Exclusive: Defense Contractor has Analyzed, Transcribed and Organized 1.5 Millon YouTube Clips

By on 03/12/2007 7:21 PM @beet_tv

View a transcript of this interview

A major defense department contractor, BBN of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has applied a national security technology application, developed to fight terrorism, to "crawl" the audio tracks of public Internet videos through its PodZinger subsidiary. 

PodZinger has analyzed, transcribed and organized some 1.5 million YouTube clips since December and is crawling many thousand every day, according to Alex Laats, who heads the unit.

PodZinger’s speech-to-text technology has evolved from its post 9/11 work on behalf of the Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies.  Since the terrorist attacks, the company has received some $50 million in government funding. Beet.TV has learned that the technology has been used  by government agencies to analyze electronic media in part by determining if audio is in English, Arabic or Chinese. 

Similarly, PodZinger analyzes the language of clips and determines whether they are music or have speech.  If there is speech, a transcription is created which is nearly 80 percent accurate, company executives say.

BBN has retained the rights to apply this technology to search public Internet video.  It has  been seeking to monetize this business through a "white box" solution.  Selling a customized search engine for Web sites. 

It is also seeking to monetize this technology through contextual advertising. Last month, the company launched a public portal organized around various topics including sports, politics, lifestyle, etc.  It is on the public portal where much of the YouTube clips can be found.   Ads are placed around the YouTube players. PodZinger does not insert ads into the clips.

Search queries find moments within a video which match the specific search term.  When the video is found, a transcription brief of that point in the clip is displayed. 

The development of effective video search is critical to the success of online video.  BBN is not the only company in video search to bring national security work to this effort. Similarly, Blinkx, another video search technology firm has its roots in the national security work of Autonomy, a company closely associated with it.

Superstar VC Jim Breyer of Accel Partners is a board of member of BBN.  It was Accel and General Catalyst Partners who bought BBN from Verizon in 2004.

Update 3/15:  See Alex Laats demonstrating Podzinger on Beet.TV


Andy Plesser

, , ,

Recent Videos
How Addressability Will Change TV Ads: 4C’s Neuhauser

So-called “addressable TV’, the ability to deliver personalized TV ads to individual households, is set to revolutionize the business – if only it can get off the ground in earnest. “There’s a lot of talk about addressable TV. The market is trying to look for what is real,” ...

Ad Tech Has Made Life Harder And More Expensive: Furious’ Swartz

COLOGNE — The sea of advertising technology platforms in which the industry is which the industry is currently swimming is threatening to overwhelm. Whilst each platform promises to make life better and easier, the reality may be the opposite. “There is a proliferation of ad technology – ...

Video Is An Antidote To Mobile Ad Blocking: Mediaocean CEO

Advertisers these days seem worried about a litany of technologies with which bad industry actors and consumers alike can bypass advertising. The latest is ad blocking, which Apple’s iOS 9 now supports on mobile web. But that threat to mobile could benefit another media, one ad tech exec reckons. ...

Clients Want Mix Of Programmatic Tools: Tremor Video’s Bill Day

Programmatic advertising is booming, as more ad buyers and sellers switch on to technology that automates, targets and better controls the trading of online inventory. So far, the tech has revolutionized web ads, next up is video. “Programmatic has been huge in display, programmatic is a bit different ...

Programmatic Is Changing The Media Landscape: TubeMogul’s Reid

COLOGNE — So-called “programmatic” technologies for automating, planning, targeting and executing online advertising buys have revolutionised the online display ad sector – now they are making in-roads in to video. “Programmatic is changing the media landscape,” according ...

Customer Experience Comes Before Ad Monetization For Belgium’s Proximus

COLOGNE — Many operators out there are busy launching initiatives to super-target digital TV viewers. But, when you’re a telco with paying subscribers, you’d better be sure you don’t do anything that annoys your paying customers, says a Belgian quad-play provider. “As a telco, ...

Belgium’s Medialaan Gears Up For Dynamic Ad Insertion

COLOGNE — Medialaan, the commercial media operator serving the Flemish-speaking Flanders region of Belgium, began making full shows available online last year. Now it is gearing up to better-monetize its full-show assets with online advertising. “It’s been better than we expected,” ...

Biggest Ad Challenge Is ‘Invalid Traffic’: comScore’s Trigg

COLOGNE — As an acronym, it doesn’t seem to make any sense. But “IVT” (that’s “invalid traffic”) is now the new industry jargon for what had been called “non-human traffic”, the scourge of online ads being triggered to defraud advertisers using fake ...

Sky Aims To Capitalize On German Online Soccer Demand: Meininger

COLOGNE — Soccer is big in Germany – and that means soccer is watched a lot, not just on traditional TV but also on new online TV services. That’s what the satellite and telco operator Sky Deutschland is discovering in its multi-platform online viewing service brand, Sky Go. “If you ...

Gabe Greenberg, GABBCON
Greenberg’s GABBCON Aims To Demystify Programmatic TV

COLOGNE — This summer, Gabe Greenberg left his post as general manager of advanced and programmatic television at The Trade Desk to launch a conference about programmatic TV advertising. Dubbed GABBCON (the Global Audience Based Buying Conference), the new LA-based enterprise is more than an ...

Bill Wise, Mediaocean 1
comScore + Retrak Merger “Nice,” But Won’t Replace Nielsen, Mediaocean’s Bill...

The news last week about the acquisition of Rentrak by comScore has been hailed by some as the emergence of a new competitor to Nielsen in the TV ratings space.  For Bill Wise, CEO of  TV media buying platform Mediacean, competition is a good thing, and while the newly combined forces will keep Nielsen ...

Virool is Using Facial Recognition for Ad Targeting

Virool, the video adtech platform that provides publishers with a means to monetize video advertising outside of the traditional video player and into the content stream, is analyzing the facial expressions of consumers to measure reactions to specific video ads, explains CEO Alex Debelov, in this ...