NBC, YuMe Forge Pact

NEW YORK NBC Universal has tapped upstart broadband video ad network YuMe to handle all the technical ad delivery aspects of its new NBC Direct service, which promises to provide Web users with the ability to subscribe to their favorite prime-time series and have full-length episodes delivered straight to their desktops.

As part of the partnership between the two companies, NBC will rely on YuMe to embed video spots within episodes of shows distributed via the still in beta NBC Direct, as well as campaign management and reporting. NBC will retain ad sales responsibilities for the new product, which by the end of the first quarter should allow fans to receive the latest episodes of shows like Heroes and 30 Rock on their PCs just after they air on TV.

YuMe officials said that the company’s proprietary technology is particularly well suited for NBC Direct, since it is specifically designed to insert ads into non-streaming video content—such as content that is downloaded onto desktops or mobile devices. “This plays well into our business,” said Jayant Kadambi, co-founder and CEO of YuMe, which also sells online advertising for partners such as Microsoft and Adobe.

Kadambi believes that delivering ads to content that does not necessarily live on the Web will increasingly become important to networks, “as these guys syndicate content all over the place,” he said. “In the future, content is going to be distributed in a variety of manners and platforms.”