The United States has lost its footing in innovation. In fact, the U.S. dropped out of the top 10 ranking in the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index, released earlier this year, for the first time in the past six years, since the report was compiled.
Some blame government funding. Numerous governments, from China to Singapore to the United Arab Emirates, have poured money and resources into developing their high-tech sectors, as some U.S. presidents pulled back and cut funding.
Others like Rex Wong, Aivon founder and CEO, believe that mobile drove the wedge. “Asia is a mobile-first world,” he said, speaking with MediaPost from China. “About 75% of all videos are viewed on mobile. We're seeing a 57% click-through rate. You can click on images and objects to get more information about them.”
Aivon created an exchange where companies can share content worldwide. It powers about 50 video platforms in 20 countries, with television stations and newspapers, reaching about 500 million users.
In addition to Aivon, Wong also cofounded Applied Semantics, which Google acquired in 2003. The technology became the advertising platform AdSense to support publishers.
Artificial intelligence (AI) enables Aivon to support metadata that makes content searchable within videos for movies, commercials and any other video content. The AI is not 100% accurate -- it’s only 90% accurate, Wong said -- so the business model also uses humans and blockchain technology.
Aivon houses about 1 million cataloged videos that now live on a blockchain. A token gives users an incentive to provide additional resources. Freelancers, content providers, service providers, advertisers, AI providers and others can use the tokens to power up to fifteen key features for decentralized applications.
These include better search, monetization with AI-driven contextual ad tech, rights management, content creation clipping, brand safety, digital fingerprint and forensics, tagging and indexing, ad search, content matching and recommendation engine, and analytics.
From there, Aivon’s engineers created a protocol to build a series of decentralized video applications. The first to launch will be an open-source video search engine.
“Most people think YouTube is a search engine, but it’s not,” he said. “It’s a hosting and streaming platform … and it only catalogs and indexes videos. Not the content within them. You can only find the videos people upload to it.”
The benefits for advertisers are far-reaching. Most of this is being done across Asia, but not in the U.S. Computing resources are required that were not available in the past. The ability to search the index of videos gives the technology scale.
Wong showed me an example of how a brand could create a video and then use the metadata and technology to swap out a product in the video similar to product placement, but personalize the product and the message per viewer based on the advertiser and the location.
It’s technology like this that will change advertising for the U.S., but consumers need to accept the change and innovation.