Overlay.TV, an interactive media company, today launched a revolutionary video-commerce platform that will enable an entire generation of online video publishers to express themselves in a new way by personalizing and monetizing the billions of videos currently posted to the Internet. The Overlay.TV platform offers a simple way for publishers to unobtrusively link images within a video to marketers' web sites – instantly converting passive online video content into an interactive revenue model.
Starting today, the platform is now available on Overlay.TV at http://www.overlay.tv, where users can customize their video and embed the overlaid video anywhere, including blogs, personal websites and social networking profiles. Overlay.TV has also developed a specific application for Facebook users, allowing single sign-on so that current Facebook users can use their Facebook log-in information to seamlessly access the Overlay.TV site.
At time of launch, more than 600 marketing affiliates have agreed to accept user "click-throughs" from Overlay.TV, including Amazon.com, iTunes and Wal-Mart. The platform is compliant with all major browsers, including Internet Explorer and Firefox. The platform can also be used by content owners and marketers to enrich their online video assets and encourage greater online community building through interactivity.
"By linking publishers, viewers of online video and marketers, Overlay.TV is transforming user-generated video content from a passive vehicle for entertainment or education, into an interactive vehicle for commerce," said Rob Lane, President and CEO of Overlay.TV. "We're empowering a whole new generation of publishers – a group we call 'Generation P' – with a user-friendly platform that will help them discover entirely new business models. The advertising industry has significantly shifted from traditional channels to web advertising. With the ubiquity of social networks, consumer-created advertising has more power and influence than anything produced by industry professionals."
How it Works
The Overlay.TV platform enables video to stream from most of the popular video sharing sites like YouTube, Metacafe, MySpace, Google Video and Yahoo! Video; among others. Publishers can overlay pictures, words, graphics on top of video and link to products or information on external websites. They can then share the enhanced video via email, their blogs, social networking profiles, personal websites and social bookmarking sites like del.icio.us and Digg. These capabilities allow the publishers to easily express themselves by putting their creative mark on the video. This also enhances the viewing experience for their friends and their network, without changing the integrity of the original video or interrupting the viewer's experience. As video streams from its original location, viewers are able to opt-in to view "overlays" or turn them off.
With Overlay.TV platform, publishers are also able to monetize their "overlays" by linking to various e-commerce web pages. The platform provides publishers and e-commerce partners with tools to measure ROI and analyze resulting traffic to improve their advertising strategies, without increasing the costs associated with video production.
According to eMarketer, online video has reached mass market status, transforming the US media landscape. By 2011, 86.6 percent of the US online population will view online video, up from 62.8 percent in 2006. However, traditional pre, mid and post-roll video ads and the contextual banners alongside video that are not relevant, continue to interrupt the consumer viewing experience and lead to user annoyance and dissatisfaction. According to Forrester, more than 80 percent of the online video viewers said that in-stream ads were "annoying" and 75 percent claimed they ignore the ads. Overlay.TV's key differentiator from the competition is that the platform's innovative approach empowers users to interact with the video, and opt whether or not to see advertising.
"By putting the user at the center of the online video revolution, Overlay.TV has enabled the fusion of consumer created advertising and non-intrusive, but active participation by online video viewers. This has created one of the most compelling and comprehensive models in the online advertising industry," noted Rob Lane. "The Overlay.TV platform has pioneered how digital content can be enhanced, shared and monetized."
Overlay.TV is an interactive media company that provides a video commerce platform that enables Internet users, content owners and e-commerce sites to monetize and customize their video assets by overlaying contextual information directly onto online video content and linking to external websites. Overlay.TV is a private company headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. For more information, please visit http://www.overlay.tv.
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