Startup’s AI ad tech solution takes center stage in Indian cricket final match

2023.09.13 12:50:02 | 2023.09.13 13:17:12

Ahn Ikk-jin, co-founder and CEO at Moloco. [Courtesy of Moloco]이미지 확대

Ahn Ikk-jin, co-founder and CEO at Moloco. [Courtesy of Moloco]



Korean-founded Silicon Valley startup Moloco’s artificial intelligence (AI) advertising technology is making waves after the technology was applied at the final match for India’s national sport, cricket, which is also most watched sporting event worldwide.

The final match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was broadcasted live through Reliance Group’s online video service, JioCinema, on May 29 and when JioCinema sought to include advertisements in the broadcast, Moloco stepped in with its AI advertising technology solution.

To attract subscribers, JioCinema decided to make the final match available for free, resulting in an astonishing 32 million viewers tuning in simultaneously. JioCinema had invested $3 billion to acquire streaming broadcast rights previously held by Disney and wanted to recoup some of its investment by leveraging advertisements during the broadcast.

In a recent interview with Maeil Business Newspaper in Silicon Valley, Ahn Ikk-jin, co-founder and CEO at Moloco, described how the advertisements were successfully streamed despite the enormous traffic volume.

“The streaming market has transitioned from an era where customers paid subscription fees for ad-free content to one where customers have the choice of watching ads or not. This shift is occurring not only with Netflix but across the entire over-the-top (OTT) media service industry, as service providers are introducing hybrid pricing models offering both ad-supported and ad-free options,” he explained.

Ahn emphasized that Moloco’s technology could also benefit the Korean OTT market.

“As interest rates rise and profitability becomes more important for businesses, advertising is fast becoming a crucial revenue stream. Moloco operates under the philosophy that ‘we make money when our customers make money,’ and we are dedicated to helping customers turn a profit.”

In Korea, Moloco’s key customers include Yogiyo and Today’s House.

Moloco’s journey began in 2013 when former Google engineer Ahn Ikk-jin co-founded the startup in Silicon Valley with two former Google colleagues. Throughout its growth, Moloco secured investments from both Korean and global venture capital firms and the company currently boasts a workforce of over 600 employees across 12 global offices. With $200 million in sales last year and 12 consecutive quarters of profitability, Moloco is considered one of the Korean startups closest to a Nasdaq listing.

By Lee Duk-joo and Minu Kim

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]