Why Yospace’s acquisition by RTL Group is a huge endorsement of its SSAI

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On 8th January RTL Group announced it was acquiring 100% of Yospace Technologies Ltd. The announcement represents a huge endorsement of Yospace, our people and the server-side ad insertion technology we have developed.

Having launched VoD server-side ad insertion in 2011, Yospace was first to market with server-side ad insertion (SSAI) for live streaming at the start of 2012, showcasing it in partnership with ITV at the 2012 IBC Innovation Awards.  Since that time the team has focused exclusively on development and innovation in the SSAI space. This has been with a focus on solving broadcaster challenges while maintaining a TV-like viewer experience. Today we are the world’s leading provider of one-to-one addressable SSAI and stream management.

This is an achievement we are hugely proud of.  We are also immensely proud of building a profitable market-leading business organically, while maintaining the independence required to have such a laser-sharp focus on the long-term development of our product.  As such we were fortunate to be in a position where we could carefully consider an acquisition that best suited the future ambitions of the team, primary of which is to continue to innovate with our loyal existing broadcast customer base while accelerating global adoption of our capabilities.

The key principles of our technology road map since 2011 have been based on understanding the close integrations with broadcast playout systems and the end-to-end streaming workflows needed to deliver a true broadcast experience, and a willingness to adapt to the evolving and often complex needs of broadcasters.  Challenges such as achieving one-to-one addressability at true broadcast scale, while delivering real-time metrics reliably and supporting enhanced viewer experiences have all been addressed.

As the market continues to mature and advertiser expectations increase, the ability to deliver a truly optimised standards-based programmatic SSAI solution will become increasingly critical.  To this end, the opportunity to work more closely with SpotX, who we’ve been a partner with for a number of years, will be of huge benefit to Yospace and to the wider industry, as the learnings we will gain will optimise integration with the entire programmatic and SSAI ecosystem.

As SpotX remains committed to all its existing SSAI partnerships, Yospace remains ad server and ad-tech agnostic.  Our independent stance and freedom to work with providers across the broadcast and advertising ecosystems are crucial, and this is recognised by SpotX and the RTL Group.

Our aim, as it has always been, is to provide the world’s leading server-side ad insertion platform and establish our technology as the de facto standard for the industry.  We will continue to serve all of our existing customers, without whom we would not have achieved the market position we are so proud of today, and to whom we remain fully committed.  This focus will in turn allow us to accelerate further the expansion of our global customer base.

Ultimately our decision to join RTL Group was an easy one.  The Group has bought into our strategy and is fully committed to supporting both our product roadmap and our expansion plans.  Whether you are an existing customer or a customer-to-be, we’re looking forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Tim Sewell
CEO, Yospace

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Yospace provides IBC Award-winning solution for Medialaan

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Addressable advertising reduces ad loads and improves user experience

Amsterdam, Netherlands – 20thSeptember 2018
Belgian TV Everywhere provider Medialaan took the highly coveted IBC2018 Innovation Award for Content Distribution for its remarkable advertising management system, developed using Yospace technology. Viewers of Medialaan’s Stievie TV Everywhere service benefit from tailored advertising, allowing them to catch up on live television while only seeing commercials that are fresh and relevant.


The picture shows (left to right) Jim Greene from the network platforms group at Intel (sponsors of the awards ceremony) who presented the award, with Pieter Coucke and Petra Liesmons from Medialaan and David Springall from Yospace.

“Today’s viewers are rapidly moving online and growing used to video with lighter ad load,” said Tim Sewell of Yospace. “Medialaan took the bold step to prioritise the OTT user experience over short-term advertising revenue potential. Long-term, its advertising will command a premium because it is targeted to the individual.”

Viewers watching live channels on Stievie can rewind the live stream. What makes this solution unique is that, in startover mode, commercial breaks are made shorter by tailoring the spots to the individual, and breaks that have already been seen are made skippable, so the viewer can catch up with the live action.

While the amusing video describing the system to the audience at the IBC Awards Ceremony showed an infinite number of monkeys making the advertising selections for each viewer, the solution in fact depends upon the Yospace server-side ad insertion platform (SSAI). The result is a fully personalised, end-to-end stream management.


“Medialaan is absolutely delighted to win an IBC Innovation Award, surely the most prestigious prize in broadcast engineering,” said Peter Coucke, solution architect at Medialaan. “I would like to thank Yospace for developing a truly ground-breaking, viewer-first solution for live monetisation, and IBC recognising what is a very forward-thinking project.”

Michael Lumley, chair of the international panel of judges which selected Medialaan as one of just nine finalists across three categories, added “This year’s IBC Innovation Awards shortlist is a real global snapshot of the cutting edge of our industry, with all the hot topics of the moment represented, and entries from practically every corner of the globe. To make it to the final – and to win at IBC – is a tremendous achievement. Congratulations!”

