Comcast Technology Solutions debuts AI-powered metadata service

Comcast Technology Solutions (CTS) has launched VideoAI, its metadata generation platform that will be offered as a software service to content providers, MVPDs and advertisers.

The technology—which has been in development for years and in use at Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky— automatically analyzes video assets to identify and tag onscreen moments (hard cuts, black frames, transitions, etc.); audio events (silence, specific sounds, etc.), and much more to support enhanced understanding of video content.

CTS said the primary use cases include metadata segmentation for dynamic ad insertion (DAI); segmentation detection, such as detecting intros, credit rolls, auto-chaptering; and creating automated on-screen highlight reels during live sporting events.

Bart Spriester, vice president and general manager of the Content and Streaming Providers Suite for Comcast Technology Solutions, said VideoAI is drawing interest from several customers for the abovementioned uses as well as for automated workflows that can reduce costs for content providers. He said the biggest difference between VideoAI and similar services already on the market is that CTS provides the AI detectors and pre-trained algorithms, which have already poured over millions of video assets, so customers don’t have to months or years for an algorithm to produce actionable metadata.

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“VideoAI was designed to help our customers remove the complexity of leveraging these technologies effectively across their video content and advertising businesses,” said Spriester. “At Comcast Technology Solutions, we are relentlessly focused on helping our customers understand and deliver their content in new ways, improve workflow efficiency, and drive automation. VideoAI is a technological advancement on all those fronts. Best of all, our solutions have been proven and deployed at scale from some of the largest operators and content creators in the world. We look forward to working with operators, content creators, and advertisers across the globe on new VideoAI initiatives.”

Spriester said VideoAI is the product of mostly internal development and some technology from acquisitions like WatchWith. The product will be offered as a managed software-as-a-service and customers will be charged based on per minute usage.