Solve Media, the pioneer in creating a market for turning CAPTCHAs (those letters you have to type in to make sure you are not a bot) into branding opportunities for advertisers, had indicated it would be expanding the concept to other applications. Today it announced a new offering that provides a CAPTCHA-like option that sponsors can use to enable online video viewers to opt out of pre-roll advertising more easily, while still getting some audience impact.
This video they made to introduce the product includes a little Philly-oriented reference at the end (a tease, I guess). Note, however, that you can't opt out of this one.
You can actually see how it works here.
Originally backed by First Round Capital among others, Solve Media started out in Philly as AdCopy. The company subsequently opened a New York office, but unlike many Philly adtech startups it has so far avoided being completely swallowed up by the Big Apple. EVP Max Sobol tells me by email that Solve Media still considers its South Broad office as a co-headquarters, and that actually about 60% of its employees are located there, and that "tech, ad ops and publisher business development are in Philly and only ad sales is everywhere else".
Solve Media raised a reported $4 million in 2010 and at least another $4 million (may have been more) late last year. By one account, 2011 revenues exceeded $10 million.
Having just spent a good part of the past 3 days trying to solve a tech problem that required me to alter a setting dozen of times, each time entering a long CAPTCHA, my recommendation to Solve Media is to invest in finding the next generation CAPTCHA, perhaps using image interaction, that wouldn't require so much typing.