NAB 2019: Viewer Experience

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Three days down and less than one to go.  The voice is hoarse and the legs are tired but it’s been great to catch up with so many customers, prospects, partners and friends.  There’s a real change in the depth of detail of our conversations compared to previous years and it’s reassuring to hear people talk so highly of Yospace for server-side ad insertion, especially in a field where there is increasing competition.

I was very pleased to hear someone say today: “yes they do SSAI but they’re no Yospace.”  

For the last day we’re focussing our attention on some of the customer projects that have helped us earn our strong reputation…

Reducing ad load

The rise of OTT has seen many broadcasters urgently need to monetise online, and the challenge of retaining an audience has meant that a number of broadcasters have moved to reduce advertising with longer term benefits in mind. This is exactly what our customer Medialaan did on its live streams. The innovative European broadcaster allowed viewers on its Stievie service were able to rewind a live stream then receive shorter ad breaks to allow them to catch up with the live programming sooner.

The result was more engaged viewers, longer viewing sessions, and ultimately more ad breaks viewed.  Read about this more in our Medialaan case study.

Enhanced player support

The challenge of scaling live sports and their unpredictability demands any advertising system employed by a broadcaster to be both robust and versatile. Typically up to 90% of viewers tune into a football game within five minutes of kick-off, and it’s in situations like this that our pre-fetch system is crucial (read more about this in our Day One blog).

In addition to this, our SSAI enabled the broadcaster to monetise streams within an enhanced player and deliver on its ambitions to put the viewer front and centre of the action. Read more here.

Seven case study

Australian broadcaster Seven live streamed all 16 courts of the Australian Open.  Thanks to Yospace’s ability to feed back live telemetry data, Seven was able to prioritise the advertising based on the state of play of each court at any one time.

Find out more about this project in our Seven case study.

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NAB 2019: Server-Side Ad Insertion for VoD

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Day one, tick.  The show got off to a great start and we’ve had some really good discussions on scaling SSAI and maximising the potential of programmatic for live streams.  It’s a far cry from just a few years ago when most meetings would start with: “so what is server-side ad insertion??”

It’s pleasing now that most people we meet already know the answer to this question and are keen to get into the details of the technology.  We’re finding that discussions around consistency of viewer experience, measurement and data security are becoming more and more popular.

Harnessing the power of SSAI for VoD is our focus for day two at NAB.  Over the past year, we’ve seen a considerable increase in operators and MVPDs implementing SSAI for VoD to deliver viewing experience consistency throughout their device platforms.

Why is there a move towards Server-Side Ad Insertion for VoD?

In this article for TV Technology, Yospace’s Founder & CTO David Springall discusses why SSAI technology, which has been a staple of live monetisation for a number of years, is also proving to be a popular way of monetising VoD due to factors such as viewer experience, ease of maintenance and data security.

Data security is an especially important topic.  As operators and MVPDs increasingly rely on their first-party data to maximize ad revenues, having an effective middleware layer (SSAI) between the client and the ad server is crucial in protecting user data and preventing them from being re-targeted.

Total Video for TV4 pays dividends

Swedish innovator TV4 is an example of a broadcaster that’s making the most of a joined up live and VoD monetization strategy.  The broadcaster has recently agreed an extension with us to provide server-side ad insertion (SSAI) across its TV Everywhere service, TV4Play.

Mathias Berg, COO at TV4 Group said: “For the last couple of years TV4 has relentlessly been driving our business from a traditional linear ad model to a truly platform agnostic experience for both users and advertisers.  Part of this journey has been to enable us to capture and monetise on our digital inventory in all potential channels using all data available. As a result of a successful implementation of this strategy TV4 delivered its best financial result in terms of turnover and profitability in the history of the company in 2018.”

As a leader in the broadcast space that’s continued to reinvent itself, TV4 was one of the first broadcasters that recognised the value in using SSAI to monetize VoD.  Read this blog post to learn more about the company’s digital journey with SSAI.

