Google Buys Omnisio to Boost YouTube Ad Sales

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-07-30 Print this article Print

Have you ever grabbed a YouTube clip and wanted to tweak it for your Web site or blog?

Google said on its YouTube blog today that it has acquired Omnisio, a startup that lets users customize clips of YouTube videos with tags and comments.

Users can then embed these video clips in a blog or Web site. Omnisio creates a link to the source video and starts playing it wherever you want. The Omnisio team posted a note about working with the YouTube team on its home page today, saying:

Together we'll apply what we've learned about the space, and we'll work to develop innovative products and features for the YouTube community. We believe we've only scratched the surface in terms of what's possible with online video, and we are really looking forward to taking the video viewing -- and creating -- experience to the next level.

Ironically, Don Dodge, the guru running Microsoft's group for scouting potential acquisitions, briefly profiled Omnisio in March and immediately saw the monetization capabilities:

There is an obvious advertising play here. Omnisio could insert a short video ad anywhere in your custom clip. It also collects lots of meta data (tags, comments, links) that help describe the video for better ad targeting.

In one sense, Google beat Microsoft to the punch ... again. In another, it doesn't matter. Microsoft doesn't have a video-sharing site to monetize, so even if it wanted Omnisio I'm not sure it could capitalize on it.

On the other hand, this is exactly what Google needs; the company has been challenged in trying to make money from the millions of hours of YouTube videos that people watch on its site.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin happily told us during the Q2 earnings call July 17 that 13 hours of YouTube video are uploaded a minute. That's a lot of advertising sales out the window. No longer, if Google gets this right.

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