Contextual In-Video Advertising: ScanScout

scanscout.pngVideo advertising is a final frontier in the monetization of Web 2.0. Adbrite was first to market with Adbrite In-Video. Last week Google started testing in-video text ads on YouTube.

Cambridge, MA based ScanScout joins the fray. Founded 2 years ago, ScanScout launched recently and has followed up with an announcement of $7million Series A funding in a round led by General Catalyst Partners.

At first look, ScanScout’s video advertising product looks identical to what Google is testing with YouTube. Text ads are overlaid on the video and open video-on-video advertisements or external sites.

We don’t know a lot about the tech behind Google’s offering. I noted in my post covering the subject last week that the sample YouTube advertisements lacked context. ScanScout on the other hand has no question mark on the issue.

ScanScout technology scans each video and determines content, with ads delivered contextually to match each scene. Think of it as an Adsense for video because it’s exactly how it works, but on scenes as opposed to pages.

I’m yet to be convinced that text based overlays are the future of online video advertising. ScanScout argues that pre-roll and post-roll are regarded as dead by many because they “leverage an old paradigm that essentially ignores the consumer”, and yet this optional form of advertising can easily be ignored itself.

If in-video text advertising is indeed the future of online video advertising, contextual delivery is essential and ScanScout provides a product that delivers exactly that.