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NAB 2019: Scaling programmatic for live events

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By Paul Davies, Marketing & Communications at Yospace

Welcome to Las Vegas.  Despite being home to a hundred resorts and 150,000 hotel rooms, it feels like I know everyone here during NAB week – whether it’s bumping into a customer in the cab queue or taking a table next to a tech partner – the broadcast engineering industry seems to take over the city during the event.

Our focus for the first day of NAB is scaling programmatic for major live events.  In order to maximise ad revenues, programmatic systems need adequate time to respond in a major live event set up, and this need is especially apparent in a low latency environment.

Programmatic vs. Low Latency

The ability to scale live SSAI and to plan for future scale, in an environment where all viewers see an ad break at the same time, is really important but is made more complex as there are two opposing forces at play:

  1. The need to allow programmatic platforms the time they need to respond to fully realise the value of the ad inventory
  2. Low latency support, which shortens the time available to the programmatic ecosystem

To maximise the revenue opportunity, it’s necessary to make ad decisioning calls in an orderly fashion way ahead of the actual break taking place.  Our prefetch system allows ad calls to be made early, allowing the time needed to return a full pod of ads for each viewer, and this is a crucial element of our offering that we’ve been sharing with visitors to our booth at the show.

You can read more in this blog post.

For a more in-depth explanation read our white paper.

Prebidding

Once you have prefetch in place you can plan for advanced programmatic; the next opportunity to explore is prebidding.  Prebidding replicates the benefits of web header bidding for video.  By calling all supply-side platforms simultaneously, we can inform the ad server of the responses to help it make an informed decision on which ads to place and ensure the highest available CPM can be secured.

Read more in this blog post.

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Partnering with a pioneer – a history of innovation with TV4

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By Paul Davies, Marketing & Communications at Yospace

Swedish broadcaster TV4 has long been a leader in the broadcast space, from going digital in the noughties and its early adoption of server-side ad insertion (SSAI) technology, to forming key partnerships with broadcasters and operators to grow its audience and boost ad revenue.

TV4’s innovative approach is paying off, too.  In the press release that announced the renewal of its contract with Yospace, the company’s COO Mathias Berg revealed that the company achieved its highest ever revenue in 2018.  He credited the ability to provide a platform-agnostic experience for advertisers across all video as a key factor, an experience that is enabled by SSAI.

TV4’s record earnings, at SEK 1,382 million (€112,537,903), were up 35.2% on 2017, making it one of the most successful broadcasters on the continent.

How did the broadcaster achieve these heights?  And how did it use SSAI to carve out its route to a profitable future – for TV4, for advertisers, and for its audience?

Digital ad stitching

TV4’s forward-thinking approach was apparent when it became the first broadcaster in Sweden to implement SSAI, notably adopting the technology for both live and on demand content to deliver a  consistent TV quality viewing experience, with one to one addressability and ad measurement.

SSAI has allowed TV4 to unlock new revenue opportunities by allowing for consistent monetisation of all its content across all connected devices, and for viewer data to be harnessed to inform and deliver addressable advertising.  This is a sector which shows no signs of slowing, with addressable TV ad spend forecast to exceed $3 billion by the close of this year.

Reinvention and investment

TV4’s CEO Casten Almqvist recognised back in 2012 that in order to outstrip the competition in Sweden’s TV market, the network must “continue to reinvent” itself, investing in its digital service TV4Play, while continuing to focus on “breadth, diversity and quality” and producing “engaging TV for the whole country”.

This prompted TV4 to turn to SSAI soon after, which in turn paved the way for another innovative move last year.  A first in Sweden, TV4 collaborated with Telia, Discovery Networks and Modern Times Group (MTG) in March 2018 to launch a targeted advertising initiative on Telia’s Play service.  This delivers tailored advertising based on an individual’s location, the channel they’re watching, the kind of screen and the type of device they’re using to stream content.

