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CES Report: Audible Magic Launches Synchronized Ad Service

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Audible Magic is showing that a company can be both well-established and a startup.

While the company started in 1999, selling its automatic content recognition (ACR) technology to universities and web sites so they could identify and block copyrighted materials, it's found a new life for that technology with second-screen applications. That's why it's launching a synchronized ad service at CES.

To create engaging second-screen experiences, apps need to know exactly what's being shown on the TV screen; then they can show related content. The first second-screen customers were social media sites. Now, the emphasis is shifting to advertising. Brands want to make second-screen ads that pull viewers in, giving them more information or a fun experience on their tablet while the ad is playing on the TV.

Audible Magic is showing its technology in the Eureka Park section of the Venetian hotel, a zone reserved for start-ups. Since the company recently released browser-based software, it qualified.

The company is showing off two types of ads at it's booth. In a tablet demonstration, a second-screen app identifies the content on a nearby television and plays a related ad. In the second, an app loaded on a connected TV lets the viewer click for more information when certain ads play.

Citing a stat that second-screen app use is growing among those 55-and-older just as quickly as it is with those 30-and-under, the people at Audible Magic aren't surprised that much of the interest in second-screen ACR ads comes from luxury products, like fine cars.

ACR could even invade the movie theater. An Audible Magic rep tells how one European company tried to launch a service where smartphone owners could use their devices to get the movie's audio in their preferred language. While that project didn't get the needed funding, the Audible Magic rep hinted that there are other movie theater projects that might soon take off.

With a strong interest in ACR ads and the launch of an interactive ad service, perhaps Audible Magic will trade the start-up zone for the main floor next year.

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