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TV-sync tech firm sees boost from Filipino viewing habits

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By Denise A. Valdez
Reporter

A MARKETING technology company said the continuing patronization of Filipinos of television is boosting its business in the country, with the firm offering advertisers the technology to launch digital campaigns in sync with TV content.

India-based firm SilverPush Chief Revenue Officer Kartik Mehta said in an interview that the company’s one-year presence in the Philippines has shown exponential growth, bagging brands from clients like Unilever, Unilab and Coca-Cola.

“In terms of television viewing habits, consumers in the Philippines spend a lot of time viewing linear television… Your on-demand content which is being played on your smartphones is still not there as much as the other evolved economies across the world,” he said.

“Because of this, what’s happening is because consumers still are focusing their attention on linear television, this entire multi-screening phenomena is helping technology companies like us help brands engage with their audiences in real time,” he added.

SilverPush offers its clients a “multi-screen TV-sync solution,” or a technology that detects television content which a company may use to trigger a digital campaign in real time.

Mr. Mehta said because the technology allows its clients to run digital advertisements upon screening of a certain television content, it may be used as supplement for its clients’ own television commercials, or a counter message when it detects a competition’s commercial.

“That’s a very interesting model because advertising on television is expensive. And obviously this entire concept of multi-screening, if you just analyze our own behavior as consumers, whenever you’re watching television, what do you do? We still have our phones in our hands,” Mr. Mehta explained.

He said although Filipinos still view linear television more often than in other countries, the general behavior is still to gravitate one’s attention towards social media during ad breaks.

“Our technology helps brands run ads on digital while the consumer is not attentive to television in real time,” he added.

Looking forward, Mr. Mehta said they eventually want to tap Artificial Intelligence (AI) to recognize faces, objects and activities that flash on a television screen to prompt a digital campaign.

“Our technology is evolving to a more AI-based model which will be able to detect celebrities, faces, logos on screen. It is also able to detect emotions. Is there a celebration going on, or are people doing a high-five, or are people drinking or saying cheers? It’s able to detect all that. Brands are utilizing all these different moments through our technology to run contextually relevant messages for the consumers,” he explained.

He said the AI-based solution is now being tested in the Philippines. The firm targets to launch it for existing and would-be clients by next year.

SilverPush currently offers its solutions in 12 countries, namely India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Mehta said by next year, they also plan to expand to Hong Kong, Korea and Australia, and at some point, the United States.

“It’s been a conscious decision for us to kind of test and implement our innovations here in the Philippines before it spreads out to Southeast Asia. This has become our hub of innovation in Southeast Asia… We expect to see probably 300% jump in our revenues in the Philippines by next year,” he added.

He noted the company has grown 80% to 100% quarter-on-quarter the past year, making SilverPush confident it will maintain its climb in the Philippines.

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