69 START-UP ALLEY Showtag
reality TV show Paradise Hotel , which resulted in more than two million user engagements and one million product clicks on the website of the show’s main retail sponsor. As well as pausing to discover more about brands, viewers can also find out about celebrities, pausing to see extra video clips about their favourite stars. On talent shows, meanwhile, viewers are able to watch extended versions of rehearsal clips. Data gathered on the user journey prompted Showtag to make some more amendments. “Viewers might click on the tag to find out more about a dress, but they will not visit the site while the TV programme is still running, so we’ve created a ‘favorites’ feature that allows viewers to save listings and revisit them at a later stage after the programme has finished,” Bos explains. Other innovations planned for the future include live voting and a banner ad system capable of playing video that allows advertisers to connect to specific time slots during the show. Bos also has ambitions to build a live version of the system, deploying a Showtag truck outside esports venues or televised competitions, such as the Eurovision Song Contest. The input of programme information is perhaps the most arduous task for Showtag right now, with Bos claiming that AI apps in facial and object recognition are not yet accurate enough to handle this task alone. “We employ students to do this inputting and, on average, a one-hour show takes five hours worth of inputting,” he reveals. The business model is a revenue share, with a small technical fee to set up the player and to pay the student taggers. “We’re fairly flexible about how this income is split,” he adds, “It could be a pay-per-clip model or a split of the ad revenue tag.” Funding so far has come from governmental agency, Innovation Norway, while Bos is in talks with two VCs to raise the rest of the capital he needs to grow the company. Also helping the start-up on its path to growth is a new hire and investor, Ivo Lochtman, VP of Content Products at Liberty Global, who joined the team at the end of December last year as its chief commercial officer.
VIEWERS MIGHT CLICK ON THE TAG TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT A DRESS, BUT THEY WILL NOT VISIT THE SITE WHILE THE TV PROGRAMME IS STILL RUNNING
COUNTRY: NORWAY STARTED: 2016
Bos explains: “The issue is that once the glasses are on someone’s face, the image belongs to the actor, and once the actor is in the movie, it becomes part of the movie’s rights, and the glasses brand company also owns the rights – there are so many stakeholders involved, it was a legal minefield.” Bos and his lawyers concluded that the only way of making it work was to partner with production companies directly. However, with no users and no content to bring to the table, the project was shelved temporarily.
However, Bos, who set up a beach club restaurant in Tunisia a year before the Arab Spring began, remained open to new opportunities. In 2017, a proliferation of broadcasting- based streaming platforms presented the company with an alternative solution – to partner with the content owner and integrate Showtag into the right’s holder’s video player. A pilot with Sweden’s MTG then allowed the start-up to really discover the potential for Showtag-enabled content. The system was applied on the popular
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