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.

 

Award wins celebrate latest innovations in SSAI

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Yospace enjoyed a great start to the industry’s awards season last month, winning at both the Sports Technology Awards and The Connies, with BT Sport and Medialaan respectively.

The STA was awarded for monetising a full season of top-flight sport with server-side dynamic ad insertion.  The significance of that achievement cannot be understated.  Viewers are moving online and a reliable and scalable monetisation system is central to any broadcasters’ long-term aspirations.

Achieving scale with major live events can be particularly challenging, especially when applying any advanced level of addressability.  Yospace‘s platform provides true personalisation – that is, ad calls and measurement for each user session.  In a live stream, unlike VoD, all viewers go to an ad break simultaneously so catering for millions of ad calls is incredibly important.

Yospace developed innovative new approaches to pacing ad requests and managing peak traffic, which allows concurrent audiences to grow into the millions – all receiving DAI-enabled streams, all personalised.

The system was also successfully integrated into BT Sport’s enhanced player provided by Deltatre which allowed viewers to scrub back to important moments in a match without affecting the ability of the broadcaster to monetise.  This was only possible due to the fact that each viewer received their own personalised stream.

This last point brings me onto the Medialaan project, for which dynamic ad insertion was one part of a full stream management system that Yospace provided (not “just” SSAI).  Each viewer watching a live stream was able to scrub back to an earlier point in the channel’s timeline, switching seamlessly from live to catch-up, or “startover”, as we call it.

A viewer in startover mode is served with shorter ad breaks so they can catch up with the live channel.  And if they’re delivered an ad break that they’ve already seen then they’re free to skip it – thus reducing ad load in order to improve viewer experience.  In doing this, Medialaan were specifically catering for the next generation of viewer.

I’m very pleased that Medialaan’s forward-thinking approach has been recognised with an award. It also offered Yospace the perfect platform to demonstrate what our one-to-one DAI technology can do.

Combined with the BT Sport award, Yospace is able to show off its ability to support the three central pillars of 21stcentury broadcasting:

Viewer experience. Monetisation.  Scale.

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 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.

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.

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