Studio71 creates brand safety product

Context uses a combination of AI and human supervision to determine what content is safe for advertisers to pair with.
lilly coca cola

Digital video network Studio71 has launched a new product, Studio71 Context, which it says will make it easier for advertisers to pair with brand-safe videos.

Studio71 Canada EVP Jordan Bortolotti told MiC that Context uses a combination of AI and human cross-checking to identify and certify which videos within its networks are free from potentially unsafe things for brands – such as nudity, curse words, hate speech, violence, drug use, weapons and other activities in both the video itself and the caption/description. He emphasized that every video that is labelled is watched by a human.

“It’s rooted in AI, but it’s supervised,” he said. “Technology has helped us to identify things like language, but nothing gets the job done quite like humans.”

A global company, Studio71′s Canadian outpost represents top YouTube creators such as Toronto comedian and vlogger Lilly Singh (13.5 million subscribers), trivia entertainer Matt Santoro (6.1 million subscribers) and bacon-loving foodies Epic Meal Time (seven million subscribers).

Despite the massive success of its creators, Bortolotti said that following last year’s wave of concern over the brand safety of YouTube videos, it’s a tricky landscape to operate in.

“It’s been on every advertiser and partner’s radar,” he said. “When you’re dealing in a mass environment, you’re trying to increase scale and reach, but it’s hard because you’re really all over the place.”

He added that despite Studio71′s reputation for working with beloved creators like Singh and Santoro (who have had major partnerships with the likes of Coca-Cola and McDonald’s Canada), “Even sometimes we have to do our own checks and balances. We need to be as careful with an advertiser’s dollars as we are with our own.”

Bortolotti said the the studio’s partner Omnicom, as well as some brands (although he wouldn’t disclose which ones) have already signed on as early users of the tool.

The product will only be available on YouTube for now, but Bortolotti said the company is looking at potentially licensing the tool to partners so that it extends beyond just the Studio71 inventory.

Pictured: Studio71 superstar Lilly Singh