The Stack Archive

Viscovery uses AI to match advertisement to viewer

Tue 25 Oct 2016

A Chinese startup that uses deep learning to match video streaming with targeted advertisements has raised $10 million US to bring personalized marketing to viewers of streaming videos.

Viscovery combines the technologies of artificial intelligence with image recognition, and uses it to select specific advertisements that it predicts viewers will be receptive to, based on the content that is being streamed at that time.

For example, if the AI-powered advertisement reader scans the image of a product-placed Ford vehicle in the content being streamed, it can pause streaming to play a commercial for Ford products. If it recognizes a celebrity, it can divert the viewer to a product endorsed by that celebrity. Pausing video to play a commercial is known as ‘in-streaming’, but Viscovery is also able to ‘out-stream’ advertisements by placing an ad or banner over part of the video.

Referring to the generic ‘pre-roll’ advertisements shown at the beginning of a video, Viscovery founder Amos Huang said, “Nobody wants to click…they are not efficient.” Using artificial intelligence allows for speed and flexibility in creating a targeted advertising feed for individual viewers.

“Over 85% of the global cloud data are unstructured data, including photos and video content, so it’s a big problem to categorize, manage, tag, and search them. And Viscovery is offering the solution to this problem.”

Previously, creating targeted advertisements for viewers of streamed video required that the images be reviewed and manually tagged, which was expensive and labor-intensive.

A representative for Viscovery said, “Using artificial intelligence, the technique can recognize 7 different categories, which is FITAMOS (the acronym of Face, Image, Text, Audio, Motion, Object, and Scene), and the video content as well as the effectiveness of the advertisements can be calculated.”

The online video viewing market in China has grown dramatically over the past few years, with over 400 million regular viewers currently, and ad revenue of over six billion per year.

The lead investor in the latest round of financing was China Development Industrial Bank (CDIB), along with the GD1 Fund and H&Q Asia Pacific. Adding the latest $10 million to the $5 million in financing raised last year, Viscovery intends to use the money to accelerate company growth and recruit top talent in the field of artificial intelligence.


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