Luminate Beefs Up Photos With Stats

The phrase “AdSense for Images” is sometimes used to describe Google Ventures- and Nokia-backed startup Luminate, but a new integration with shows that the platform is broader than that.

Starting this morning, when visitors browse NBA, MLB, and NFL photo galleries on the FoxSports site, they’ll begin to see a small banner of sorts under the picture showing a player’s stats. If they mouse over the image, the “player card” will expand to show more detailed stats about the player and how they compare to others in the league.

As any of my friends will tell you, I’m not a huge sports fan myself, but I can see that this makes the images more engaging. Instead of simply looking at a photo, you can now interact with it and get more context about the people in it portrayed. And that, in turn, might lead to FoxSports visitors spending more time on the site.

This is a pretty far cry from what Luminate was doing originally, which was automatically tagging fashion and entertainment images with relevant e-commerce links (so that you could see a photo of snazzy red coat, then click to buy it). The company hasn’t abandoned that idea, but it’s thinking bigger than that — last year it launched a platform for a variety of different image apps. That’s the same platform that Luminate and FoxSports used to build their current integration.

As for monetizing, Chief Revenue Officer and Head of Publisher Development Chas Edwards says:

Luminate delivers value to publishers in three ways: increasing audience engagement, growing traffic by plugging images into their social strategies, and boosting revenue through advertising around the image apps. An important part of our philosophy, though, is that we always prioritize the consumer experience first, which is why the initial focus here is the stats content. The best ad-supported businesses are ones built around high-quality, deeply engaging content experiences. Opportunities for brands will follow shortly.