A Conversation With EZShow

Fresh off a day at NewTeeVee’s excellent online video show — the first of its kind that size — I had the chance to talk to the very interesting EZShow.

The company has been around for a little while but is now targeting top-tier Yellow Pages and newspaper publishers in a more concerted way to use its private-label video ad creation platform. As it’s already accomplished with a few smaller publishers, this would position the platform to be put in front of advertisers to create video ads relatively easily and inexpensively.

The technology includes a do-it-yourself video ad creation engine that advertisers can customize from their desktops. You may be thinking that this sounds familiar, and it does have similarities to Spot Runner, with a few key differences.

“The difference between Spot Runner and us is that they do TV ads and we do Web ads,” says CEO Bernie Day, adding that the company also doesn’t go after individual advertisers directly for the most part, as Spot Runner does. This is because of the considerable challenge of getting your arms around such a fragmented SMB marketplace.

The company will deal directly with SMBs, according to Day, in cases where it finds national advertisers that wish to localize their ads in many markets. Spot Runner has done something similar by partnering with Coldwell Banker and LexisNexis to gain access to these firms’ far-flung localized constituents.

For EZShow, the strategy remains the same for publishers and for national advertisers: It’s a single point of entry to lots of local advertisers.

What Can You Do for Me?

The company meanwhile has an interesting proposition to Yellow Pages publishers as:

  1. Competitive need to offer video advertising is driven by other IYPs.
  2. Usage for online video continues to grow, and consumers come to expect embedded video as part of their local search experiences.
  3. Demand for video grows among SMBs (partly driven by the previous points).
  4. SMBs continue to favor low-barrier, low-cost, flat-rate price points to adopt new forms of online advertising.

That last point is the company’s key differentiator. The ads have a quality standard greater than the price tag would indicate. This, again, is similar to Spot Runner but takes it a step further with the advantage of lower cost online distribution. For initial ad production the price sounds to be in the range of Spot Runner’s price point, although publisher partners with a view toward arbitrage will negotiate final prices, TBD.

You can check out a video that talks more about the product here, and we’ll keep watching closely to see the deals it is able to sign with publishers to bring this capability to the SMBs that, in a lot of ways, are asking for it.

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