Mixercast is one of many companies that lets web publishers create and distribute widgets that they can use to feature their own content and ads. A few things make it stand out, besides the $6 million round it has just raised, that was led by Intel Capital.
The San Mateo, Calif. company is preparing to introduce a suite of widget creation features called MCast Suite, based around the concept of a widget “container” — a widget that a web publisher could put other widgets inside of, such as online videos widgets, as well as ad widgets from third-party advertisers, or RSS feeds from sites. A use-case for this widget-in-a-widget feature is that a web publisher may create an ad that they want to run in various related content widgets on other sites. Then, other publishers could include the ad widget with their own content.
In another example, consider this widget for the new Will Ferrell movie, Semi Pro (below). It includes a contest widget within it (click “enter contest”, to sign up).
Mixercast tracks what you do in it its widgets across sites. So if you sign up on the widget within the YouTube site, above, then navigate to Myspace and access the same Semi Pro widget, Mixercast will recognize you and not let you enter the contest a second time.
The Mixercast widget creator also offers an easier-to-use interface than rivals like Clearspring, which requires users to have more technical knowledge of web markup code in order to use. Mixercast features a drag-and-drop interface for web publishers to use to build their widgets, dragging content such as other widgets into the Mixercast widget. It also offers a single embed code that automatically includes the other widgets inside of it. It offers an analytics program that lets widget creators track the performance of their widgets across the web.
You can upload your own content to the widget from a computer, or from a URL, or select from a library of content that includes Getty images and other licensed audio and video.
As you can see from the Semi Pro example, the company has also made a point of forging partnerships with large content creators — movie studios like New Line Cinema, entertainment shows like ET Online, and others, including fellow widget-maker RockYou (you can embed a RockYou widget within Mixercast).
Mixercast previously raised $2.6 million from ONSET Ventures and returning investor ComVentures (which has since become Velocity Interactive Group). Venture firm observers that this is another new investment by Velocity, which has been investing in a slew of digital media companies in the past month.
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