Building a platform to recommend videos that publishers can put on their sites was worth $10 million in third round funding for Taboola, which claims to create 500 million recommendations every day for over 130 million users per month.
"Discovery is a necessary tool for publishers who want to not only increase the amount of video traffic but increase the value of that traffic as well," Adam Singolda, Taboola's founder-CEO, told AdExchanger.com.
Taboola--more specifically, its EngageRank platform--connects viewers to the "right video" and builds profiles of a site's returning viewers for publishers who are chasing an increasingly large pile of online video advertising dollars. Taboola's publisher customers include The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Television, Hearst, Gannett, USA Today, and The Hollywood Reporter, among others.
All are looking to Taboola's platform to bolster their nascent online video businesses by targeting and encouraging viewers to look at their content. Taboola's job is to recognize and retain viewers based on information that starts being compiled the first time a publisher's site is visited.
At the first visit, EngageRank kicks in and suggests random videos to determine what the individual prefers, and then creates a profile that leads to still more video recommendations, keeping that viewer enmeshed in the publishers' video web.
For the viewer, it's not necessarily a bad thing because it brings focus to what might ordinarily resemble "casually walking into a supermarket (where) there's no specific intent other than to buy some food," Singola said in the story.
"We use anonymous cookie data that tells us things like, 'This person will never watch a two minute video on a Saturday,' so we know what not to serve the user as well as what sort of content they might respond to," Singola said. "Knowing what someone doesn't like is almost as important as knowing what they do, especially with video, which can reward or punish in the form of higher or lower engagement and repeat viewing."
And knowing how to get that information--as the New York/Israel-based Taboola does---is worth money from Marker LLC, which provided the funding to support EngageRank and which Taboola said will be spent to hire more engineers and to place its distribution network on Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox Live and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) TV platforms.
- see the AdExchanger story
Taboola supplying video recommendations on Bloomberg.com
Taboola and Brightcove team to offer video recommendation engine for publishers