IBC2019: The conversations that drive innovation in SSAI

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By David Springall, Founder & CTO, Yospace


I never cease to be amazed at how quickly the world of ad-tech evolves and this is especially apparent if I look back over Yospace’s experience at the last few NAB and IBC Shows.

What was striking at NAB this year was just how few meetings needed the use of a demo.  This is contrasts greatly to a couple of years ago and I put this down to the fact that server-side ad insertion has become a well understood technology.  In its basic form, anyway.

It is a testament to the maturity of our technology and the industry’s understanding of it that nobody questions what it is and whether it works anymore.  A fast-growing customer list has helped with this, but it’s also in the stability demonstrated by such a large proportion of our customers working with us over the long term.

Much more common than a demo is the use of a pen and pad to draw out customer-specific workflow diagrams, and it’s in these types of conversations that things get really interesting.

Like many modern tech providers, Yospace’s product map is largely defined by our customers’ current and future challenges.  The technology and the teams that develop it are agile enough to work in this way and we always have an innovative project on the go that pushes the boundaries of what SSAI can deliver as a result.

Our project with Medialaan to reduce ad load in a live stream (an IBC Innovation Award winner last year – read the case study here) came out of exactly this type of scenario.

We’ve also been able to lead the way in developing a prefetch system that delivers programmatic to large event audiences, a process that can become incredibly complex as you scale to millions of simultaneous viewers who all go to ad breaks at the same time.

We developed our prefetch technology to address this use-case in response to the requirements of a leading sports broadcaster.  I’m very pleased that today Yospace’s robustness in this area is recognised by so many (you can read more on prefetch in our Go Live white paper).

Achieving scale was the biggest topic we’re being asked about at the moment and I expect lots of related discussions at IBC.  Others that are cropping up a lot include:

  • Support for MPEG-DASH and CMAF (we have a number of customers using these methods now)
  • Total Video, or the idea of using consistent advertising methods and measurement tools across all content (live and VoD)
  • Maximising the revenue opportunity from programmatic demand by optimising for price and maintaining creative separation
  • Data security and the ability of SSAI to provide a middleware layer between the client and the ad server – especially important with GDPR in mind

These are areas that I anticipate will be high on people’s agendas at the IBC Show.  We’ll have a stand in Hall 14 and it will be great to catch up.

See you in September.

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