What’s Next for YouTube? Self-Serve Overlay Ads

YouTube might reach profitability this year, which means it’s time for parent company Google (s GOOG) to figure out ways to make it even more profitable. That might happen by making it even easier for small advertisers to build overlay ads to run over YouTube videos, according to a patent filing spotted by GoRumors.

In a patent application entitled “Video Overlay Advertisement Creator,” Google outlines the “methods and systems for creating video overlay advertisements suitable for use with digital videos.” The system basically allows advertisers to specify the attributes of an overlay ad through a browser-based user interface, which would be communicated back to the YouTube server. The server would then provide a preview of the ad in the advertiser’s browser. In other words, it lets advertisers build their own overlay ads, without having to hire an agency to do so.

An image of what Google has in mind is embedded below:

Read More about What’s Next for YouTube? Self-Serve Overlay Ads

Arti-Media Asserts Itself with Ad Insertion

ArtimediaArti-Media is starting to bring its ad insertion technology to the U.S. in earnest, but will the company be able to differentiate its “unobtrusive” overlay ad placement service from the other competitors already here?
If Arti-Media’s mission sounds familiar, it should. Keystream has been working here domestically over the past year to do the exact same thing. Both companies have developed technology that automatically finds spots within a video that are “dead” or otherwise not part of the action and inserts an IAB-sized ad there.
Read More about Arti-Media Asserts Itself with Ad Insertion

Overlay.tv Gets Another $4.6 Million

Overlay.tv, a company that layers additional information like graphics, ads and links over video, announced today that it secured $4.6 million in its second round of funding.

The company says the money will be used to continue its UGC efforts and expand into more premium content and brand partnerships, which is a slight shift in strategy from when it went beta back in February. Back then, the company was focused on user-generated advertising, encouraging people to make videos into clickable ads and share in the revenue they generated. Since Overlay’s official launch in September, the company has formed partnerships with Nettwerk Music Group, Hollywood Records, KidzBop and Transcontinental Media.

Competition to junk up better monetize video streams with overlay ads is heating up. In addition to the existing competition like PLYMedia and TicTacTi, newcomers like Keystream and ZunaVision have entered the space in recent months.

The new round of funding mirrors the $4.6 million the Ottowa-based Overlay received in January of this year with existing investors Celtic House Venture Partners, Tech Capital Partners and EdgeStone Capital Partners re-upping.

ZunaVision Elegantly Inserts Ads Anywhere

I’m not sure whether to heap praise on startup ZunaVision, or be terrified of it. The company, which just incorporated two days ago, has developed a technology that lets you insert and blend ads (almost) seamlessly onto the surface of objects within a video and could be a marketer’s dream. But it also means that even dogs riding skateboards could soon be covered in logos.

Developed by two Stanford graduate students, Ashutosh Saxena and Siddharth Batra, along with Assistant Professor Andrew Ng, ZunaVision’s technology allows users to embed images within a video. Batra calls it “post post production.” But unlike clunky overlay ads, the software knows where these placements are within the video and will adjust for things like foreground and background, lighting conditions and motion. The embedded video provides an good demonstration of the technology.
For instance, you could put a logo on the wall of a building and the software will automatically adjust the tone of the image to match the lighting conditions around it (i.e. whether it’s in the shade or direct light), as well as allow people in the foreground to walk in front of the image. If the camera moves, the image stays on with the wall in the same space and will maintain the proper perspective.
Read More about ZunaVision Elegantly Inserts Ads Anywhere