Online Video Ad Startup LiveRail Introduces Checkpoint To Let Publishers Block Unwanted Ads

LiveRail provides an ad serving platform used by a number of premium video publishers to insert ads into their content. The LiveRail for Publishers platform is designed to provide targeting and yield optimization capabilities, as well as campaign management and real-time analytics.

That’s all pretty standard fare for publishers, and so LiveRail is trying to sweeten the deal, with a new offering that will give them more control over inventory they sell through private exchanges or real-time bidding platforms. The product, called Checkpoint, will let publishers choose which ads are delivered — or not — and allow them to block unwanted ads before being served to viewers.

That could mean blocking ads from categories like alcohol or tobacco, which aren’t appropriate for a publisher’s audience, for instance, or ads which have adult themes. It could also be used to prevent advertisers that a publisher has a direct sales relationship with from serving lower-CPM ads through an exchange. Or it could be used to do away with competitive ads that could pose a conflict — like if Ford is a sponsor and Toyota tries to place an ad on that site.

LiveRail is already integrated with a number of major real-time bidding platforms, and the Checkpoint product will work across all of them, ensuring compatibility across its publisher platform. The feature is being offered free of charge, in the hopes that premium publishers use LiveRail for more of their ad serving needs.

LiveRail has about 200 customers, with clients including PBS and Sony Pictures, and claims to serve between 2 billion and 3 billion impressions a month. The San Francisco-based startup has raised a total of $8 million since being founded in 2008.