Transcript – Everything You Need to Know About Content Licensing
Magen Mintchev 00:32
Veritone presents adventures in AI, the podcast that dives into the many ways artificial intelligence is shaping our future for the better. I'm your host, Magen Mintchev, and today I'm here with Jay Bailey, who is the vice president of entertainment licensing at their time, Jay, and I will be discussing the role of content licensing and artificial intelligence when it comes to the media and entertainment industry and how film companies are able to bring life to those very compelling moments we, as viewers see on TV. Welcome to the podcast. Jay.
Jay Bailey 01:04
Thank you so much, man. It's great to be here.
Magen Mintchev 01:06
Awesome. So content licensing, how about we just start there? Can you explain what it is who uses it just so we have a good foundation to go off with today's conversation?
Jay Bailey 01:19
Content licensing, really, at the end of the day is if you have a creative project, whether it be a documentary, a feature film or television series, often, you know, you're producing and creating your own content, but you want to use third party content, you want to use, say, an interview or a compelling sports moment, you may want to use a quote from like a famous politician or whatnot. So here at Veritone, we're in a really interesting position. We're actually like a bridge between folks that are creating new content and what we call our content partners, slash suppliers. We have the good fortune of being partnered with some of the premier names in sports and in the news, and in user generated content. Studio produce content. So if folks want to use a moment, say for example, from CBS News, say you're doing a documentary on President John Kennedy, and you wanted to use a moment from his his political time in office as president or for when he was assassinated, there's obviously some iconic moments from CBS News that you may want to use. So we really take on the role of licensing that content on behalf of CBS News, you know, their goal is obviously to produce compelling award winning news, which they've done for so long. So we take the licensing of their content, which is, you know, a big task. And we've had the good fortune of being with them for over 12 years, we licensed those moments for them to, you know, your documentary or podcast, whoever may be interested in it. So we really serve, you know, two groups, we serve the content suppliers, the folks that have just great moments that they want to be able to monetize. So we help them in that regard. We help market their content. So folks know what that where it's where it is, and where they can find it. We actually put it up on our platform, which we call commerce, so folks can search it and find moments. And then we're word licensing into anything you see on television. Anything you see on your Netflix's your Hulu's, your Amazon Prime's anything that would be in a podcast, we do a tremendous amount in advertising. And we're also because of our sports libraries. We do a lot in the world of sports, we do a lot of licensing to your sports channels, your sports networks, your sports documentaries. So that's really what what content licensing is all about.
Magen Mintchev 03:32
That's really cool. So for instance, this podcast, if we wanted to use a clip from, I don't know, something related to sports, or whatever the topic is that we're talking about right now. I could essentially take that plop it in between our conversation, and that's considered content licensing. Is that correct?
Jay Bailey 03:51
Yeah, that's a great example. And podcasting is obviously exploded. And I think one of the great things is as, as things start to get more popular, you want to kind of make your podcast unique, and you know, separate yourself. And rather than have someone who might just be speaking on a topic, they can say, hey, we're going to we're going to highlight whether it be a great sports moment, maybe some audio call from like, when an announcer did an amazing call on on a, you know, a basketball game or football game. Or if you wanted to get a quote from, you know, a news story or something a politician might have said, or a soundbite, you can come to us and we'll go through. As you can imagine, a lot of these premium libraries want to approve the usage within your podcast, but we would walk you through that process, we would, you know, reach out to the supplier, we would then make sure that you have the correct rights. Because depending on your project, you know, you may want to distribute it worldwide. You may want to distribute it on a variety of media sources. So we can walk you through that process. Make sure you're getting the exact rights and clearances that you need, get all the permissions and then we would deliver the copy content to you. So you would have the best version of that a master quality version. So you could put it into your podcast?
Magen Mintchev 05:05
What's the time frame that we're looking at? Say, I reach out to you today, and I need something by tomorrow. Is that realistic? Are you like, well hold your horses here?
Jay Bailey 05:16
Well, you know, it depends on what you're looking for. I mean, if there is, if you know the exact moment, and we can walk you through it, we try to expedite as quickly as possible. As you can imagine, when you're dealing with, whether it be a podcast or a television series, there are breaking news stories, and there's things that people need immediately. We do all that we can. But yeah, I mean, there can be times depending on the library to depending if the content is online, it could take anywhere from we could get it to you and within a day, maybe even a few hours, or it could be you know, two to three days to just get the approvals. Also, we walk through your we make sure your your legal agreement with us as is in good standing. And if you're a new client, we have to obviously get that set up. So there is some time involved. And we ask that you could give us as much time as possible. But of course, we want to expedite and get you the content and get you everything you need as soon as possible.
