MySpace, MTV Seek To Monetize Web Video Uploads

Will use Auditude technology to insert ads in user-posted content
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Web portal MySpace says it will use digital fingerprinting technology from Palo Alto, Calif. firm Auditude to find copyrighted video content that MySpace users upload and insert advertising within it. MTV Networks will be the first programmer to use the new service.

The deal with Auditude, whose technology pairs automatic identification of professional video uploaded across the Internet with an ad platform that enables content owners to serve targeted ads within that content, could be a significant step in allowing programmers to generate revenue when their copyrighted content is uploaded to the Web by consumers. MySpace’s use of the technology will allow advertising to be inserted across MTV Networks’ most popular video content that is uploaded to MySpace, including clips from Comedy Central and MTV’s Punk’d and True Life.

“As one of the leading providers of online video in the world, we give our fans the power not only to consume our content, but also to share and interact with it across the Web,” said Mika Salmi, President of Global Digital Media for MTV Networks, in a statement. “With Auditude’s solution, we can continue to give users the freedom to take our content wherever they go online, while ensuring that we can monetize it as well.”

MTV parent Viacom has been as aggressive as any programmer in trying to keep its copyright content from being pirated on the Web, and last year, it sued Web video portal YouTube for $1 billion on the grounds that it wasn’t doing enough to protect its content from being uploaded illegally. YouTube has since implemented digital fingerprinting technology of its own.

MySpace contends that by using the Auditude platform, programmers can not only police video uploads by its users, but profit from them.

“Auditude is opening the floodgates for users to program video on MySpace and ensure copyright holders get paid,” said Jeff Berman, MySpace President of Marketing and Sales, in a statement. “In one fell swoop, Auditude and its partners are empowering consumers and building a better business model. That’s a good deal all around.”

Auditude says it has already used its fingerprinting technology to index one billion minutes of professional content, including hundreds of millions of videos and 4 years’ worth of 100 channels of television, and expects that other programmers besides MTV will take advantage of its ad platform.

“Auditude’s mission is to grow the market for premium online video by unifying all aspects of distribution and advertising,” said Adam Cahan, CEO of Auditude. “We embrace the fact that online video is fundamentally social and created the identification technology and advertising platform to include the power of audience syndication—fans uploading content to the Web—as a form of content distribution.”

Auditude has officially launched an “Attribution Overlay” system which automatically identifies content and informs viewers about details of shows being viewed online. The attribution also enables programmers to integrate information about the video clip being played and provides an opportunity for the viewer to watch additional relevant content, such as advertising, or have access to commerce links—for instance “buy show”—or merchandise related to that content.