Yospace and Medialaan solution for reducing ad loads in Live Simulcast recognised by the IBC2018 Innovation Awards

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Breakthrough in server-side ad insertion technology sets a new standard for broadcasters planning for millennial viewers

 

 

Yospace and Medialaan have been shortlisted for a prestigious IBC2018 Innovation Award for their work on enhanced live streaming with reduced ad loads.

The technology allows viewers to rewind a live stream then receive shorter ad breaks so that they are able to catch up with the live action.  Ad breaks that have already been seen can be skipped.  The project is one of four shortlisted in the Content Delivery category and one of 200 entries overall.

Medialaan, the largest commercial broadcaster in Belgium, wanted to deliver a modern, dynamic experience for its digital-savvy viewers and engage millennials in a way that was more aligned to many of the ad-free services they had grown up watching.  Yospace’s server-side ad insertion (SSAI) platform with Non-Linear Startover allowed them to do that.

The project was underpinned by the fact that ad spots opened up by Yospace’s platform are fully addressable and, as a result, are more valuable to Medialaan.  Any loss in revenue due to the delivery of fewer ads to the viewer is compensated by the fact that any ads that are viewed generate a higher return.

Research from FreeWheel, an ad-tech partner in the Medialaan project, suggests a 30% reduction in ads would lead to a 5% increase in video watched. As described by nScreenMedia in the USA, reducing ad load does not stack up commercially unless addressability is applied.  The combination of these two factors in the Medialaan project are what make it such an important step forward for the wider industry.

“To get onto this shortlist, you have to demonstrate an innovative but practical and proven solution to a real challenge. This really is the best of the best,” said Michael Lumley, chair of the panel of international editors and consultants which decides the IBC Innovation Awards.  “The IBC Innovation Awards get more competitive year after year, and to make it to the final shortlist is a remarkable achievement. Congratulations to Medialaan and Yospace!”

The awards will be presented on Sunday 16th September at IBC2018, to be held at the RAI in Amsterdam.  Visit Yospace’s stand at 14.G14.

Delivering a world-class World Cup experience

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The World Cup kicks off this week: cue blanket media coverage and scores of football puns. We’ll of course be following the tournament’s progress, but will be keeping an even closer eye on how the world streams – and how broadcasters monetise – live content.

Our server-side DAI technology is being used by multiple broadcasters across four continents to monetise the 2018 World Cup, with every viewer worldwide delivered a one-to-one addressable live stream.

Major live events have driven huge innovation in the live OTT arena, particularly in monetisation and scale.  Yospace has developed an advanced system to pace ad requests, called pre-fetch, which lessens the load on ad servers during those moments when all viewers go to an ad break simultaneously – an innovation which earned Yospace a Sports Technology Award recently with BT Sport.

When it comes to monetisation of live events, scale is of course becoming increasingly important.  In 2016, a record 2.3 million people live-streamed England’s Euro 2016 win over Wales, via the BBC Sport website; more than doubling the channel’s previous audience number. This figure contributed to (another) record-breaking 14.6 million unique visitors who live-streamed Euro content on the site on a single day.  It is widely expected that these figures will be eclipsed during the World Cup.

In fact, we expect live streaming records to be broken this Summer by all host broadcasters in the UK: BBC, ITV and STV.  The latter two monetise their streams using Yospace’s server-side DAI.

On a global scale, a brief glance at Akamai’s figures are further proof of the increasing popularity of live sports streaming amongst fans: from the maximum peak traffic of 1.4Tbs generated by 2012’s Superbowl, which leaps to peak traffic of 6.9Tbp for 2014’s football World Cup.

Earlier this year Akamai set a global streaming record of 10.3 million concurrent viewers for a VIVO Indian Premier League match – another record that could well be broken in the next few weeks.  Yospace expect to break concurrency records for personalised SSAI, too.

While scale will no doubt be the focus of industry headlines, the sub-plot of the story is viewer experience and reliability.  Advertisements must be seamlessly integrated into a live stream to ensure a true TV-quality experience for millions of football fans, and – for broadcasters monetising content and advertisers relying on its success – form a frictionless component of the end-to-end delivery mechanism for live sports streaming.

