SpotMixer Gains New Funding, Distribution

picture-72There are lots of folks in the SMB video-ad-creation segment: TurnHere, Jivox, Mixpo, Spotzer, SpotRunner and SpotMixer, among many others. The challenges in the space, generally speaking, are three: 

  • SMB advertiser acquisition
  • Features/functionality (video quality might be in here)
  • Distribution (and tracking/analytics)

Those aren’t in any order of difficulty.

In “round 1” everyone was busy pushing video to SMBs through sales channel partners and/or trying to gain self-service adoption if that was the model. In addition, competitors were trying to build scalable and economically efficient “platforms” for video creation. The Spotzer-MerchantCircle deal is perhaps the ultimate example of automated, mass video-ad creation. 

But the missing piece in many of these scenarios was distribution. Many companies put videos on their own sites or directories put them up and very often the videos wind up on YouTube.  That helps for SEO but doesn’t really represent actual distribution in my mind. That’s because people generally don’t go to YouTube to look for plumbers or contractors or lawyers. However, hosting video on YouTube does allow it to be uploaded to Google Maps, where it is relevant to those sorts of lookups. 

SpotRunner of course began with cable TV distribution and moved online later. DIY video site Jivox has been building a video distribution network. And Mixpo, which has been positioning itself as a platform did a deal with Comcast, which has its own cable TV distribution of course. 

SpotMixer, which this post is really supposed to be about, has had distribution via YellowBook, Superpages and several other places. The company is now announcing the addition of the Google content network (AdSense for Video) and combining it with Google TV Ads distribution (since July, 2008) via Google’s cable partnerships. The two distribution options now for SpotMixer customers are: the SpotMixer Network ($49 per mo.) and Google content network distribution (CPM or CPC). 

SpotMixer video creation is free; SMBs pay for distribution only. 

In speaking with Kathleen Farley, product VP, and John Love, CEO, they told me they were somewhat surprised by the apparent sophistication of many of their DIY SMB video creators, who were using pre-existing radio or cable TV ad assets and the SpotMixer video tools to create new commercials. They also described a range of A/B testing scenarios that their SMBs were doing, which were surprising to me. 

Here are some video-related data from the recent Opus/AllBusiness SMB advertiser survey:

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Building out broad and appropriately targeted distribution is going to be a critical success factor unless you’re positioning entirely as a toolset/ platform or production facility. In addition, offering distribution through other media will also be a potentially significant differentiator. SpotRunner, Spotzer and SpotMixer are the ones, to my knowledge, that offer this today via cable TV. 

But an arguably greater challenge — indeed the challenge of the SMB market as a whole — is advertiser acquisition. Farley and Love told me that their newly announced $9 million B round was in significant part about building awareness and SMB customer acquisition.

SpotMixer is owned by consumer DIY video site One True Media.

7 Responses to “SpotMixer Gains New Funding, Distribution”

  1. Eric Owen Says:

    Does anyone have any exposure to VideoBloom?

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Haven’t spoken to them.

  3. Carey Ransom Says:

    Greg, you’ve pretty much nailed the issues. The additional one I’d add is different types of video are neede for different interactions. I might respond to a video ad or in banner video that interrupts and gets me to click, but I probably do not want to watch a 30 second spot embedded on a merchant site or landing page. There I’d rather see testimonials or more informative video. These scenario challenges mean multiple videos, which will slow adoption a bit, or people will try to re-use 1 video everywhere and be disappointed with the results.

  4. Murray Roblin Says:

    Carey,
    This is a very good point – the video format and message has to be right for its intended use and placement. SpotMixer addresses this by allowing users (advertisers) to easily remix videos, change lengths, change format, text, and repurpose existing assets. (TIA – I work in BD at SpotMixer.) Creation of a teaser intro, offer special, and testimonial is quick and easy.

  5. Wayne Says:

    Hi Murray,

  6. Wayne Says:

    Oops, didnt mean to make two posts.. but to finish..

    I’ve been seeing a lot of you guys in the news lately keep up the good work!

  7. Google Picks SpotMixer for DIY TV Ads « Screenwerk Says:

    […] By Greg Sterling SpotMixer’s on a bit of a roll. After announcing new funding and a Google content network distribution deal last week, this week the company has announced that it has partnered with Google for self-service […]

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