Taboola Lands $1.5 Million, Powers Video Discovery

taboola_logo.pngSearch has been one of the most powerful tools on the internet, but its next of kin “discovery” is coming up fast. Many new sites are serving up recommendations alongside search to help visitors discover new content they didn’t even know they wanted. But implementing a discovery engine yourself can take time and money away from your core product. Isral-based Taboola will solve that rather complex problem, for video sites at least. They’ll be announcing $1.5 million in financing tomorrow from Evergreen Venture Partners .

taboolascreen.pngTaboola’s made integrating their system a breeze. All it takes is a single javascript tag added to your player’s code for them to start recommending videos in your site’s player (or ads, as seen right). You can currently see their service live on 5min. Taboola says that 5min has seen a 23% increase in watched videos and 53% increase in session length.

Their engine makes recommendations based on a rather complex algorithm that combines multiple methods into a single “Match Rank” — collaborative filtering (user ratings/reviews), a viewer’s history, and analyzing the video’s meta data. Their claim is that each one alone is prone to problem, but together can cover for each other’s short comings. The system even takes into account small details, like the length of a video or how much of the video people actually watched.

It’s a pretty beefy algorithm under the hood. However, the general idea is that their system sorts through your video content, then recommends them to users based on what they and users like them have watched in the past. If you want to get into the details, you’ll have to request a demo. However, it looks like a good solution for websites not looking to reinvent the wheel, but instead focus on their core product.

I see the launch of services like Taboola as a sign that the online video space is really maturing. We’re past the days of video sites having to hack away at all their problems alone. New services are popping up to meet the individual needs of publishers looking to make the transition online more easily. There are services for serving video advertising, trans-coding, and even video hosting.