Discovery Taps ThingLink to Bring More Interactivity to Its Websites

Media firm plans to use tech for editorial and native ads

Discovery Communications has inked a deal with ThingLink as the media giant looks to bring more visualization to its websites—and its burgeoning native ad business.

ThingLink is a Finnish company that has quickly proven popular among publishers and advertisers, as it helps with their needs to embrace an more image-centric Web. The startup’s technology promises to helps sites and brands make their images more interactive by inserting graphics, social sharing functionality, videos, etc. directly within digital images. Examples include New York Magazine bringing its famed Approval Matrix to life with digital links, to Giorgio Armani baking shopping links into images on its blog.

In Discovery’s case, ThingLink is being employed for both its Web ads and editorial; the two companies have tapped the ad tech firm Flite to help implement the new partnership.

For example, Discovery plans to use ThingLink to enhance its various image galleries. In addition, Discovery is using ThingLink to bolster branded content for advertisers like S.C. Johnson, such as this "home cleaning" page that features links to content from the brand Pledge. The deal includes the sites for Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and others.

According to cmo Neil Vineberg, ThingLink will be employed by 300,000 publishers by the end of the year; currently 10 of the top 50 Fortune 500 brands are testing the company’s tools, he said. “We’ve seen that interactive images drive discovery and time on Web pages for publishers,” he said, “while lowering costs for brands.”