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Pex Fingerprint Helps Track Social Media Usage, Fight Piracy

The popularity of ‘Game of Thrones’ is evident not only in its massive weekly ratings, but also in the amount of viral content that its fans end up creating. For those behind “GoT,” and for other broadcasters and their content, it is important to know how and where that content is being used. That is where Pex’s fingerprint technology comes into play.

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Started five years ago, Pex developed its initial technology to be a “Shazam-like” product for video, allowing people to simply aim their smartphone at a television screen to find out what is playing. “There wasn’t much support for that, so we pivoted to doing more analytics and rights management work,” said Amadea Choplin, Pex’s chief operating officer.

Today, Pex uses that same fingerprinting technology to identify audio or video that matches the content of a rights holder as soon as it is uploaded online by forgoing metadata and instead tracking the content itself. Choplin says this accomplishes two goals: “It helps rights holders see where their content is getting uploaded by you and me or other rights holders … and then act on whether that is damaging their rights; but also understand the virality of their content.”

“So if a TV show is getting tons of memes and gifs created off of their characters, then they would be able to see exactly how many of those have been uploaded, how many times it’s been viewed and shared and liked, and better understand their audience for their content.”

Choplin says Pex could help broadcasters, gain a better understanding of the audience beyond their own channels (think Facebook or other social media platforms), as well as be used as an anti-piracy measure.

Pex also serves as its own kind of discovery engine, according to Choplin. Rather than having to manually search for uses of content, the fingerprinting technology automatically identifies content—even from clips as short as a half a second—and makes them easy for users to find them and address.

As it pertains to “Game of Thrones,” in the final season’s first five episodes, more than 38,000 copies of content that have earned more than a billion views and 46 million engagements were discovered by Pex across social platforms using its technology.

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