AI and ML have revolutionised businesses across verticals, and the scenario in the OTT industry is no different. While it has been used in cases such as recommendation systems, content personalisation and more, this Mumbai-based startup is using it for tasks such as automating meta-data inside video content.
Taking the media industry by storm, Toch is enabling a first-of-its-kind media tech platform, while using techniques such as object detection and facial recognition. It also relies on advanced technology while acting as an aggregator for advertisers, media companies and startups to achieve success in digital videos across all platforms through its first-class insights.
Built on AI and blockchain technology, Toch aims to bring out the best of videos in online monetisation, engagement and e-commerce. For instance, in the sporting area, it identifies the crowd’s preference and helps OTT brands to identify the right opportunities to present ads based on their preference, thus assisting broadcasters to increase their monetisation through ad sales.
We got in touch with the co-founder and CEO of Toch, Vinayak Shrivastav to understand the technology behind the company, which is also co-founded by Saket Dandotia and Alok Patil.
AI At Toch
Toch, which began with a simple idea of bridging the glaring gap between content and commerce, found an increased number of use cases surrounding the usage of metadata. In the process of making video interactive and improvising post ideation, Toch transformed into a full-fledged media-tech platform while using AI for automating meta-data inside video content. It uses AI and deep learning technology to detect objects, people, emotion, location and activity seen in the video content in real-time.
Shrivastav believes that data analytics helps OTT platforms to gain a better understanding of users and their preferences, and AI helps automate most of the manual work processes. This has proven to be time, cost, and labour-efficient for OTT platforms. “These technologies are ever-evolving, and undeniably they are set to transform the industry and help it achieve greater progress in the next few years,” he said. Shrivastav further added that as an entirely cloud-based platform, Toch strives to safeguard the content rights of media platforms at all times.
Explaining the tech behind it, Shrivastav said that driven by proprietary technology, Toch runs on various custom modules. “We need to analyse each frame and extract data that translates to metadata — the platform auto-analyses metadata present in any video content using OCR, activity detection, and speech recognition. Toch key moments and highlights are actively used within various major sporting events. The platform has grown by 30% month on month, and we work with some marquee clients in the media industry across the globe,” he said.
Further, Toch integrates the API in any existing product to extract videos and process metadata as required for different use cases. Toch also uses its AI-based learning system for image and audio recognition, logo detection, and activity detection to enable live commerce from online video content.
Pandemic has further led to increased adoption of technology and automation in the media industry. “Several platforms have gravitated towards automated processes that help save cost and time. Fortunately, Toch has been on the positive side of the global crisis, and we have managed to maintain our business continuity and continue to innovate using leading-edge technology,” said Shrivastav.
Toch is currently meta-tagging for live sporting events, live shows and library-based content for streaming platforms and is venturing into broadcasting meta-tagging simultaneously.
Growth Story & Future Plans
Shrivastav is quick to add that they have witnessed rapid growth since its inception. “There has been a 30% growth month on month, and we are adding more globally recognised clients from the media industry to our portfolio,” he said.
He further added that they are looking to expand their footprint to foreign markets as the international market is warming up. “Over the next few years, our primary goal is to establish our presence in 4 different countries with a notable market share in our key target markets,” said Shrivastav on an ambitious note. Apart from that, Toch is looking to launch two new products in the market for users by this year-end.
The growth in terms of funding also looks promising. Early this year they raised over USD 1 million in funding from investors including SOSV, and its accelerator, Chinaccelerator, 9Unicorns Fund, and Inflection Point Ventures.
“We are currently using the funds to expand our team and enhance our tech infrastructure,” said Shrivastav on a concluding note.
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Srishti currently works as Associate Editor at Analytics India Magazine. When not covering the analytics news, editing and writing articles, she could be found reading or capturing thoughts into pictures.