Football – as with most sports – is unpredictable.  Whilst this delivers edge-of-your-seat viewing experiences to fans, these nervous moments must be the result of the outcome of the match, not the outcome of a poor viewing experience.

We’ll steer clear of predicting the winners and losers amongst this year’s World Cup qualifying teams, but one thing Yospace can reliably predict is the quality of end-user experience for many of the millions of viewers who’ll be going OTT in the coming weeks. And in turn, scoring wins for advertisers and broadcasters alike.

 

Yospace and Medialaan achievement recognised by The Connies

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Staines-upon-Thames, UK – 9thMay 2018
The work of Yospace and Medialaan, Belgium’s leading commercial broadcaster, has been recognised at the 2018 Connies awards ceremony.

The companies were shortlisted in the Contribution to User Experience – TV & Video Category and walked away with the Silver Award for their work on Non-Linear Startover with Dynamic Ad Insertion.

Non-Linear Startover in Medialaan’s TV Everywhere service, Stievie, allows viewers to rewind a live stream then receive shorter ad breaks to help them catch up with the live action.  Ad breaks that have already been seen are made skippable.

The technical achievement in providing a modern, personalised viewing experience like this has set a benchmark for broadcasters around the world.

John Moulding, Editor-in-Chief at Videonet: “Fully monetising online video is one of the great challenges of our age for commercial broadcasters. This solution demonstrates how it can be done while also boosting the viewing experience. Shortening ad breaks in replay mode, so that viewers can catch up with live, is bold as well as innovative.”

The award marks the third year in a row in which Yospace has won at The Connies, following wins with Sky UK in 2017 and Channel 4 in 2016.

The Connies celebrate the latest and best practice in the connected consumer marketplace and are highly respected by media agencies, media owners and technology partners across the globe.  The ceremony was held at London’s Banking Hall on 8thMay.

Read Yospace and Medialaan’s press release marking the service’s launch here.

Yospace and BT Sport win at the 2018 Sports Technology Awards

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Staines-upon-Thames, UK – 4thMay 2018
Yospace and BT Sport have won the award for Most Innovative Sports Partnership at The Yahoo Sports Technology Awards.

The award recognised the companies’ achievement in monetising full seasons of top-flight sport, including Premier League, The Emirates FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and Aviva Premiership Rugby. The project marked a watershed in delivering addressable dynamic ad insertion with the scale and reliability required for broadcasters to thrive in a digital era.

Pete Samara, Director of Innovation and Technology, F1,said: “The partnership tackled one of the commercial and technical challenges of today’s entertainment – how to ensure advertisers get what they need while ensuring the fan/ consumer is still engaged. This is a great solution for live sports.”

The Awards, which were held in London’s iconic Roundhouse, celebrate tech-led innovations across all sports, attracts entries from over 30 countries representing 50 sports, in 15 categories which are reviewed by 32 leading industry-figures spanning players, athletes, sports governance and business visionaries.

Read Yospace and BT Sport’s press release marking the service’s long-term extension here.

 

Inside Secure and Yospace Develop Innovative Approach to Bypass Ad Blockers

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Tracking pixels on device with Inside Secure’s ad protection solution and Yospace’s platform help publishers maximize their revenues

Aix-en-Provence, France, and Surrey, United Kingdom, April 4, 2018 – Inside Secure(Euronext Paris: INSD), at the heart of security solutions for mobile and connected devices, today announces that it has joined with Yospace, a stream management innovator specializing in server-side dynamic ad insertion in live and on-demand streaming, to create a solution that can route tracking pixels on the device through Inside Secure’s ad protection technology, effectively bypassing disruptive ad blockers.

Without a solution to significantly thwart ad blocking, it is estimated that publishers alone will lose $75 billion by 2020, according to research published by Ovum. The innovative approach developed by Inside Secure and Yospace to safely feed back tracking pixels from the device will dramatically improve overall ad protection. Currently, server-side stitching can bypass ad blockers but is still exposed to threats when accompanying client-side ad tracking pixels must be reported back to ad servers. And with only server-side protection, ad inventories cannot be accurately assessed and measured.

Inside Secure’s leading Ad Protect solution provides: ad reporting integrity, preventing ad blockers from tampering with ad-display information reported back to operators; ad display enforcement both for server-side and client-side ad insertion, notifying users that ad-blocking apps must be removed before viewing content or simply by-passing ad blockers silently; and ad blocker AI, continuously updating ad-block detection, future-proofing operators from invading ad-blocker hacks.

