Breaktime: helping publishers and bloggers boost advertising revenue with Google Cloud

About Breaktime

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Taiwan, Breaktime provides data consulting services that help bloggers and publishers generate advertising revenue. The business operates the Zi Media Network and the Zi Power Ads AI advertising allocation system. Through Zi Power Ads AI, Breaktime aims to simplify the use by publishers of “supply-side platforms” to sell digital advertising impressions via automated auctions.

Industries: Professional Services, Technology
Location: Taiwan

About iKala–GCP.expert

iKala “GCP.expert,” a Google Cloud Premier Partner, provides AI-driven marketing technology solutions and Google Cloud infrastructure services. With over 40 data scientists and cloud technical specialists on its staff, it helps over 300 enterprises in the Asia Pacific region use Google Cloud to undergo digital transformation and develop applications for artificial intelligence. Its client base covers multiple industries, including ecommerce, media, finance, gaming, and digital advertisements.

With Google Cloud Platform and iKala–GCP.expert, Breaktime has implemented a digital advertising allocation system that covers the browsing behavior of about 8 million users across Taiwan, more than 1.6 billion ad impressions, and over 1,300 unique domains.

Google Cloud results

  • Achieves 99.99%-plus availability
  • Supports an average of 10 million page views per day
  • Enables analysis of 10,000 blogs and article pages per day

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Taiwan, Breaktime provides data consulting services that help bloggers and publishers generate advertising revenue. The business operates the Zi Media Network and the Zi Power Ads AI advertising allocation system. Through Zi Power Ads AI, Breaktime aims to simplify the use by publishers of “supply-side platforms” to sell digital advertising impressions via automated auctions. “We want to help publishers and ‘internet celebrities’ reduce the manual work involved in using supply-side platforms, help them price advertising impressions more effectively, and increase overall revenue,” says Joy Shih, Research Director at Breaktime.

Supports a system that covers the browsing behavior of 8 million users, 1.6 billion ad impressions, and 1,300 unique domains

Zi Power Ads AI uses data analytics, AI, and machine learning to break down web structures by factors such as content, header, and footer; content structures by title, keywords, publication date, and other elements; ad structures by factors such as ad value, related ads, and ad format; and user structures by factors such as gender, age, interests, behaviors, and devices used. “Through data analysis and machine learning, we can correlate websites and blogs to users, traffic, and ads,” says Shih. “We can identify the best combinations to attract views and click-throughs from desired groups of users.”

Breaktime initially launched Zi Power Ads AI on infrastructure in an internet data center in Taiwan before moving to a cloud infrastructure provider to support fast-increasing traffic volumes. However, reliability and stability issues—including virtual machine shutdowns that stopped Breaktime from making Zi Power Ads AI available to publishers for extended periods—prompted the business to evaluate other providers.

Google Cloud Platform best fit for requirements

“Based on our interactions with iKala–GCP.expert, we amended our planned Google Cloud Platform architecture to reduce our internet traffic to one-third the cost we would otherwise incur. We are extremely appreciative of the partner’s help.”

Joy Shih, Research Director, Breaktime

Breaktime compared multinational cloud service providers and found Google Cloud best met its requirements for scalability; managed application containerization; data warehousing, analytics, and visualization; and access to advanced, proven machine learning services. The business engaged Taiwan-based Google Cloud Premier Partner iKala–GCP.expert to provide architecture consultancy services and overviews of Google Cloud services for the migration. “Based on our interactions with iKala–GCP.expert, we amended our planned Google Cloud architecture to reduce our internet traffic to one-third the cost we would otherwise incur,” says Shih. “We are extremely appreciative of the partner’s help.”

Breaktime then migrated Zi Power Ads AI to a Google Cloud architecture comprising Google Kubernetes Engine to run web applications packaged in Docker container images; BigQuery for data warehousing and analysis with Google Data Studio providing reports and visualization; and Stackdriver to monitor applications and infrastructure. Cloud Load Balancing—integrated with the Cloud CDN content delivery network—enables the business to scale its compute resources in line with demand peaks and troughs. Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) enables Breaktime to secure individual nodes and minimize exposure of its environment to the public internet.

“With Google Cloud Platform, we now have a stable environment based on a mature infrastructure.”

Joy Shih, Research Director, Breaktime

Breaktime also uses TensorFlow—an open source library of machine learning and deep learning models, created by the Google Brain AI research team—to perform natural language processing for content categorization.

A stable environment

“With Google Cloud, we now have a stable environment based on a mature infrastructure,” says Shih.

The Zi Power Ads AI system running on Google Cloud has powered Breaktime into a leadership position in “long tail” advertising—a strategy used by publishers to target a range of niche markets. The system now covers the browsing behavior of about 8 million users across Taiwan, more than 1.6 billion ad impressions, and over 1,300 unique domains. According to Breaktime, businesses that use Zi Power Ads AI increase revenues by an average of 142%.

The ZI Power Ads AI system now supports an average of about 10 million page views and analysis of about 10,000 blog and article pages each day on an infrastructure that delivers more than 99.99% availability.

A leading partner of publishers

“Google Cloud technologies are an extremely good fit for our requirements—with Google, we plan to continue helping publishers and bloggers maximize advertising returns.”

Joy Shih, Research Director, Breaktime

“We are now one of the largest partners of publishers in Taiwan,” says Shih. “As well as helping publishers and bloggers grow revenues, we help them reduce operational costs and lower the barriers to entry into new markets and segments.”

Success with Google Cloud Platform to date has spurred Breaktime to undertake proofs of concept of TensorFlow machine learning models for picture extraction and Cloud Vision to classify and label images. “Google Cloud technologies are an extremely good fit for our requirements—with Google, we plan to continue helping publishers and bloggers maximize advertising returns,” concludes Shih.

About Breaktime

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Taiwan, Breaktime provides data consulting services that help bloggers and publishers generate advertising revenue. The business operates the Zi Media Network and the Zi Power Ads AI advertising allocation system. Through Zi Power Ads AI, Breaktime aims to simplify the use by publishers of “supply-side platforms” to sell digital advertising impressions via automated auctions.

Industries: Professional Services, Technology
Location: Taiwan

About iKala–GCP.expert

iKala “GCP.expert,” a Google Cloud Premier Partner, provides AI-driven marketing technology solutions and Google Cloud infrastructure services. With over 40 data scientists and cloud technical specialists on its staff, it helps over 300 enterprises in the Asia Pacific region use Google Cloud to undergo digital transformation and develop applications for artificial intelligence. Its client base covers multiple industries, including ecommerce, media, finance, gaming, and digital advertisements.