Watchwith Acquires Machine Learning Technology from ARRIS
Automated Video Metadata Platform Creates New Native Advertising Inventory
for TV Networks & Premium Video Publishers
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — June 30, 2016 — Watchwith, the leading native digital advertising platform for premium video, today announced it has acquired ARRIS’s Media Analysis Framework (MAF), a cloud-based machine learning and automated metadata generation platform. With announcement of the acquisition, Watchwith also announced that several of the key ARRIS engineers that invented the technology will join the company and open a new Watchwith research and development office in Chicago.
Media Analysis Framework (MAF) was developed in ARRIS’s advanced research labs. The technology automatically analyzes, tags and describes video at a frame level, thereby eliminating manual tagging to help reduce TV network OpEx and enabling 24/7/365 metadata operations. The companies have integrated the automation technology into Watchwith’s data-driven advanced advertising products, allowing TV networks and premium video publishers to generate new advertising inventory and net new revenue at scale. What used to potentially require thousands of man-hours is now an automated process within the Watchwith platform.
The combined solution is able to automatically determine the optimal timing and location within a TV episode to deliver in-program advertising and tune-in messages. The solution works with both pre-recorded and live video and is able to identify specific content and context within a video without human intervention. By embedding artificial intelligence into the video advertising inventory creation process, Watchwith MAF gives TV networks and premium video publishers the power to create, manage and sell contextually relevant native video advertising at scale.
“Our teams have worked closely together on this shared vision for years,” said Zane Vella, Watchwith CEO, “And the result is the highly scalable, native digital video advertising solution the TV industry needs to compete with Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and other native digital video distribution platforms.”
“Watchwith is the optimal go-to market path for this valuable R&D, and our dedicated MAF team will play a new, highly strategic role within the Watchwith organization,” said Faisal Ishtiaq, PhD and MAF leader, “We understand temporal metadata is the fuel of the emerging video economy. Our teams are committed to creating new revenue opportunities for broadcasters and exciting new user experiences for their viewers.”
“The Watchwith team has proven value creation for media companies and brand advertisers. They deeply understand the role that contextual metadata is increasingly playing in the digital ecosystem,” said Bruce McClelland, President, Network & Cloud, Global Services at ARRIS. “The MAF team and technology are highly complementary with Watchwith, and the company’s dedicated focus will accelerate innovation. ARRIS is invested in MAF’s future with Watchwith — both in the short-term to facilitate a successful transition and continuing to support longer-term growth as an investor in the company.”
Watchwith has increasingly broad adoption across the media landscape -- from TV network groups including FOX, NBCUniversal and Viacom to premium pure-play digital video publishers and is in a unique position to productize the MAF capabilities.
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Watchwith is the leading native digital advertising platform for premium video. TV programmers and video publishers use Watchwith to monetize their audiences beyond the commercial break. Watchwith delivers engaging, contextually relevant, interactive brand experiences — all within video content. Watchwith in-program ads offer unmatched viewability and superior brand recall, especially with Millennial viewers. Watchwith TV network customers include FOX Broadcasting, NBCUniversal and Viacom. Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., investors include Rogers Venture Partners, Samsung and ARRIS. For more information about Watchwith, visit watchwith.com and follow us on Twitter @watchwith.