Live sports-focused streaming service fuboTV announced that it has finalized a deal to acquire an AI-powered vision platform — Edisn.ai, out of Bangalore, India. The technology can recognize and track important elements in live video feeds, including athletes, actors, brand logos and products.
The acquisition increases fuboTV’s capabilities for delivering a more immersive experience for brands, as well as for viewers. Earlier this year, the CTV streamer launched predictive, free-to-play games, as well as a live scores and stats feature called FanView.
Edisn.ai’s Co-founder and CEO, Ashok Karanth, will join fuboTV as General Manager, fuboTV India, according to a company release. Nearly two dozen of Edisn.ai’s data scientists and engineers will also work to advance fuboTV’s data science and engineering organization, under Edisn.ai’s Co-founder and CTO Akshay Chandrasekhar.
With some of these capabilities, down the road, a fuboTV watcher could see a brand logo on an athlete’s shirt and be brought closer to a buying experience with that brand. Or, the AI tool could trigger a contextual ad based on what the viewer saw.
Why we care. Over the summer, fuboTV reached one million subscribers and shot up 156% in revenue growth, year-over-year. In the third quarter, total revenue was at $156.7 million, with $18.6 million of that in ad revenue. Streaming hours also increased 113% year-over-year. This is a sizable audience to work with to bring innovation to CTV advertising.
AI technology like Edisn.ai’s could enable contextual advertising within live TV. Although there isn’t a firm timeline for when such opportunities would be available to fuboTV viewers and advertisers, the “buy what you see on screen” experience parallels the e-commerce and social commerce plays in digital publishing and social media. When some consumers see an influencer video featuring a product, making it easier to buy that product is a convenient feature for users that makes the experience more seamless.
The longer view brings up the potential of activating brand placements in older TV series and movies. Traditionally, these brand placements were used to build awareness. But when these same shows are streamed on a tablet, this is an entirely different field of play where CTV commerce could become a reality.
Read next: CTV growth continues and 30-second ads remain dominant.
About The Author
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.