US-based sports-focused live TV streaming service fuboTV has on November 9 announced the acquisition of Bengaluru-based Edisn.ai, which has developed an artificial intelligence-based fan-engagement and monetisation platform.
NYSE-listed fuboTV is operational in the United States, Canada and Spain and recently surpassed the one million subscriber mark.
fuboTV CEO David Gandler said interactivity was a key product differentiator for the company. "With Edisn.ai, we will be able to create new experiences that integrate interactivity and data directly within our live TV feeds, pushing the boundaries of innovation even further,” Gandler said during the company's earnings call on November 9.
"We're really excited about this company (Edisn.ai). It actually provides foundational back-end tech for our company." he said.
Started in September 2018 by Ashok Karanth and Akshay Chandrasekhar, Edisn.ai's computer vision technology can recognise and track players and key objects such as brand logos and products in real-time in live video feeds.
Its clients include US-based Comcast, Champions Basketball Network, Brazil's TV NSports and Japanese J1 league teams.
The startup can also deliver on-demand contextual content like bio and statistics about recognised players for viewers. It also offers various forms of integrations including social, brand, merchandise and betting features.
The social integration lets users share posts and comments on social media platforms while watching a video.
The brand and merchandise integrations enables users to interact with brands and sponsors to unlock offers or buy sports merchandise. The betting feature, which is not offered in India, lets users access the latest match odds and place bets without leaving the video.
fuboTV said Edisn.ai's technology would enable better play-by-play identification and frame-accurate video-data synchronisation, both of which are crucial to executing free-to-play games and real-money wagering.
It will also improve fuboTV’s electronic program guide and cloud DVR features.
Gandler said the deal would also provide fuboTV the ability to expand its ad tech capabilities through better detection of breaks and targeted advertising.
"We aim to turn passive viewers into active participants through the launch of two interactive product features: real-money wagering and free-to-play games. We believe these features will represent a new potential customer on-ramp to our experience, driving greater levels of engagement" he said in a letter to shareholders.
fuboTV forayed into real-money wagering with the launch of Fubo Sportsbook in the US state of Iowa , with plans to expand to other states in the following months.
On November 9, fuboTV also announced it was buying France's leading live TV streaming platform Molotov SAS for €164.3 million (around $190 million) in a cash and equity deal to expand its international footprint.
The firm posted revenues of $156.7 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2021, registering a 156 percent growth year-on-year (YoY).
Subscription revenue grew by 158 percent YoY to $138.1 million, while advertising revenue increased by 147 percent YoY to $18.6 million.