Akamai, SpotX and Yospace team up to Go Live with addressable advertising at scale

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NEW YORK and LONDON— September 20, 2018 — Akamai, SpotX and Yospace have set out the key principles of monetizing major live events over OTT in a white paper entitled “Go Live: Addressable, Ad-Supported, Live Video At Scale,” which was made available at the IBC Show in Amsterdam this month.

Drawing from the technology companies’ wealth of combined experience in delivering and monetizing the largest live audiences in the world, the paper focuses on the three key pillars of major event television – monetization, scale and viewer experience – and outlines the technical complexities involved in delivering all three in an environment where viewing records are being broken on a regular basis while the demand for data-enriched advertising is increasing.

Prefetch is a central theme of the Go Live whitepaper. Yospace, the world’s foremost provider of server-side ad insertion (SSAI) technology, operates closely with the broadcast headend, allowing it to detect an upcoming ad break before it happens. Ad calls are made early to an ad server, such as SpotX, who then have more time to instruct the programmatic marketplace and generate the highest possible CPM and fill-rate for the rights-holder.

“Delivering addressable advertising at scale is the next big challenge for broadcasters and rights-holders,” said Tim Sewell, CEO at Yospace.  “During a major live event millions of viewers around the globe can go to an ad break at the same time, placing huge demand on the advertising ecosystem.  This white paper explains how the leaders in SSAI, video advertising and content delivery have addressed that.”

Monetization at such scale will only work if the right delivery mechanisms are in place. Akamai, a global leading Content Delivery Network (CDN), reliably handles peaks in audience demand to deliver video and ad content at scale, while providing a seamless, broadcast-quality viewing experience.

“Content providers understand the potential of OTT as more audiences move to consume content online,” states Campbell Foster, VP of Product Marketing at Akamai. “The challenge for live and linear content is delivering the seamless, high-quality experiences viewers are accustomed to from TV, while effectively monetizing content through one-to-one addressability at scale. This whitepaper focuses on how manage peak demand to optimize monetization of live content at scale.”

The white paper also looks at how SSAI technology and the wider ad ecosystem is adapting to the requirements of a maturing OTT world. Support for low latency streaming, at scale, and for data security mechanisms, both safeguarding the privacy of the viewer and protecting the value of the rights-holders audience, are addressed.

“Live inventory is a growing sector of our business and as audiences continue to consume content across multiple platforms like OTT, monetizing live video becomes even more important,” said Mike Shehan, co-founder and CEO at SpotX. “We believe that the media industry needs to understand the technology behind what can truly take addressable, ad-support live video to scale, and this white paper outlines all the relevant information.”

Download the white paper here

 

About Akamai                                              

Akamai secures and delivers digital experiences for the world’s largest companies. Akamai’s intelligent edge platform surrounds everything, from the enterprise to the cloud, so customers and their businesses can be fast, smart, and secure. Top brands globally rely on Akamai to help them realize competitive advantage through agile solutions that extend the power of their multi-cloud architectures. Akamai keeps decisions, apps and experiences closer to users than anyone — and attacks and threats far away. Akamai’s portfolio of edge security, web and mobile performance, enterprise access and video delivery solutions is supported by unmatched customer service, analytics and 24/7/365 monitoring. Learn more at www.akamai.com.  

About Yospace

Yospace is the world’s leading provider of server-side ad insertion (SSAI) technology for OTT.  With proven scale, its platform enables one-to-one addressability while delivering a TV-like viewer experience. 

In partnership with the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, ITV, Yospace was the first company to successfully demonstrate SSAI in a live broadcast stream, in 2012 – an achievement that was recognised by the IBC Innovation Awards.  Today, the multi-award-winning platform services major broadcasters across the globe and is widely recognised as both the most innovative and most reliable in scaling to monetise major event traffic.

Customers include: AT&T Entertainment Group in North America; Sky Media, ITV, BT Sport, Channel 4, Sky Deutschland, TV4, Telia and Medialaan in Europe; SonyLIV, Seven West Media, Network Ten in APAC.  In 2017, Akamai announced that their dynamic ad insertion capabilities would be exclusively powered by the Yospace platform.

www.yospace.com

About SpotX

SpotXis the leading global video advertising platform that enables media owners and publishers to monetise premium content across desktop, mobile and connected TV devices. As a modern ad server with programmatic infrastructure, data enablement, and monetisation solutions for OTT, outstream, and addressable TV, SpotX gives media owners and publishers the control, transparency, and actionable insights needed to understand buyer behaviour, manage access and pricing, and maximise revenue. SpotX also provides advertisers with a direct pipeline to premium supply and innovative solutions for optimising media efficiency, reach, and audience targeting. With best-in-class technology purpose-built for video, SpotX’s holistic, brand-safe solution is employed by some of the largest media owners and publishers in the world including fuboTV, Microsoft Casual Games, Newsy, Samba TV, Sling TV, Vudu and partners with a variety of different companies within the digital video ecosystem including comScore, DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science, JW Player, MediaMath, MOAT, Nielsen, Oracle, and more.

