and MySpace, and is targeting it for tech-savvy users who have time to spare, such as college students, and “semipro bloggers who run a blog well and have a pretty steady audience.”
Chandratillake said John Battelle (Searchblog), Danny Sullivan (Search Engine Land) and Michael Arrington (TechCrunch), as well as bloggers in a lower tier, could be good candidates for such a service.
“Now that you’ve got that second embed tag, every time someone comes to your site and plays that video, it will come back to our system and say, ‘Somebody is watching this video, what’s the best ad right now?’” Chandratillake told eWEEK.
“A great deal of video that gets watched these days gets watched not just on a site like YouTube but also through embedding on other peoples’ sites,” Chandratillake added. “Right now that embedding process is a pretty noncommercial thing. You basically embed it because it’s something interesting, not because you get a reward out of it. We can use AdHoc to change that.”
Blinkx is trying all of the standard ad networks for AdHoc for consumers, as well as affiliate programs such as Amazon and eBay, to plumb as many ads as possible. Moreover, Blinkx Oct. 10 also launched its own ad network, so advertisers can place ads directly on Blinkx.
Chandratillake believes Blinkx’s AdHoc platform will be a core differentiator as the company looks to fish for consumers to buy into its system, which will also boost sales for the content partners Blinkx is trying to make money with.
While video searches on Google Video or YouTube sift through text searches to find videos, Blinkx AdHoc uses speech-to-text and visual analysis technologies to ferret out content, add user profiles to the content and connect them to advertising networks.
This helps the San Francisco company’s media partners match more relevant advertising with their video content on the Web. AdHoc is ad format-agnostic, interfacing with video ads, keyword ads, banner ads or anything that has any information about the ad, Chandratillake explained.
AdHoc for consumers has its challenges. For example, Google’s YouTube property in August began rolling out ads embedded in videos of some of its partners as a way to test the market’s acceptance of online ads.
Chandratillake said Blinkx’s approach is different in that videos that serve ads from YouTube are limited to the YouTube network, meaning consumers have to use that company’s player and content. Blinkx doesn’t limit where users get their videos.
For better or worse, YouTube’s video ad experiment has drawn some interest on the part of consumers. Many YouTube users lambasted Google for cluttering their video viewing experiences, but some wanted to know how they could get a cut of the action.
To its credit, Google has vowed not to drop ads into content from those who don’t want to participate in the company’s advertising program, so consumers who choose to put ads on their YouTube videos will have to opt in to Google’s AdSense program.
Blinkx is committed to making the revenue-generating practice for AdHoc painless for consumers.
“We think it will be pretty viral,” said Chandratillake, when asked about how he expects consumers to hear about this when Blinkx has toiled for three years in the enterprise. “A lot of people do this [embed videos for blogs and such] today but don’t get anything from it and there’s very little extra pain for them to potentially make some money.”