Magen Mintchev 06:08
Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. So you mentioned the ability to search and find compelling moments, whether that's through TV, wherever. So can we talk more about that when and where someone would use this ability and how artificial intelligence is involved here.
Jay Bailey 06:26
To be candid, it's the biggest hurdle I think we find in our business is the ability to find what we call the hidden gems that you're looking for. Everybody can speak to how competitive media is now, so many people are creating content. So again, to separate yourself, you really want to find moments that nobody else has had. And I think at veritone, we have two things in our, in our camp that really separate ourselves. And the first is, we have people that have been, you know, subject matter experts who have been in licensing for over 10 years. It's a tight knit group that really knows all the libraries that we have, and all the nuances to those libraries. And the second component is our technology. We have a eyewear, which is our operating system for AI. And the thing that's great about AI, where is it has these things called cognitive engines, which each of them has kind of a different focus. But for example, one of them is transcription. So a lot of our content has audio that goes along with the video. And what we can do, which not everyone can do is we can find moments by using transcription, if you're looking for a very specific moment that, for example, Nora, Donald who's the current host of CBS Evening News, if she said something that was really intriguing say about, you know, the capital, the capital protests that went on last January, we would be able to find that instantly with transcription. And that's something that not everybody can do when I started in this business, you know, seems like decades ago, you would really have to scan video, I mean, we used to have to even scan tapes. And so some of the content was digitized. Now I'm able to put that into our AI where and into our transcription and find moments instantly. One of the things that's great about that is there's folks who are in pre production, who are building their documentary, or you know, their podcasts, or whatever they're doing. And they just want to find like, really interesting moments. And they don't know what they want. And that's where I were in transcription and these other cognitive engines that we have, can really help you find moments. And we can give you just a menu of assets that you can then look at and say, Okay, I want to include this, this. This really complements the narrative we're going with in our piece. And that's something that we're really proud of. So we look at it, it's it's our team that we can help that can help you find moments. But it's also our technology, which is really second to none.
Magen Mintchev 08:42
You had mentioned. You're the AI were platform hosts a series of cognitive engines. And then you mentioned transcription. Are there any others within content licensing that we can tap into here?
Jay Bailey 08:56
Sure. There's also there's a series of different engines, transcription is used so much because we really are prominent in the news business. So the news audio is always going along with the video. But we also have facial recognition. So if you're looking for a specific person, I remember somebody was looking to to get Lyndon Baines Johnson, the former president, his chief of staff. So we would be able to use those kinds of dimensions and train by by finding a photo of that person and search our content. If you just needed, you know, a video clip of that person, we would be able to use facial recognition. We also have object recognition. We worked on a Son of Sam documentary not too long ago, and the folks wanted to find a specific moment a specific gun specific car, we can find those moments instantly. Again, using AI were using the object engine to be able to find these moments which again, we used to have to scan and scan these assets which takes countless amounts of time, which no producer or no no archival producer or researcher wants to do. We also have object we also have text Records. If If you know there was a moment, for example, during a debate, where there was an interesting line that was on the screen, a text line that was on the screen, we can literally find that moment for you, at a very expedited rate than we would ever be able to do in the past. So we're constantly building and using new engines, and we'll always introduce those into licensing, to try to kind of combat the things that are the most difficult, which is obviously search and discovery and the time it takes off to define these moments.
Magen Mintchev 10:28
Yeah, I love how much of a time saver it is. That's incredible, compared to just even 20 years ago, I'm sure it's a huge difference. What would you say is the most requested type of content that you get?