Later the same year, TV4’s adoption of SSAI allowed it to secure distribution deals with other major distributors including Com Hem.

TV4 is clearly a pioneer, with a data-driven, viewer-first approach to growing its business and monetising content for the long-term, an approach that has been enabled by SSAI.  In fact, TV4 has precisely pinpointed its adoption of SSAI for helping it achieve that aforementioned record 2018, with Mathias Berg, COO at TV4 Group commenting that, “as a result of a successful implementation of this strategy TV4 delivered its best financial result in terms of turnover and profitability in the history of the company.”

And with the broadcaster continuing to innovate, then long may this continue.

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Yospace at NAB: the latest developments in server-side ad insertion

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By Paul Davies, Marketing & Communications at Yospace

The 2019 NAB Show is fast approaching and we at Yospace are looking forward to exhibiting at the event for a seventh time.  Here’s a quick overview of what we’ll be talking about and our activity in and around the show.

The focus of our show will be on two main topics: best practice for implementing server-side ad insertion (SSAI), and realising the ad revenue opportunities once SSAI is in place.

There will be four demo pods on the booth, two of which will be dedicated to best practice in implementing SSAI for live and VoD.

The other two will showcase some of the possibilities of what you can achieve once you have the right SSAI foundation in place.  

These will consist of a shared demo with programmatic specialist SpotX that looks at the concept of prebidding to achieve maximum ad value, and another, with Capella Systems, that will focus on how to scale up and monetise multiple channels during major live events.

Here’s what else will be happening during the show:

  • Yospace Founder and CTO David Springall will be speaking live to Akamai TV: Tuesday, 10.00am
  • David will also be speaking on the Bitmovin booth, discussing our joint support for HLS+fMP4 and integration with the Bitmovin player: Wednesday, 3.30pm
  • Unified Streaming Platform will be showcasing Yospace’s SSAI for MPEG-DASH on their booth

I’ll be sharing insights on all of these topics throughout the show on our LinkedIn and Twitter feeds.  And you can check back here for a daily update post at the end of each day.

See you at NAB!

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Yospace to showcase premium server-side ad insertion at NAB 2019

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The leading SSAI provider will showcase the latest developments in monetizing live and VoD content, with new features to optimise yield from programmatic demand, low latency live streaming, MPEG-DASH, CMAF and data security.

Staines-upon-Thames, UK, 19th March 2019 – Yospace will be demonstrating its premium server-side ad insertion (SSAI) capabilities at this year’s NAB show.

At the show, Yospace will be showcasing how to scale programmatic with low latency for major live events; implement a joined-up monetization strategy across live and VoD; monetize DRM-protected content using MPEG-DASH or HLS with CMAF; protect first-party viewer data from exposure to third parties.

  • Scaling programmatic for major live events
    Programmatic systems need adequate time to respond in a major live event scenario.  This need is especially apparent in a low latency environment.  Yospace’s innovative prefetch system allows ad calls to be made early, allowing the time needed to return a full pod of ads for each viewer.
  • Prebidding
    Yospace’s latest feature is prebidding which replicates the benefits of web header bidding for video.  By calling all supply-side platforms (SSPs) simultaneously, the highest available CPM can be secured for each ad spot.  Prebidding is built upon Yospace’s prefetching capabilities which means its revenue maximisation benefits can be realised at broadcast scale.
  • Server-Side Ad Insertion for VoD
    Yospace has seen a considerable increase over the past year in operators and MVPDs implementing SSAI for VoD ito deliver viewing experience consistency throughout their device platforms.  Yospace will be explaining how these customers have realised the advantage provided by the decoupling of the ad decisioning ecoystem from the device platforms.
  • MPEG-DASH and HLS with CMAF
    Effective digital rights management (DRM) is crucial to any rights-holders of sought-after sports content and this has driven interest in SSAI for MPEG-DASH.  Yospace was the first SSAI provider to announce support for MPEG-DASH and now boasts several live examples.  Yospace also supports HLS delivery with CMAF which is becoming a preferred option for broadcasters who value the simplicity of the HLS protocol.
  • Data Security
    SSAI provides a middleware layer between the broadcaster’s app and the advertising ecosystem.  The effect of this is significant because it prevents an ad server from having direct access to the app and its user, preventing the risk of user information being exposed and re-targeted by a third party at a lower price.

