Where it's based: Boston, Mass.
When it was founded: 2005
Investors: EDB Investments, General Catalyst Partners, TimeWarner, First Round Capital, Baseline Ventures
Why it's Fierce: Online video ad company ScanScout recently launched a new video ad unit called Super Pre-Roll that turns pre-roll into an interactive opportunity for the viewer. The company -- citing its experience with recent ads for Unilever's Vaseline hand lotion -- says interactive advertising is up to four times more effective in engaging advertisers than standard pre-roll ads. ScanScout also has one of the largest reaches of any video ad provider, with more than 1,000 premium and niche sites.
But where ScanScout really stands out is in its technology. Every piece of content across ScanScout's network is scanned and cataloged to best determine the audience and its interests. This allows them to find the exact audience that a brand desires and figure out the best strategy for engaging with the viewers. The technology does this in real-time with constant optimization so ads are always in position for increased engagement.
The company in October reported ad impressions had nearly tripled to 700 million in September 2009, compared to 250 million the previous year.
The company this month anounced in-stream video advertising agreements with premium publishers across several industries and markets including Warner Brothers, Warner Music, Mindspark (an IAC Company), Marvel Comics, Lycos, Fox News, RealNetworks, Space.com and NBC-owned-and-operated stations. The new publisher sites, which include a number of the major portals, represent a wide range of demographics, allowing advertisers to leverage ScanScout's targeting and optimization technology.