Unicorn Helps Broadcasters Place Ads in Streaming Video
Don’t you wonder why more broadcast networks don’t stream video? It’s because they don’t have a way of getting paid by advertisers to do it. They don’t have a way of inserting targeted ads in mobile streams. That, more than anything else, has been holding up the growth of mobile video advertising. But what if video ads could now be targeted like Facebook ads, tailored to the individual getting them? As a viewer, you wouldn’t have to sit through inappropriate ads to watch Thursday night football on TV. As an advertiser, you could reach more of the “right” people with your ad spend. Especially those who are moving to watching streaming video and online video. In August alone, consumers watched 38 billion videos online. That’s up from the month before, and if you looked at a graph, you’d see the hockey stick in online video consumption. Broadcasters had better start streaming. But they won’t unless they can sell advertising against them. And that’s where the ability to serve up targeted ads in real-time streams becomes so important. As a broadcaster you would be able to monetize your streaming video by offering tailored ads based on the information you have about each viewer. You might not need the cable company anymore. You could switch to online video, where the audience is going anyway. You could keep a larger percentage of your own profits, and make your advertisers very, very happy. That’s truly disruptive, isn’t it? Well, it’s about to happen. And it is always startups who do this stuff. On October 2, Unicorn Media announced its Unicorn OnceLIVE, a patented, server-side technology that enables publishers and broadcasters to deliver and monetize live content to any IP-enabled device. OnceLIVE lets live content publishers strip broadcast ads in real time and dynamically replace them with targeted ads on a per-user basis. Unicorn Media is a scrappy startup based in Tempe. It’s the brainchild of Bill Rinehart, former CEO of Limelight Networks, and BIll knows all there is to know about content delivery; this is his fifth startup, and his real baby. For the past year, UnicornOnce has been offering this service for Video on Demand. If you are an advertiser buying mobile video, you have the ability to target in video clips. Now Unicorn can offer the same service for streaming video. Unicorn has spent the past couple of years acquiring patents, too. Now it announces its launch, during Ad Week, with an array of big network partners like The Weather Channel, MSNBC, and others.