• Unicorn Once Enables Dynamic Ad Insertion in Mobile Video Streams

    Unicorn Media is unveiling "Unicorn Once" this morning, which allows content providers to dynamically insert ads into videos viewed on mobile devices, including iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. Yesterday I caught up with Unicorn's chief strategy officer David Rice and its VP, Client Services, David Morel, to learn more.

    Unicorn Once is being positioned as a "stream management service" which gives customers comparable control over their ad insertion practices in mobile as they're accustomed to in online. David and David explained customers have been highlighting the problems of dynamic ad insertion in the rapidly-growing mobile video space (especially in iDevices) for some time, and have resorted to time-consuming and inelegant solutions like writing custom JavaScript to achieve similar results as they're seen in online. Unicorn Once supports HTTP delivery and Apple's adaptive bit rate segmented streaming protocol and it also supports Android, BlackBerry and other mobile devices. It is available for on-demand videos for now, not live.

    Unicorn Once allows customers to integrate their own ad sources or third-party networks. Customers choose which mobile devices to deliver to in the Unicorn dashboard and can also use an advanced tool for further personalization (ad targeting, formats, loads, etc.) based on user behavior/preferences in the Unicorn analytics.  Unicorn Once just finished up its beta and is available now. Like other Unicorn modules, it can be used in conjunction with other online video platforms or as part of Unicorn's own Media-as-a-Service platform.

    This has been a breakout year for mobile devices with both the iPad and numerous Android devices being introduced. With the iPad and other iDevices not supporting Flash, there have been a lot of new initiatives around HTML5 and ad management, from companies such as FreeWheel, Brightcove, Ooyala, MeFeedia, Tremor, JW Player and others. No doubt many more will follow as mobile video consumption becomes more popular.

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