Evolving video advertising beyond the 30 second commercial.
Watchwith was founded in March 2012 by a group of entertainment, technology and advertising industry leaders with a vision for the future of video. Our exec team had been solving creative, technical, and business issues in Advanced TV since the early 1990s, and shared an understanding of the "missing piece" needed to make multi-platform interactive video a reality.
TIme-based Metadata and the Future of Video
With lessons learned while developing advanced set-top box experiences for cable operators, creative prototypes for TV networks, and interactive advertising for global brands, we recognized the critical role that scene-based metadata could play in creating new user experiences and new revenue around video. We anticipated the need for a global definitive source of time-coded metadata 'in the cloud', able to deliver real-time interactive content and advertising perfectly synced with premium TV and feature films. Like the start of most great companies, we decided to build what we knew others needed.
RCDb and First Generation Connected Devices
We got our start in 2006 as RCDb (Related Content Database, Inc.) with a mission to provide software solutions and network services to Hollywood studios for the first generation of internet connected DVD and Blu-ray™ players. We pioneered innovative consumer experiences for connected devices well before iPhones, mobile video, tablets and Smart TVs became ubiquitous – and learned a lot about how the entertainment industry does and does not work. By 2010, RCDb software solutions and data services were deployed by major film studios and consumer brands including The Walt Disney Company, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros, Netflix, and Fandango.
USC School of Cinematic Arts
In early 2010, Zane Vella, RCDb's founder, connected with Michael Naimark at the USC's School of Cinematic Arts to explore innovative applications of advanced movie metadata. With funding from Motorola, a collaboration formed called Movie Tagger Alpha with the goal to devise "a method and system for parsing and richly tagging every movie ever made". By early 2012, the Related Content Database contained second-by-second time-based metadata for over 8000 feature films and television programs.
Amazon & Beyond
In 2012 Amazon's IMDb partnered with RCDb to power their groundbreaking consumer experience X-Ray for Movies on the Amazon Kindle, and the rest - as they say- is history. Seeing the opportunity to define an industry standard, Watchwith took the tools and metadata platform pioneered by RCDb and turned these technologies into the TV industry's most powerful platform for metadata creation, management and distribution. Most importantly, we've made it possible for premium content producers, programmers, and rights owners to control the context and digital activation of their programming, wherever the audience is watching. Under the hood, it is the RCDb and our battle-proven metadata platform that powers Watchwith's contextual and in-program advertising capabilities.
In-Program Contextual Advertising
Today, Watchwith powers interactive advertising and audience engagement for the largest television networks and brand advertisers in the US across web, mobile, Smart TV and MVPD connected set-tops. Our continued research and investment in advanced metadata and user experience innovation remain key differentiators, and market demand for native digital video ad products fuels our growth. Watchwith takes the television business beyond the commercial break, and continues to help pioneer the evolution of the TV viewing experience.