Thank You For Suing! Viacom has just rung the opening bell on a bull market in the video fingerprinting technology start-ups. Not a day goes by when we hear about some tiny tot making claims that they can catch nefarious videos in the act, and help save the YouTubes of the world from legal action.
This hot-button topic is only going to attract more and more players. Yesterday MotionDSP launched its offering (we have seen it – it actually works) joining the long list of names: Attributor ($10 million in funding from the likes of Sigma Partners, Selby Venture Partners, Draper Richards, First Round Capital and Amicus Capital), Audible Magic, Philips and iPharro. Who are we missing?
Where were all these guys, Chad and Steve must be asking themselves, when we really needed them! Does anyone else feel that they are like spam/virus protection companies: you can’t really tell if the technology works or not?
19 thoughts on “Video Fingerprinting Bull Market”
Missing: Advestigo, a French start-up, featured in Financial Times recently.
Looks like a bull market to me, but will it not end in some kind of ‘standards battle’? I reckon film studios and music labels may push for one fingerprinting standard, or maybe onbly interoperability…
Om, I can tell you that when we were reviewing these technologies at Bolt, the consistent issue we had experienced was that they were only filtering the audio of the audiovisual works. Basically, it can detect the audio works in a piece of content, but not the visual works. The other problem is that it can only detect what’s in its current library, so for us it was very important that we choose a partner that consistently works with the major music labels to carry an up to date library of content.
Ultimately we chose Audible Magic, which also only recognizes copyrighted audio works. As I said though, our decision to work with Audible Magic was due to their current relationships with the major music labels.
Personally, I think there is still a lot of progress to be made in these emerging companies and technologies.
Following up to be fair, we did not review MotionDSP and some others, and we were obviously under time constraints at the time with our lawsuit. I will certainly look into their company though.
Maybe Google will now get more aggressive and argue “fair use”.
What incentive does YouTube have to implement the best video fingerprinting technology? If it is too good, it prevents content that generates high view counts from appearing and how does that affect their monetisation strategy? In the absence of any major content deal, it leaves YouTube with the tail and no head.
Also, once YouTube filters (still waiting – Audible Magic MIA), how does that tip the balance with respect to their DMCA safe harbour arguement?
These are are very tricky shoals for YT to navigate – they need time to consider their response carefully before others pile on, regain some credibility with the content owners and keep Schmidt from shooting from the hip.
Does anyone else feel that they are like spam/virus protection companies: you can’t really tell if the technology works or not?
I’m sure the Click Fraud Detection companies do. So would anyone working in an area where it is difficult to measure themselves.
i strongly believe gracenote will have the best solution in the near future.
Audible Magic has also licensed my Video detection technology called Motional Media ID (TM), that they hope to roll out soon and that was featured in a recent NY Times article and several others. Their web site shows the press releases on the subject. MMID (TM) is very powerful and relatively simple and is part of the YouTube and MySpace licenses.
Could you contact me please? Much appreciated.
“Where were all these guys, Chad and Steve must be asking themselves, when we really needed them”?
Wrong question. Chad and Steve, never had any interest in keeping copyrighted content off their site in the first place.
“Attributor, Audible Magic, Philips and iPharro. Who are we missing?”
Thomson, maybe?: NexGuard Video Watermarking Technology, announced last Thursday.
USA Video Interactive has a working motion picture watermark technology- SmartMark TM that is focused on enforcement of distributor rights, enabling transactions, not presuming that people want to steal.
What is important in the marking space is no change to quality of content, lightweight mark, robust resistance to degradation, speed of reading, among other attributes of the mark. Equally important is security of the customer information, for both the customer and the content owner ( you don’t want third parites responsible for your customer data) and business models.
The big players in this space have spent a lot of money on complex, heavy solutions that are burdened by ROI demands that the content owners are not able to sustain, much less willing.
While there should be a bull market in marking, (white papers suggest a billion dollar annual market) the challenge is the fact that while the MPAA can calculate an $18Billion loss, no one can show you the pocket it comes out of. None of the business units at the content distributors can show a line item to solve it. Even if they do, there is no bottom line result that can be demonstrated from the investment.
Until enforcement stories attributed to prosecution using marks against enterprise piracy (as opposed to gamer pirates or individuals) the market will be a slow growth one.