These capabilities feed well into the significant advantages of Yospace’s Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) platform: a seamless user experience; one-to-one addressability with real-time measurement; reliability and scale where millions of ad calls are made per ad break; and the ability to plan for unexpected ad breaks that can happen at a critical time, such as a time-out in a sports match.

“There are numerous benefits to performing ad stitching on the server-side, not least the ability to bypass ad blockers, but if client-side tracking is detectable then it poses a risk to ad revenues,” said David Springall, chief technical officer and founder at Yospace.  “The innovative work we’re doing with Inside Secure, one of the leading names in content protection across the globe, will give broadcasters and publishers the peace of mind that ad views are being accurately measured.”

“Partnering with Yospace to help customers successfully monetize their precious assets is an important next step for us in protecting the digital ecosystem from ad blockers,” said Simon Blake-Wilson, chief operating officer of Inside Secure. “We are pleased to have worked with Yospace and their advanced ad insertion platform to provide a client-side solution that will be a game changer in ad protection.”


– Ends –

 

About Inside Secure

Inside Secure (Euronext Paris – INSD) is at the heart of security solutions for mobile and connected devices, providing software, silicon IP, tools, services, and know-how needed to protect customers’ transactions, ID, content, applications, and communications. With its deep security expertise and experience, the company delivers products having advanced and differentiated technical capabilities that span the entire range of security requirement levels to serve the demanding markets of network security, IoT and System-on-Chip security, video content and entertainment, mobile payment and banking, enterprise and telecom. Inside Secure’s technology protects solutions for a broad range of customers including service providers, operators, content distributors, security system integrators, device makers and semiconductor manufacturers. For more information, visit www.insidesecure.com

 

About Yospace

Yospace is the foremost provider of Dynamic Ad Insertion technology in the world today.  Its server-side solution allows live streams and on demand content to be monetised in a way that is true to the user experience of broadcast television, while allowing advertising to be curated to the interests of the individual viewer.

Yospace services major broadcasters and network operators across the globe, including DIRECTV in the US; Sky Media, ITV, BT Sport, Channel 4 and STV in the UK; Canal 13 in Chile; TV4 in Sweden; Seven West Media, The Nine Network and Network Ten in Australia.

 

Yospace and Medialaan shortlisted for The Connies 2018

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Yospace and Medialaan have been shortlisted for “The Connies”, one of the most prestigious awards on the calendar for OTT broadcasting.  This is the third year running that Yospace’s solution has been shortlisted, having won awards for Dynamic Ad Insertion in 2016 with Channel 4 and 2017 with Sky.

Shortlisted in the “Contribution to User Experience – TV & Video” category, the entry recognises innovation in launching “non-linear startover” for live channels on Medialaan’s “Stievie” app, a service which allows ad breaks to be made shorter for viewers in “startover” mode to allow them to catch up with the live broadcast.  Read more about the project here.

Read the full shortlist here:
https://mediatel.co.uk/newsline/2018/03/20/connies-2018-shortlist-announced/

The winners will be announced in a ceremony in London on 8th May.

Akamai and Yospace bowl up dynamic ad insertion for live cricket with SonyLIV

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Bengaluru, India – March 15, 2018 – Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the world’s largest and most trusted cloud delivery platform, today announced that SonyLIV, the premium Video on Demand (VOD) service by Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), providing multi-screen engagement to users on all devices, leveraged Akamai’s Dynamic Ad Insertion capabilities during the India-South Africa cricket series held over January and February 2018.

SonyLIV was the official and exclusive mobile and internet broadcaster for the India Tour of South Africa series and delivered it to millions of users seamlessly across a variety of devices. Digital advertisers gained the most through the course of the series, with Akamai’s Dynamic Ad Insertion delivering targeted advertisements during the live stream. With this partnership SonyLIV achieved a near 100% ad fill rate without compromising on the viewing experience for users.

