Viscovery announced that the lead investor China Development Industrial Bank (CDIB) along with other investors invested over 10 million US dollars in Viscovery, which will accelerate the growth of global video data analysis and the contextual advertising market, as well as recruit top talents of artificial intelligence around the world. Besides CDIB, investors include GD1 Fund, H&Q Asia Pacific and iStart (Softbank China Venture Capital early funds) in this round of financing.
Viscovery’s Video Discovery Service (VDS) is a video data analysis technology. It has been adopted by a number of international businesses. Through the largest multi-channel network and advertising platform, 8sian Media, Viscovery provides services including video data analysis, search optimization, and enhanced values of ads to top video platforms in Taiwan, Korea, China, and Malaysia etc. 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. So far, Viscovery has analyzed the TV series and movies that are popular these three years, which make them capable of immediately recognizing every scene, the period of appearance, and the proportion of the screen where specific celebrities, commodities, or brands appear. By doing so, users can really search the video content instead of just searching the key words of the title or introduction.
Viscovery’s founder and CEO Amos Huang stated, “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.” In the past, individuals or corporations need to tag the pictures or every second of the whole video to make them searchable and categorized, which costs a lot of time and human resource. Especially when global online video platforms have sprung up rapidly, larger and larger amount of video data needs to be analyzed.
To commercialize video content is also a big problem to be solved. Besides search engine ads and social media ads, video ads have become the next opportunity for advertisers. According to a German survey company, Statista, the global video advertising revenue in 2015 is about $16 billion USD, and will reach $30 billion USD by 2018. With almost 100% growth in only three years, it means that video advertisements will gain more and more popularity among advertisers. Facebook videos have over 8 billion views per day, and live broadcast platforms as well as OTT are growing fast too, attracting users around the world. Viscovery aims to improve video advertising effectiveness under this trend of video ads.
Amos stated, “Viscovery’s video data analysis can effectively find the opportunity or the best scene to put advertisements for any kind of commodity or brand. Google AdSense has already proved that contextual ads are effective; when the text provides related information at the right place and the right time, the users’ click through rate (CTR) will increase. It also works on video content; after their online test, they found that video contextual ads have in average 32% more CTR than traditional video ads, and it even had an 86% growth on tablets.” Viscovery’s media partners and advertising clients are all satisfied with the results of contextual ads, and hope that it can develop faster in a global scale. The native video advertising provided by Viscovery also supports Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)’s latest criteria of VAST 4.0 and VPAID. Contextual ads supports nearly all video players worldwide, and it can be bought in a programmatic way.
In cooperation with Viscovery, many video platforms and Apps at home and abroad have released new forms of native video advertisements, connecting the scene with the plot closely in order to decrease interference for video viewers and strengthen their emotion with the video. For example, Jiangsu TV’s official App “Fighting Man” combines multi-view technique, VR, and 360 degrees panorama. It also has interactive areas to let users “click to buy”, enabling users to buy products while watching the video, maximizing the effectiveness, and making the future trend of “click to buy”.
With this round of financing, Amos plans to use the funds to increase the investments in R&D talents and expand to the global market. Recently, we successfully held the 1st “Viscovery Paper Sharing Meetup”, which corresponds to their goal. The event encouraged and subsidized Taiwan’s professors, researchers and students to apply and take part in top tier Computer Vision, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning conferences. We invited presenters who are accepted to ECCV, ACM MM, ICPR, and CVPR, these global conferences to share the most advanced technique and applications with Taiwan’s researchers, taking the preemptive opportunities in the new revolution of artificial intelligence (AI). Through this event, Viscovery encouraged industry-university cooperation, and created a bigger stage for researchers to find business opportunities and applications of their technique, enhancing the value of the research and R&D talents.