Headquartered in Denver, SpotX has nearly 600 employees in 24 offices worldwide including Amsterdam, Hamburg, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, and Tokyo. In October 2017, RTL Group completed its 100% acquisition of SpotX which is currently combining its business with smartclip, a sister company. Learn more atwww.spotx.tvand follow @SpotX on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Yospace to demonstrate the world’s most scalable and trusted server-side ad insertion platform at IBC

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The global leader in SSAI achieved unprecedented scale for one-to-one addressable streams during the World Cup, recording a peak of over 1.5 million simultaneous viewers.

Staines-upon-Thames, UK – 30th August 2018
Yospace is to showcase its award-winning server-side ad insertion system at IBC (stand 14.G14).  The technology, also known as dynamic ad insertion or SSAI, has undergone a transformation in the last couple of years as audiences embracing OTT have been met by advertisers keen to exploit the opportunities of digital.

This summer’s World Cup tested the technology in the most demanding setting: major live event television.  Many streaming records were broken during the tournament, with the world’s largest CDN, Akamai, reporting that they delivered more video data in the 10 days of the group stage than during the entire 2014 tournament.  In keeping with overall trends, Yospace saw huge growth among SSAImonetised streams too.

Scottish broadcaster STV launched server-side ad insertion for the 2014 World Cup, the first in Europe to do so. They saw a five-fold increase in peak concurrent, or simultaneous, viewers watching personalised SSAI-enabled streams during the 2018 tournament, with viewers this year also able to enjoy all the action in HD.  Average viewing time increased, too, pointing to an audience that was more engaged with the content they were watching.  This resulted in two extra ad spots being opened up per viewer session.

Live events make the most engaging television because all viewers share the same experience. Dynamic ad placement opportunities are more valuable to the rights-holder as a result, but they are also more challenging to optimise in the programmatic ad marketplace because ad breaks occur for all viewers at the same time.

Peak concurrency during the tournament was recorded at over 1.5 million, which occurred during the dramatic penalty shoot-out between England and Colombia. Rather than delivering one ad for all, Yospace triggered many millions of ad requests for an ad break that was watched simultaneously by all viewers around the world.

Yospace is able to do this because it manages each viewer session.  When an ad break is detected a call is made out to an ad server on behalf of each user.  The ad server manages which ads are to be delivered to which viewer and will often make further calls out to the wider ad marketplace, where live auctions drive the highest possible CPM rate for the rights-holder.

All of the responses have to be managed within the strict timeframes of live broadcasting in order to maintain a TV-like viewer experience.  Yospace’s advanced technology succeeds where others don’t because it is able to make ad calls in advance of an ad break happening, allowing the ad server and wider programmatic marketplace the time they need to respond.  Given sufficient time, fill-rates are higher and the true value of each ad placement opportunity is realised.

The system also caters for the unexpected moments in major live events, which are often the most valuable but hardest to access.  The biggest surge in SSAI traffic for Yospace during the World Cup was in the knock-out game between Croatia and Denmark, when audiences across the globe doubled during the period from the end of extra-time to the start of a sudden-death penalty shoot-out – a window of just a few minutes.  The ad break just before penalties began suddenly became highly valuable and was successfully monetised by Yospace’s platform.

David Springall, CTO and Founder of Yospace: “Our technology has been, and continues to be, developed in tandem with the evolution of OTT streaming and advertising to the point that technical advancements from Yospace today are advancements for SSAI technology as a whole.”

Tim Sewell, CEO of Yospace: “Our SSAI platform was first to market in 2010 and today we stand as the only dedicated vendor with a proven track record for delivering at scale.  The system has been architected to address the unique challenges the programmatic marketplace introduces to live streaming, and our continued focus on SSAI means we remain out in front when it comes to the development of the technology, as demonstrated by our continued adoption and loyal global customer base. Our World Cup figures show that our global reach is second to none.”

More from Yospace at IBC:

IBC Innovation Awards with Medialaan:Yospace is a finalist at the highly-respected IBC Innovation Awards for its work on reducing ad loads in live OTT streams for the leading Belgian broadcaster.

Programmatic Demo:Working with SpotX, Yospace are demonstrating live SSAI with one-to-one addressability and programmatic trading.

Turnkey Scaling:Yospace is demonstrating its turnkey solution for scaling up channels to support major events.  Editors are able to track viewing figures across live streams in order to place advertising in the most valuable slots.

Visit Yospace at IBC: 14.G14
Schedule a demo: www.yospace.com/ibc18

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.

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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.

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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.