Jivox Raises $10 Million A Round

Jivox logoJivox is a “self-service” video ad creation startup competing in an increasingly crowded space. I briefly wrote about the company here. The company initially raised $2.7 million in a seed round and has now announced $10.7 million in a series A round:

The Jivox online video ad platform enables smaller and local businesses to harness the power of online video advertising by reducing the cost and complexity of developing and placing online video ads. Since its launch in March 2008, Jivox has seen broad adoption of its self-service online video ad platform by advertisers in a wide variety of industries, including travel sites, financial and real estate services, transportation companies and restaurants. Jivox has also gained significant traction with publishers, who are eager to monetize the content on their sites and tap into a huge pool of smaller advertisers that would otherwise be confined to banner or search ads. The Jivox Video Network now reaches more than 40 million viewers.

The fact that Jivox is addressing markets outside the US is good because the market in this country is already quite competitive. SpotRunner, TurnHere, SpotMixer, Mixpo, Spotzer, Imagespan, Denver Multimedia and several others offer video advertising to SMBs or SMB sales channels. I wouldn’t yet call video a “commodity” but it’s moving quickly in that direction.

The challenge for the self-service video model for the SMB market is the same challenge that self-service online advertising faces more generally: getting attention, gaining adoption. There is some slice of the market that will do self-service and that’s growing. It’s not clear to me right now how big that is for video.

8 Responses to “Jivox Raises $10 Million A Round”

  1. troy Says:

    I think video production is already a commodity. I predict that it will be similar to websites with very basis and cheap ones to complex and expensive versions.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    We’re really only about a year (or less) in to this market. Amazing.

  3. Malcolm Lewis Says:

    As a consumer I love the idea of video ads. And done well, with lots of real video of the actual SMB, they add a lot of value over text descriptions and photos.

    But in this case it looks to me like many videos in the Jivox gallery have very little actual video in them. Mostly stock images with text overlay and muzak.

    If this becomes commonplace, consumers may learn to ignore video ads, expecting limited info beyond the thumbnail for the 15-30 second investment of their precious time…

  4. troy Says:

    Malcolm, you raised a very good point. I agree that user will very quickly ignore vidoes that are mostly made up of stock images or footages.

  5. Greg Sterling Says:

    Malcolm:

    This raises an interesting and nuanced point: the efficacy of different elements of the ads themselves: full-motion video vs. slideshows, etc. There’s no data on this but it will likely be developed over time as the segment matures.

  6. joe Says:

    1) Agree with Malcolm; “When is video not video?” When it isn’t, of course. 2) Agree with Troy and have always argued video “ads” would be commoditized, the price of entry for online publishers, in much the way 4 color process became for traditional yellow pages publishers.

  7. Gregg Thaler Says:

    SMB are just not inclined to self provision advertising. They have not been historically, and as the level of complexity for doing so in the Internet age has increased dramatically, it is unlikely that this market condition will change.

    SMB’s are ill equipped to effectively manage their own keyword campaigns. Absent an understanding of Quality Score (we’re experts and I find myself scratching my head sometimes), an SMB self serving AdWords is doomed to mediocrity at best.

    They are equally unlikely to be inclined to, much less be capable of, self serving the production of their own videos.

    If the “…slice of the market that will do self-service is growing”, and I think that is an “if”, it is improbable that it will ever constitute a meaningful slice.

    Cleaning carpets, driving limos, or killing bugs is the core of what these small businesses do.

    Managing AdWords or producing a video is context and should be outsourced.

    There are a slew of businesses clamoring to provide value added online marketing support to the SMB market, and their activities have not gone without notice.

    Google has implemented a Google Certified AdWords Reseller Program in recognition of their need for a channel to distribute AdWords to businesses that are unaware, unwilling, or unable to buy keywords on their own.

    But I digress.

    Video is highly effective. The search engines love it. And, it’s cool.

    Check out this article from the NY Times, “You’ve Had the Root Canal, Now See the Movie”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/technology/28novel.html?scp=1&sq=root%20canal%20video&st=cse

    “Dr. Jerry Gordon, a dentist in Bensalem, Pa., (www.dentalcomfortzone.com) is the director and star of the video “Root Canal Demonstration.” Looking relaxed and friendly, Dr. Gordon explains the ins and outs of the procedure, treating a real patient, and showing each of the steps from painless injection to completion.

    The video, which runs nearly 10 minutes, was shot by a local videographer and cost about $2,000. It has been viewed more than 11,000 times in the two months since it was put up. ”

    ROI for an online advertiser is everything. How many root canals does Dr. Gordon need to do to make back his investment? I’m not sure, but with 11,000 views on YouTube in one month, I’d bet that it paid off.

    On YouTube, many of those impressions were likely just browsers. If that video was attached to an IYP, with traditional IYP conversion rates, the ROI would have really paid off.

    Stock images, template videos, and slideshows might be interesting for a nanosecond while they are still a novelty, but as Malcolm observes they will soon become parsley.

    Full motion video, the dentist showing that a root canal is not the equivalent of bamboo shoots under the fingernails, ABC Carpet Cleaning removing red wine from white carpeting, it will be cinema verite style services demonstrations where the true effectiveness of local video will be proven.

    Jivox and their colleagues are certainly on to something. Partnering with the SMB channel will their surest route to success.

  8. Jivox Adds Interactive Widgets to Capabilities « Screenwerk Says:

    […] was the original differentiating feature for Jivox, which launched at a time when there were seemingly dozens of online video competitors focused on the SMB market. Since then a few companies have fallen away or behind and others have emerged as leaders. In that […]

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