 
Yospace will be exhibiting on booth SU3414.  To make an appointment with the team, please visit: www.yospace.com/nab

Yospace to showcase the world’s most advanced server-side ad insertion technology at NAB Show

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Advanced dynamic ad insertion technology setting the standard for OTT monetization, combining quality of linear with intelligence of digital.

Staines-upon-Thames, UK – 22nd March 2017 – Yospace will be demonstrating the capabilities of its server-side ad insertion platform at NAB 2018, a multi-award-winning solution that is widely regarded as the most advanced in the world.

Yospace’s platform, which is fast becoming the de facto standard server-side monetization solution for OTT streaming, opens up advertising inventory, with one-to-one addressability, against the biggest and most challenging sporting events on the planet.

Recent events covered include the 2018 Winter Games, Super Bowl LII, English Premier League and UEFA Champions League soccer. This summer the technology will be used to monetize the Commonwealth Games and FIFA World Cup.

The system has been tried and tested at scale. In February, its peak concurrent audience was recorded at well over 1.5 million – all with personalization enabled.  Over 750 million ad spots were opened up across the month with an average view-through rate of 96%.

Yospace’s technology overcomes the challenges presented by traditional signalling and playout systems being applied to online channels, as well as those inherent to live sports broadcast, integrating seamlessly into the end-to-end delivery workflow for live OTT streaming.

yospaceCDS acts as middleware between a broadcaster’s OTT workflow and the increasingly diverse array of target devices, slotting into potentially fragmented ad-tech ecosystems and simplifying cross-platform deployment, while ensuring an uninterrupted TV-quality experience, from sports play through commercial breaks.

The unpredictable nature of advertising in sports events can result in fluid timings (e.g. after a touchdown or time-out) or unplanned high-value ad breaks (e.g. during extra time in the FIFA World Cup).  Yospace allows broadcasters to capitalize on this inventory, which often delivers the most value while being the hardest to access.

Yospace’s system delivers advanced advertising at scale while ensuring user experience always comes first, helping to safeguard broadcasters’ reputations and audience reach. It also supports the latest enhanced viewing features such as instant replay and live rewind for individual streams.

Its pioneering ‘pre-fetch’ system intelligently prepares for ad breaks ahead of time, giving third-party ad servers a longer window in which to respond, and guaranteeing a reliable and scalable ad experience.

Yospace was the first company in the world to demonstrate server-side DAI for live streaming, in 2011, and today our customers include a major tier 1 Operator in the US; Sky, ITV, BT Sport, Channel 4, TV4, TV3, TG4, Sky Deutschland and Medialaan in Europe; Seven West Media and Network Ten in Australia; and SonyLIV in India in partnership with Akamai.

“With the increasing threat from the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon broadcasters need to maximize the value of the unique position they hold as 100% brand safe premium content owners,” said Tim Sewell, CEO, Yospace. “Simulcast viewing for live sports offers a significant monetization opportunity for broadcasters and advertisers alike, but it’s important to acknowledge the difficulties in accessing some of the most valuable inventory, at scale.”

“Yospace is fast being recognized as the global expert in cross platform DAI for live simulcast as our technology offers the most effective means of delivering a true TV experience to the widest possible audience, while also unlocking additional ad revenue.”

Yospace will showcase its server-side DAI at NAB, 7-12 April on booth SU3414.  Book an appointment at www.yospace.com/nab18.