Its software was already embedded on nearly 200 million TV-viewing devices, helping advertisers and broadcasters know what viewers are watching.

Now Samba TV is acquiring more technology to boost the viewing insights.

The San Francisco-based firm is using part of its earlier Series B fundraising to acquire Axwave, whose automated content recognition (ACR) uses microphone-based audio fingerprinting to match viewing against a database of hundreds of TV channels, 120,000 VOD shows and 130,000 ads but whose technology can also identify TV ads from in-screen video analysis.

In December, Samba acquired Screen6, a firm offering real-time cross-device identity resolution.

Samba’s announcement says the latest acquisition comes in cash and stock, and after its $30m Series B raised in 2017 was partly for the purpose of international growth and strategic acquisitions.

According to the announcement: “Combined with Samba’s AI-driven commercial break detection from 20m households worldwide, Axwave’s workflow for automatic detection and tagging of TV spots and its use of computer vision for logos and brands in linear video builds a foundation for the most accurate, real-time global TV spot schedule.

“This combination is highly disruptive to the legacy TV spot schedule process that relied on human-tagged metadata which is delayed, manually-created, and prone to error. The addition… will allow advertisers to access detailed insights on TV commercials for their brands and also competitors at global scale.”

In a recent interview with Beet.TV, which we are re-publishing here today, Ashwin Navin, Samba TV co-founder, said using technology to understand viewing is important because viewers are not necessarily authenticating to TV services.

“Television is a mass media platform,” he said. It’s also one where people are generally in a leaned back, relaxed environment. They’re not logging in. They’re definitely not trying to search. They just want to be engaged through entertainment after a long day at work.

Launched in 2008, Samba TV works by having software embedded on some millions of viewing devices via app makers which bundle Samba’s recommendation features.

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