Captcha Advertising Covers All the Bases

Linc Wonham
by Linc Wonham 28 Oct, 2010

An innovative young company out of Vancouver, B.C., has developed a product aimed squarely at two of the most important issues for any Web professional: security and advertising.

We wrote about NuCaptcha a few months ago when it introduced video to the security captcha market. Until then, captchas were mostly known as the odd-looking word puzzles designed to prevent non-human visitors from penetrating your website. The boxes of blurred letters and numbers proved to be more annoying to some users than they were secure for website owners, but NuCaptcha's new video technology has made great strides to improve both usability and effectiveness.

Video technology makes for more secure captchas than static letters and numbers do, and the platform has already been adopted by more than 3,500 websites since its launch in June.

Now with the release of NuCaptcha Engage, Web publishers can monetize their security videos with advertising. The process remains the same, with a video appearing on the landing page of a website and prompting the user to identify certain colored letters contained within a message that scrolls across the bottom of the screen. The moving letters or numbers provide the heightened security as with the previous iteration, but now the messages and the videos can be provided to the publisher by paid advertisers.

Advertisers and publishers negotiate their own terms of the deal, and NuCaptcha's pricing is either on a video CPM basis ($10 to $25) or a cost-per-engagement basis ($0.10 to $1.00), for larger, longer videos. Standard IAB 300 x 250 units are available, as are half-height 300 x 125 units and larger 640 x 480 units.

The concept has enormous potential for both advertisers and publishers, and the first ads are being introduced on Tuesday. It is not the first time a company has tried to marry captchas with advertising, as NuCaptcha competitor Solve Media rolled out a similar product just last month. Like Solve Media's other captchas, however, the monetized versions contain static numbers and letters and do not provide the advanced, more secure video technology.

The third major player in the captcha space is ReCaptcha, a pioneer in the category that was purchased by Google in 2009. It seems that under Google's management the past year or so, ReCaptcha's focus has shifted from the security side more toward book digitization.

Visit NuCaptcha's website to view a demonstration and find out more about the Engage security platform.