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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

August 23, 2007 at 10:04 AM

Seattle’s Pluggd lands $6 million

Podcasting is so 2006. Now it’s all about online video and advertising.

That’s how I’m reading the announcement today that Seattle’s Pluggd scored financing after shifting its business model.

Former Microsoft and Amazon.com manager Alex Castro started Pluggd in January 2006 as a podcast search service. That’s still the emphasis of its public-facing Web site, but the business is now describing itself as a video search and ad platform.

It turns out the same technology that Pluggd used to scan the audio of podcasts can be used on digital video. It’s also a useful way to insert contextual ad banners at relevant points in the stream of content.

That’s the business that landed the series A financing. Intel Capital was the lead investor, with participation from DFJ Frontier, Labrador Ventures and angel investors.

Apparently investors weren’t put off by competition from Google’s new video ad-insertion system that debuted on YouTube yesterday. Maybe they’re hoping that Google or Microsoft will buy Pluggd.

From the release:

“We think Pluggd’s solutions for targeting high-value ads into online video are ingenious,” said Ian Sobieski from Band of Angels. “This is an incredibly dynamic marketplace and we feel Pluggd is demonstrating strengths that will allow it to emerge as the leader.”

Sobieski and DFJ Frontier’s Scott Lenet will join Castro and Mark Klebanoff on the board, and Intel Capital’s Gustavo Aray “will also participate as a board observer,” the release said.

Here’s how Pluggd describes its technology:

By unlocking the entire video stream, an advertiser no longer has to rely solely on pre-roll and post-roll placement. Rather, they can dynamically place clickable overlay ad banners at any point in the program it is the most contextually relevant.

It sounds like a great business, but I hope Pluggd’s stuff never shows up in movies I’m paying to watch.

Comments | More in | Topics: Digital media, Startups

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