Jay Bailey 10:40
You know, we we do have, like I said, we have news, we have sports, we have user generated content, which is kind of new to us, we have some audio libraries that we represent. We have studio content, one of the things that I never knew, like, when you watch a television program, you may see a restaurant or an establishing shots of the Santa Monica Pier, and you think, Oh, they go and shoot that, well, oftentimes, they do not they'll, they'll use folks like us to be able to find a moment. And we do quite a bit of that. But if I'm candid, because of the boom and documentaries, I would probably say our news footage, or news or sports footage is the most popular. You know, I know you and I have spoke about how popular True Crime has become. It feels like we get requests every day for new true crime series that are coming. So news plays such an important role in that, to drive those narratives and to drive those projects. You know, an interview or a news segment covering an incident that may have happened is really imperative to being able to tell those stories. So I would probably say news and sports are the two most we do a lot in the sports world with not only daily breaking news, you know, they have a magazine type shows that that aired daily. So they need their sports content quite a bit. So we licensed into those programs, your ESPN, your Fox Sports, one, your Golf Channel, all those kinds of distribution sources. And then if you know those folks are now doing documentaries. So you see HBO films, you know, the Golf Channel, they all do documentaries on the compelling figures in their, in their respective sports and in their world. So they come to us for that content as well.
Magen Mintchev 12:14
That's really neat. Yeah, if I mean, if it were up to me, I'd be asking you to send me all the true crime stuff because I am a huge True Crime fan.
Jay Bailey 12:23
I mean, it's unbelievable. Like I thought it would die down, but it doesn't seem to be dying. Because I literally this morning, got one and it's you know, it's every story you can imagine. And you know, every it seems like every distribution arm has some form of true crime. So it's, it's something that I don't think it's going to go anytime.
Magen Mintchev 12:41
I hope not for my state. So what is what is next for content licensing? Are there any big projects that you can speak to that's coming up? Maybe without naming names, or anything at least?
Jay Bailey 12:52
Every day, we are able to work on really amazing projects. There's a few projects that are up for Oscars this year that we were able to play, I think a key role in, you know, providing content, whether it be sports or news footage. There's some big movies that are premiering this summer, I'll share one, which is Elvis, which is pretty awesome. And there's a great new trailer that's out that we license some content into and it looks amazing Tom Hanks is in it. And I can't wait to see it. I just watched the trailer two nights ago, I got really excited and was very proud that we were able to play a small role and in providing them some moments that make make that trailer really compelling. So we're doing a lot of that we're doing a tremendous amount with you know, the Masters coming up, we work with them as golf tournament NCAA March Madness, we do it a lot in that world, obviously, they do, they do a lot of documentaries, and a lot of kind of build up to that. So we're always excited about that. And we're even at the point where, you know, some we've been with some of our partners for so long, that we've started to create content together. So we're doing a podcast that we'll be announcing fairly soon, where we're actually helping produce that content, to produce that podcast that we're going to use moments from, you know, from a historical perspective that to help tell these stories of some amazing women in various fields. And that's something that we're really incredibly proud of, and if people will be able to, to check that out. And we'll have announcements on that very soon. So, yeah, there's just a lot going on. I mean, there's there's never been a time where we're producing more content. When I started, it was really the, you know, the cable networks that we had, you know, the three major networks before with Fox. But I remember when I started, you know, Netflix, we were still getting DVDs in the mail. So with all the platforms that and all the content being produced every day is a different, different challenge. And it's all exciting to see to see what what's being created.
Magen Mintchev 14:46
Oh, yeah, I am definitely intrigued on that podcast, so I can't wait until that drops. Thank you. So how would someone learn more about content licensing, they can
Jay Bailey 14:56
Always reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org via email, our licensing site is commerce.veritone.com. They can, they can check out our website, you'll see all the partners we represent, there's some great videos there, it tells you a little bit about how the whole licensing process works. Sometimes the idea of going to get, you know, third party content and to use it can be a daunting task, especially if you're not used to it. So the great news is that we, you know, we've been together our group for a long time, we know all the nuances of this library, these libraries. So we can really walk through the process, we deal with folks who are just starting out to folks that have been, you know, producing and directing movies their whole lives. So we can really speak to anybody. Yeah, we just want to make the process easy for you, and help you create a really compelling project. And that will everyone will view you know, we really support the creative community. And we're here for whatever you need.
Magen Mintchev 15:48
Hey, thanks so much for taking the time to share all this awesome information about content licensing and really shining the light on that topic. Because I for one didn't really know too much about it beforehand. So now I am that much more educated in it. So I appreciate you taking the time to talk with us today about it.
Jay Bailey 16:07
My pleasure. It was great. Thank you so much, Magen anytime.
Magen Mintchev 16:11
All right, and thank you to everyone out there for listening to adventures in AI the podcast that dives into the many ways artificial intelligence is shaping the future for the better. Talk with you next time.
VP, Content Licensing, Veritone