Podzinger to listen for ad opportunities

Audio and video search engine Podzinger will launch a new advertising platform for podcasters and online video publishers tomorrow. The first write up was in ClickZ this evening. I think the strategy for video ads could be unpleasantly annoying but the audio ones are more likely to work well for everyone. Showcase appearances of Podzinger ads will be in This Week in Tech and in Rocketboom.

Podzinger says they are approaching 500,000 media episodes indexed from tens of thousands of media series. The company’s technology lets users search for words used inside media files and begin playing the files at the point where the terms appear.

According to the ClickZ article, video ads will be between 10 and 15 seconds long and will be played before the video rolls – even if viewers enter in the middle of a file using Podzinger’s speech recognition technology. I wonder though how many users will accept being sent to a particular point in a file only to be forced to wait through 15 seconds of advertisements before gaining the supposed rapid access of audio search. In some ways the company doesn’t have much of a choice – if they are letting users enter a file at any point according to search and there’s no reason to believe they will consume from that point until the end – then the point of entry is the only point audiences are highly likely to be found.

Podzinger’s video ads will be determined relative to both the file contents and the search terms used. VideoEgg has recently introduced a video advertising service as well.

Audio ads for podcasters will be opt-in only and the ad revenue will be split 50/50 between publishers and Podzinger. One of the upsides to Podzinger’s podcast advertising service is that the company will be making some audio available through RSS feeds that hasn’t been before. This may be the most realistic way for many radio shows to be turned into podcasts – for advertising services like Podzinger to serve the shows that way.

The recently profiled HearHere project from Pluggd is likely to aim to do similar things when it comes to market. Podcast advertising strategies being explored range from this kind of content analysis to geographic targeting.

As new media emerge users can become accustomed to being spared both subscription cost and advertisements – when the transition out of that period begins it’s difficult to find the right balance between satisfying the advertisers and the consumers. Preroll video ads don’t hit that balance in my mind, unless they are very very short. Podzinger’s audio contextual ads are likely to be a more successful endeavor.