Funded under the TOUCHVIE (Catch what you watch; a game-changer technology that will change how people watch TV and revolutionise in-movie advertising and product placement) project, Dive is there to enhance the user experience while helping companies monetise products related to a specific movie or TV show.
On the menu: over 2 500 titles enriched with new content, from actor-related information to fun facts, soundtracks, location, vehicles being used, as well as clothes and accessories being worn. The additional information can be displayed on a second screen (tablet or smartphone) or on Samsung’s Smart TVs.
David Gonzalez, co-founder and COO of Dive, as well as coordinator of TOUCHVIE, discusses the app’s successes so far and the opportunities brought thanks to EU funding under Phase 2 of the SME Instrument.
How does Dive technology work exactly? Can you provide an example of a situation where it can come in handy?
David Gonzalez: All of us have at least once wondered, while watching a movie or a TV series episode, who is that actor, where was that scene shot or where can this dress be bought, or even simply wanted to know more about a specific scene. Dive provides responses on the fly to all these questions, in turn enhancing the traditional and even new ways of watching TV.
Dive provides viewers with the power of interacting with all the elements on the screen, to extend the experience in real time and to be closer to their passions. We do that both on the main screen thanks to strong partnerships with the likes of Samsung (available now in Spain and Germany) and on a second, complementary screen thanks to our iOS and Android app that is also available in Spain and Germany and will come out shortly in other countries like the USA and UK.
How do you proceed to obtain copyright clearance for movies and series?
The legal strategy, which involves IP rights (copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and patents), competition law, rights to the image of actors and moral rights, is key in this project. Bearing this in mind, we have secured the best protection mechanisms and optimisation of results with prestigious lawyers.
The added value of our company actually lies in both the technology developed and our process and methodology. In fact, the technology was built while considering the IP strategy. The most important part was to make sure that we only use images, text or links that can be used, either because we have a specific authorisation/agreement for their use or because it is creative commons content.
What can you tell us about the success of Dive so far?
Success can be measured with the combination of different criteria. First, our user base keeps growing robustly. Then, we have obtained prestigious awards like TiE50 in Silicon Valley, H2020 Phase 2 or the Digital Top 50 award (organised by McKinsey, Google and Rocket Internet). We have already sealed strong partnerships with Samsung, Asos, El Corte Inglés and About You, and we are about to do so with other top VoDs, Telcos and TV Broadcasters.
Equally, research agencies and leading voices like Ovum, Forrester and IHS have recognised the value of Dive for users and the uniqueness of our technology.
Why did you decide to seek EU funding and how did it help with your expansion?
One of the insights we have benefited from along the way is the fact that while the catalogue size increased fivefold, the number of regular users increased eightfold. We realised that we needed more interactive titles available in our platform, and for this, we needed to bring more automation to the interactive content creation process.
Our core ambition was to develop sophisticated AI algorithms that automatically detect and identify key elements like actors, characters, places, music or vehicles. As we realised this was a highly demanding project in terms of resources and funding, we decided to seek EU funding.
Now that we are halfway to the end of the project, we can say that we have accomplished significant improvements in terms of automation, with Dive now being available in two key countries.
What do you still need to achieve before the end of the project?
Before the end of the project in August, we still need to bring some AI enhancements already developed in our internal production platform, commercialise our technology in the USA, close our already well advanced conversations and deals with strategic VoDs, broadcasters and telcos, and, finally, we need to close the series A round we officially opened last week.