Startup Vilynx pitches itself as a way for publishers to attract more eyeballs for their videos through a unique preview format. Now it’s trying help those publishers make money, too, through advertising.
The exact look of the previews can vary, but the basic idea is that instead of just using static thumbnail images, Vilynx creates a five-second video preview that can, for example, start playing when you mouse over the video. In theory, creating these previews might not seem that hard, but it can quickly become annoying or impossible once you’re dealing with enough videos.
Co-founder and CEO Juan Carlos Riveiro told me that under the hood, Vilynx’s technology can automatically pull an engaging clip, and will continue responding to data, changing the clip over time to maximize viewer engagement.
Vilynx says it can triple video play rates and improve engagement by 6x. Riveiro said publishers were also asking if there’s a way to make money from those previews. He didn’t exactly oppose it, but he didn’t want to do it in a way that would annoy viewers — after all, he noted that on mobile, consumers can be particularly sensitive to watching unwanted videos, since they see it as not just a waste of time but also bandwidth.
To solve that, Vilynx is applying its existing technology to determine where the ads (which will only be a few seconds long, like the previews themselves) will actually run — they should only appear when consumers are likely to respond. Riveiro compared his approach to Facebook and Twitter, which can also adjust ad placement and frequency to respond to user engagement.
“We can implement those kind of algorithms to make sure we not upsetting anybody and it’s not a constant interruption,” Riveiro said.
In addition, Vilynx will check to ensure that the video being previewed doesn’t come with a video ad. In other words, you shouldn’t have the experience of watching one ad before you click and have to watch another ad.
As part of the announcement, Vilynx managed to snag an approving quote from Daniel Tibbets, chief content officer of video company Machinima, who said in the product press release, “Vilynx does a great job driving increased video play rates with their preview technology, and now publishers have a new revenue stream with the Vilynx’s in-line ad solution for browsing videos.”
Vilynx co-founder Chris Acosta added that the company isn’t trying to get into the ad sales business. Instead, it’s offering this as “an additive layer to our platform” for customers and partners, including Comcast-owned thePlatform.