Pitch Madison’s Advertising Report for 2018[1] projects advertising spend on digital platforms is to reach Rs.11,629 crores in 2018, representing a 19.5% increase over the Rs.9,303 crores spent in 2017. In 2017, the spend on mobile was 78% (Rs.7,256 crores) of the total digital outlay. Video represented 35% (Rs.3,300 crores) of the total spend. This indicates a strong reflection of growing consumer trends in the country. A report[2] by MoMagic Technologies found that 40% of Indians prefer to watch advertisement videos on their mobile phones over other media. Additionally, as per IDC[3], India is the fastest growing smartphone market globally with a total of 124 million units shipped in 2017.

Powered by advertising technology expert Yospace, Akamai’s Dynamic Ad Insertion is designed to help content providers offer greater monetization opportunities through online advertising, while maintaining a TV-like experience for viewers at scale. Server-side ad insertion, in which advertisements are stitched into content from the server-side, is intended to offer numerous benefits to advertisers, content providers and consumers, including:

  • Reliability and limitless scale for linear broadcast-size television audiences
  • Increased device reach with faster time to market
  • Improved viewing experiences and resiliency to ad blocking
  • Enhanced operational visibility through analytics

Sidharth Pisharoti, Regional Vice President, Media, Asia Pacific and Japan, Akamai Technologies said, “SonyLIV has a vast library of original content. However, in India, few entertainment options have the capability to attract mass audiences like cricket. While the challenge on the one hand is to keep audiences engaged with a TV-like experience, the equally hard part is ensuring that advertisers see value in leveraging digital platforms to drive views and consequently, revenue through advertisements. With Akamai’s capabilities, we were able to successfully deliver what audiences and advertisers wanted over the course of the India-South Africa series.”

Uday Sodhi, EVP and Business Head, Digital Business, Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) added “The India Tour of South Africa series was a huge success for SonyLIV and our audiences had a seamless experience throughout. We partnered with Akamai and leveraged their technology and added it to our already existing capabilities. The series was a huge hit with all the brands we associated with.”

With video poised to be the largest driver of internet traffic in the country by 2021[4], opportunities for publishers and advertisers in this space are only set to grow.

###

[1] Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2018
[2] 40% of Indians prefer video ads on mobile phones: Survey
[3] India Smartphone Market Finishes Strong with 124 Million Total Shipment Units in 2017 After a Brief Slowdown in 2016, says IDC
[4] Cisco VNI Forecast Highlights Tool


About Akamai

As the world’s largest and most trusted cloud delivery platform, Akamai makes it easier for its customers to provide the best and most secure digital experiences on any device, anytime, anywhere. Akamai’s massively distributed platform is unparalleled in scale with over 200,000 servers across 130 countries, giving customers superior performance and threat protection. Akamai’s portfolio of web and mobile performance, cloud security, enterprise access, and video delivery solutions are supported by exceptional customer service and 24/7 monitoring. To learn why the top financial institutions, e-commerce leaders, media & entertainment providers, and government organizations trust Akamai please visit www.akamai.comblogs.akamai.com, or @Akamai on Twitter.

 

About SonyLIV

SonyLIV is the first premium Video on demand (VOD) service by Sony Pictures Networks’ (SPN) providing multi-screen engagement for users on all devices. Launched in January 2013, it enables users to discover 20 years of rich content from the network channels of Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd. It also provides a rich array of movies, strong line-up of events across all sports, shows, music, product reviews.

With over 40 million app downloads so far, SonyLIV is the first amongst its competition to provide original exclusive premium content. As a true pioneer in its space, SonyLIV launched India’s first-ever original show exclusively for the online platform earlier this year. With #LoveBytes, it became the country’s first digital video-on- demand (VOD) platform to introduce an innovation of this nature. SonyLIV also launched YOLO – You Only Live Once, the first-ever regional language web-series on an OTT platform in India and LIV FIT the first-ever health and wellness segment on an OTT platform in the country. In October 2016, SonyLIV also introduced LIV Kids as its premium content especially designed for children. The digital platform is a home to over 4000 hours of food content making it the one stop destination for food lovers.

Streaming the biggest football tournament of 2017 – U-17 FIFA World Cup India 2017 and making SonyLIV the most preferred online destination for football fans.

Seven Report 66% YOY Growth for Live Simulcast at FTVA Australia

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Yospace sponsored Mediatel’s inaugural Future TV Advertising Forum in Sydney last month and were very pleased to be associated with such a strong event for broadcasters and advertisers alike.

