Pudding Media Gets $8 Million First Round For Contextual Voice Ads

San Jose-based Pudding Media, a developer of technology that puts contextual advertising around voice communications, has raised an $8 million first round from Opus Capital and BRM Capital. The company, which is marketing its services to VoIP operators, mobile carriers and web-based voice services, sees ads as a way to subsidize the cost of voice communications. The funding announcement touts this as an “entirely new market category,” but it really isn’t. Ad-subsidized voice has been floating for a while with little interest, it seems, from consumers. The innovation may be the contextual part — meaning the ads are derived from the content of the conversation — but if GMail raised hackles for ads based on text content, this is sure to make folks uncomfortable. Release.
The company has put up a test site to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technology, though VentureBeat wasn’t impressed by a September review.