Google Knows You Skipped A Commercial

    April 21, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Technology from Google submitted to the US Patent Office shows how they can tell when someone viewing a video skipped an ad.

Plenty of people watch videos online, but successfully making money from their viewing habits continues to prove a challenge. Even Google and its top online destination, YouTube, may not be receiving the results they desire.

They will know who opted to skate over advertising in the video, to a certain extent. A Google patent application about targeted video advertising answers the long-time question, did someone actually watch an ad or not?

“The method includes transmitting a promotional item for display on a video terminal, determining whether the promotional item was skipped, and updating a profile corresponding to the promotional item or a viewer of the promotional item based on whether or not the promotional item was skipped,” reads the abstract of the application.

Further into the application, the patent shows how the technology will respond to ad skippers. The skipping contributes to a profile of the viewer, with skips updating what the back-end advertising server knows about the demographics of the person.

Someone routinely skipping a category of ads of no interest to them should mean they will stop seeing those less relevant commercials in favor of more suitable ones. From the application details:

The characteristics tracked by the video delivery system 100 may include, for example, a product or service type (e.g., a so-called vertical) being promoted (e.g., car, personal care product, pharmaceutical, insurance, investments, etc.), a genre or style of the advertising materials (e.g., informative, romantic, comedic, off-beat, action-packed, etc.), the visual impression of the item (e.g., bright/dark, loud/soft, high/low-energy, etc.), and/or other relevant attributes.

Relevance goes beyond how much a product or service might be of use to a particular person. If someone doesn’t skip particular ads, perhaps they always watch the humorous ones for example, Google’s system could figure this out for future ad presentations.

As Google continues to build out its video ad options, this looks like a key selling point as they work with cable companies that provide set-top boxes and digital video recorders to their customers. People love using their DVRs to skip ads, but doing so will give Google a little more information about the viewer than they realize.