Our CTO and Founder David Springall co-presented a case study with James Bayes, Digital Sales Director – OTT Video at Seven West Media at the event.  Seven launched Dynamic Ad Insertion for live simulcast with Yospace for the Australian Open in January 2017 and reported a 68% year-on-year increase in streamed minutes for this year’s event.  There were 107.5m total streamed minutes across the fortnight this year, with 10.6m of those on the Men’s Final day alone.

James also reported figures for the Superbowl (viewing minutes up 65% YOY), Olympic Winter Games (57.3m total live streamed minutes) and 2017 Melbourne Cup, which generated a 66% YOY increase in streamed minutes (11m in total), with a 22% increase in the number of users.  These figures demonstrate that significantly more people are streaming live content from one year to the next, and for longer too.

This growth, of course, has a positive impact on the amount of addressable inventory the broadcaster is able to open up.  James summed up the broadcaster’s attitude to online viewing and the requirement to be forward-thinking when it comes to monetisation.

“When does a stream become a river?  It’s irrefutable to think that the primary distribution method that we’re going to be experiencing in the future around video is going to be IP-delivered.  Preparing for that future of IP-delivered video content and the opportunity it creates around addressability is something that we all need to start working on and start investing in.”

He also described why live DAI in OTT streams is so appealing for advertisers.

“Premium, long-form, scripted, brand-safe video content delivered on the biggest and best screens that there are.  That’s an amazing opportunity for brands.”

“One live stream, one moment in time, multiple users all delivered a personalised advertising experience…everybody seeing a different ad based upon their profile data that they shared with us when they registered and signed in, and then coming back and everybody sharing that same linear experience.”

Thanks to James and Seven for co-presenting with us, and thanks to Mediatel for organising another excellent addition to it’s FTVA series.

You can watch the full presentation here (registration required):
https://www.ustream.tv/recorded/113134288

 

Yospace and Seven extend their partnership to a long-term agreement for Dynamic Ad Insertion into live OTT channels to accelerate Addressable TV at Scale

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Sydney, Australia, Staines-upon-Thames, UK – 7th February 2018

Yospace and Seven extend their innovative partnership into a long-term agreement for enabling Dynamic Ad Insertion into live OTT channels at scale.

Yospace’s platform, the world’s foremost server-side DAI technology, allows Seven, the leading commercial broadcaster in Australia, to open up online ad breaks in live OTT streams in a way that is as seamless to the viewer as on broadcast television, with true one-to-one addressability at scale.

The system was used by Seven for the 2017 Australian Open (part of the Summer of 7Tennis season), during which ad breaks were editorially triggered.  There has since been a full integration between Yospace’s platform and the Imagine D Series automation system that drives the broadcaster’s linear TV channels, meaning that DAI can be applied 24/7.

This latest iteration of DAI was launched last year for the Rugby League World Cup in October, for which online streaming and resulting advertising opportunities were much higher than expected.  In further evidence of the proliferation of live streaming audiences, total minutes viewed during this year’s Australian Open, for which DAI was applied across sixteen simultaneous online channels, were double Seven’s expectations.

According to OzTAM, Australia’s official source of television audience measurement, 7Tennis occupied all top ten Video Player Measurement positions during the tournament.  Similar ratings are expected as Seven looks ahead to major sporting events that includes this month’s Winter Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games, which are to be held on Australia’s Gold Coast in April.

Clive Dickens, Chief Digital Officer at Seven West Media, said: “We’re seeing emotionally-invested viewers with a high propensity to stream.  Average user sessions on web during the Australian Open were over 30mins.”

The automation integration also allows Yospace to automatically create VOD assets, making them available to Seven’s viewers for catch-up within minutes of a live programme’s end.  Ad markers in the VOD assets are retained from the live stream, allowing new advertising to be delivered whenever the catch-up content is viewed.

David Springall, Chief Technical Officer and Founder at Yospace, said: “Working together with Seven on major events such as the Australian Open and Rugby League World Cup has allowed us to set new standards for addressable advertising over OTT.  We’re delighted to be extending our partnership and enabling dynamic ad insertion across their channels 24/7.”

Yospace and Seven are presenting together at the Future TV Advertising Forum in Sydney on 22nd February.  Find out more here.