Israeli Technology Delivers a Brave New World to Advertising

By Eleanor Haas

NY:MIEG, a media information
exchange group, billed the breakfast event as “Cutting Edge Digital Media
Trends featuring Israeli Technology Innovators.” “Cutting Edge Digital Advertising Trends”
would have been more accurate.

What trends
surfaced?

  1. The future of advertising lies in accountability – advertising that can be precisely targeted, tracked and measured – which is to say, digital advertising.
  2. Internet content will be increasingly in full-motion video, not text, as today.
  3. To quote John Dillinger, “I rob banks because that’s where the money is” – and Israeli technology entrepreneurs come to New York City – not Silicon Valley – because that’s where their media customers and financial sources are. R&D tends to stay in Israel.
  4. Mobile is what’s next for interactive advertising. Consumers will be connected through a device that’s always on wherever they are.

  5. For new opportunities, look to services that we pay for at present to be liberated – such as what Jingle Networks is doing to “destroy a fat existing market” for telephone directory services and Skype gives users a way to bypass costly phone networks. It’s likely people will in time be paid to carry a cell phone rather than having to pay for it.
  6. Telecom carriers are afraid of becoming just a pipe, like the ISPs before them, but it’s only a question of how and when the rules of the game change so that they have no choice but to go with a free operating system. Google may well be the catalyst for this.
  7. Out-of-home advertising, once largely billboards, will become increasingly digital and will expand exponentially. (Taxi Tech is one example – I loathe it, as does the man sitting next to me but younger people who have grown used to having in-your-face advertising 24/7 may well take it in stride and make us seem like fossils from a bygone age of more gracious – and private – living.)

Five Israeli innovators told their
stories:

  • AlmondNet, Inc., (www.almondnet.com) has helped pioneer behavioral targeting and profile-based advertising since 1998 – targeting interactive ads to viewers based on a profile of
      past viewing behavior. (I’m sure this works to at least some extent for travel, finance and sports, but they’ll never catch me! My viewing is far too diverse – and seldom in these easily tracked areas.)
  • Pando Networks (www.pandonetworks.com) has established a managed, hybrid peer-to-peer content (and ad) delivery
    platform designed to maintain central control of content distribution. It enables viewers to
    multisource online video and music content by downloading Pando’s
    software, which, in turn, makes it possible to use existing content delivery networks (CDNs) to support viewers’ bandwidth. (Napster put control in the hands of viewers, who used it to steal music and video content. Pando gives control to the content owner.)
  • Outbrain, Inc. (www.outbrain.com) is developing a rating and recommendation platform for blogs and RSS feeds along the lines of what Amazon.com does. (As with behavioral profiling, this just doesn’t work with viewers who have insatiable curiosity about a broad range of subjects.  Amazon’s efforts to entice me with recommendations seem laughable and irrelevant !)
  • Taxi Tech (www.taxitc.com) developed the touch-screen systems we’ve begun seeing in New
           York City taxis, which track locations through GPS technology, provide destination and weather information (and ads) and enable passengers to pay their fares with a credit card. (You’ve already read where I stand on
    taxi video screens – and if cab drivers don’t have better luck with credit cards than e-commerce vendors have had, it could well be the credit card companies that put an end to this.)
  • Aditall (www.aditall.com) makes professional interactive video ad creation, production and delivery cost-effective by automating creation and production and partnering with distribution companies to deliver the ads by demographics and interest to relevant target audiences.  (User-generated advertising! I guess it was inevitable!)

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