Personalized Video Discovery and Monetization - An Overview of Taboola

Personalized Video Discovery and Monetization   An Overview of TaboolaTaboola.com is one of an ever-growing list of video aggregation services. So why should you be reading about it? Well they do a little more than some of the others. Not only are they organizing the videos for the users to find more easily, they're also working towards making things better for the publishers and the advertisers. You might think of Taboola as the point where the three pieces of online video monetization meet - producer, advertiser, consumer.

Taboola prides itself on its Personalized Video Discovery Platform which boils down to a system that gives users recommendations about other videos they might enjoy. The system can be implemented on almost any video site and comes in three pieces - viDiscovery which is the aforementioned video recommendation system, DiscoverAd which is the advertising solution and Taboola Analytics which is of course the metrics.

For advertisers, Taboola gives you are more than the standard pre, mid, post-roll options. They are standalone units and appear as videos in the recommended lists as sponsored messages. The system analyzes the user's watching habits and interests and only shows advertisements that should appeal to that particular user. The user then chooses whether or not they wish to view the message or interact further.  Their Matchrank system is said to help increase click through and relevancy. Since advertisements are only seen when the user chooses to do so, the quality of the views should increase as well. Recently Taboola partnered with Brightcove to "offer publishers a simplified video discovery experience for their viewers" which means that the ViDiscovery service can be included in the Brightcove player.

The viewers of course benefit from all of this by being able to discover more videos that they might like without having to go and manually search for them. This not only saves the viewer time and energy but could also increase their viewing time as they will have more relevant content displayed right next to the video they want to see. There's little concern over privacy since they only collect anonymous data unless the user specifies otherwise. So while they know what you are watching and might like to see next, they don't actually know who you are or where you are.

What's it mean for you?

Well that of course depends on WHO you are. If you're a video site or a publisher it could increase viewing time, revenue and overall site usage, popularity and effectiveness. If you are an advertiser it could mean more targeted viewership, better results and a nice fat bottom line. If you're just an avid online video viewer well then it simply means that you will start seeing better recommendations, spend less time combing video sites for the videos you want and have a more enjoyable experience overall. That is of course if everything goes just how they hope it will.

From what I can tell they have a lot of money, over $4.5M was hauled in recently so they've got the assets to proceed. Also from what I can tell there's only one place 5min.com that's using the service except for Brightcove members who might be using it as well.

What I found at 5min.com was, when you click on a recommended video and you are using the 'smart player' in full screen mode (to see the recommendations), the clicked video opens in another web page instead of in the player. Doesn't sound very smart at all now does it? I don't understand why the video wouldn't simply queue up in the player instead of having to go back to the web then click smart player again to see further recommendations and full screen mode. In fact it's far more cumbersome than a normal session at YouTube which also has a recommended video feature.

So with all innovation there comes growing pains. The recommended videos I saw at 5min.com weren't all that different from the ones that were recommended for me at YouTube. I was looking at game videos since I'm a gamer and the video I used for testing purposes at both was Halo 3 Covenent level Thunderstorm Skull video. I am certain that other videos would give similar results. So perhaps the ViDiscovery system still needs some tweaking or for me to use it longer to it can adjust to my tastes in videos.

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About the Author -
Christophor Rick is a freelance writer specializing in technology, new media, video games, IPTV, online video advertising and consumer electronics. His past work has included press releases, copy-writing, travel writing and journalism. He also writes novel-length and short fiction as part of Three-Faced Media . View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • Uriah

    Hi Christopher,

    It's Uriah writing for Taboola.

    Thanks for taking the time to review Taboola's recommendation solution. We appreciate your effort.

    I wanted to address some of your comments in order to provide some clarification:
    1. How the recommended videos appear is at the discretion of the publisher. Taboola has 3 forms of recommendations:
    a. On the HTML, to the right of the player. In 5min's case you'll notice a "Related Videos" to the right of the Smart Player
    b. Video recommendation layer that appears within the publisher's video player during the video. On 5min you'll notice a button called "related" on the upper left side of the player on "regular mode" of 5min's video player, and when you click the "smart player", Taboola recommendation layer will be presented as a list of "similar" and "people liked" at the bottom side of the smart player.
    c. Video recommendation layer that appears within the publisher's video player as the video ends. On 5min you'll notice a carousel coming up at the end of the video
    d. == regarding b and c, publishers can decide how they want the Taboola recommendation layer to appear. It can either refresh the page or request to load the video within the player. To your note, it doesn't fall within Taboola's domain of responsibilities. Taboola strives to offer our publishers a wide range of possibilities in order to best match the look & feel of their website. Some other examples of how publishers are implementing Taboola include: http://tv.breitbart.com/rolling-tank-obama-to-get-new-hi-tech-presidential-limo/ , http://www.aniboom.com/animation-video/284868/THE-COLD-RUSH/

    2. Taboola's system recommends videos that best fit the domain, user and time. This means that if you're watching several 2 minute videos during a quick break from work, Taboola won't recommend 40 minute video for you. But if you later watch longer videos, then you that 40 minute video might be recommended (assuming it's still relevant to the videos you viewed in the current session). In some cases, the recommendation will be very contextual, and in other cases, the recommended videos might offer the viewer a wider range of options enabling them to explore other realms that makes sense to the user. This is all dependant on the videos selected by the user. The quality of Taboola's recommendation is a function of the system "learning" a user's interests and habits. If this is the first video you view on a Taboola publisher, you'll be recommended videos that may have made sense recently to other users of that video.

    Taboola publisher AsktheBuilder is aggregating YouTube / 5min video player for serving videos (http://www.askthebuilder.com/Toilet_Video.shtml ), yet since adding Taboola, they are experiencing the following improvement in results (taken from Taboola's ViDiscovery launch press release):

    "Since launching Taboola's ViDiscovery video recommendation solution on AskTheBuilder.com a few months ago, we have experienced a 27% increase in videos viewed," said Tim Carter, the leading DIY building authority on the Internet at http://www.askthebuilder.com/. "Looking more closely at the entire video viewing patterns on AsktheBuilder.com, I can see that Taboola was responsible for 32% of the video views for more than half of my video catalog, which indicates the importance of a video recommendation solution for video reinvigoration – broadening of the pool of the videos viewed beyond the most popular titles," added Carter.

    I hope this clarifies things. And I invite anyone with questions to email pr@taboola.com OR info@taboola.com