About one million revelers in New York City’s Times Square tonight will see a giant three-minute video summary of 2017’s top stories — made by Israeli text-to-video platform Wibbitz – as they wait for the 12-foot New Year’s Eve Ball to descend the flagpole atop One Times Square 10 seconds before midnight.
The video, which uses content from international news agency AP, is to be screened before midnight on the 25-story tower. It will be visible not only to the live crowds filling the square but also to TV viewers via ABC broadcast. The exposure is estimated to be worth $1.2 million.
The Wibbitz platform leverages artificial intelligence technology to transform text articles into bite-sized videos quickly, automatically and at scale for more than 500 content sites including Bloomberg, Reuters, AP, Time and Forbes.
The segments making up the New Year’s Eve clip were selected by popularity, based on the content preferences of online visitors. AP contributed the videos and photos of the selected events for the three-minute Wibbitz video.
The images to be seen tonight are a mix of hard news and pop culture, from the civil war in Syria and the growing threat from North Korea to the deaths of Tom Petty, Hugh Hefner and Chuck Berry, to the upcoming wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018.
Wibbitz was founded by Zohar Dayan and Yotam Cohen in 2011. The company has offices in Tel Aviv, New York and Paris. As the crystal-studded ball drops to usher in 2018 in Times Square, Wibbitz is starting the year with plans to double its current employee roster to 120.