Google has no current plans to leverage its new Omnisio video annotation assets for online video ads, the company claimed.
As I noted July 30, Google bought video annotation upstart Omnisio, maker of software that lets users add tags and comments to YouTube videos and mash up other video content for use in blogs and Web sites.
The company's talent and software are being tucked into Google's YouTube property. Presumably, the software will replace YouTube's beta video annotation tool.
Don Dodge, who leads Microsoft's Emerging Business Team for finding companies to invest in or purchase, has been tracking Omnisio for a while and suggested that the company's technology is ripe for online ad monetization.
Omnisio, Dodge wrote in a blog post, could insert a short video ad anywhere in a clip. The technology collects lots of metadata, including tags, comments and links that help describe the video for better ad targeting, he said.
From what I've read and seen about Omnisio so far, I have to agree with him, though Google hasn't been answering the obvious question of how it might use Omnisio to help make money from YouTube videos. Maybe there isn't an obvious answer yet.
Google, prone to separating monetization plans from technology announcements, told me the purchase of Omnisio is not related to YouTube's monetization strategy.
"We don't have any plans to announce at this time, but we're excited to have the Omnisio team on board as we continue to develop and enhance the YouTube user experience," a Google spokesperson told me.
I can't help but think monetization is the key thrust here. Sure, the ability to attach notes to YouTube content is a value add, but if this software lends itself to helping Google and YouTube corral more information about what content users are interested in, then why not make targeted ads a viable practice?
Charlene Li, a former Forrester Research analyst who is starting her own research practice, agreed.
"I can definitely see how video owners could embed ads directly into their videos-and Google could make it even easier by supplying the ads based on the tags embedded into the video, and at the appropriate points with spotlight and notes at specific points in the video," Li told me.
Google, and everyone else for that matter, has been having a devil of a time making money from video ads.
Despite some success with its in-video ad model on YouTube, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said on the company's second-quarter earnings call July 17 that the perfect ad product for YouTube has not been invented yet.
Now would be a good time to hash that issue out, and Omnisio could be a fine vehicle for that.
"I wish them well," Dodge said. "They are great guys, have a great product and a great vision for the future."