How to monetise World Cup football

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By Paul Davies, Marketing & Communications, Yospace

This month sees the kick-off of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in what promises to be the highest-profile edition of the tournament yet.  It will also see the finals of the inaugural UEFA Nations League, so we’re set for an eventful summer of high profile football that will garner significant monetisation opportunities for rights-holders worldwide.

I’ve picked three matches from the 2018 FIFA World Cup to illustrate some of the challenges to consider when looking to monetise major tournament football using server-side ad insertion (SSAI).  These examples highlight the need to implement the most reliable ad-tech and the most dynamic, too, in order to maximise the significant addressable revenue opportunities.

South Korea 2-0 Germany

The German team was the holder of the trophy going into the tournament and as such was among the most streamed during the World Cup based on data from Akamai, driving an average of 18.18Tbps average peak traffic during its matches.  Yet the team’s fate took an unexpected turn in the group stages, when the four-time champions were unexpectedly knocked out.

An earlier loss to Mexico suddenly heaped pressure on the German team for their final group match against South Korea match: 90 minutes which was previously expected to be insignificant, ended up drawing huge global interest.  In fact, this match – plus Mexico v Sweden, which took place at the same time – drove Akamai’s biggest traffic of the entire tournament.

This presented an opportunity for advertisers that would not have been planned before the tournament began, with a great many more viewers tuned in, engaged, and on the edge of their seats throughout.  Pressure wouldn’t just have been on Germany, but on broadcasters’ ad servers (ADS) which would have had to cope with an unpredicted swell in traffic.

Many ADS’s will have slowed at this point.  Adopting SSAI architecture with prefetch is the only way of monetising a broadcast-grade user experience at scale.

Croatia 1-1 Denmark

A match top-and-tailed with drama, this quarter-final game highlighted the need for an SSAI platform that is not only capable of delivering at scale, but is capable of doing so rapidly, and with very little fore-warning.

Two early goals in the match’s opening were followed by a slow 120 minutes, during which time many neutral viewers switched off due to the lack of action. Then, penalties – a situation that fans with a vested interest dread but a neutral supporter loves.  Whichever side you’re on, a penalty shoot-out is highly engaging for all viewers. Rights-holders had reason to cheer, too, with an unscheduled and lucrative ad break falling just before the most viewed moment of the match.

Unlike VoD, highly valuable ad breaks occur at exactly the same time for millions of viewers, requiring simultaneous ad calls to the ADS within a matter of seconds.  An SSAI platform must therefore support fluctuations in demand, and rapid, unpredictable variations in the number of concurrent streamers.

Brazil 1-2 Belgium

This quarter-final match between two of the tournament’s favourites featured global superstars including Neymar for Brazil and de Bruyne and Hazard for Belgium.  At half time the Belgians were leading 2-0, which prompted a greater surge in interest at the prospect of a goal-laden second half as the Brazilians mounted their fight back.

And the popularity of streaming wasn’t restricted to football’s traditional heartlands; Brazil vs Belgium was the most streamed event ever for America’s Fox Sports.

This was also a testing point for ad technology, with SSAI platforms tasked with the complex feat of making millions of simultaneous ad calls across the world, all with addressability enabled.  The ad break which fell just before play resumed in the second half may well have been the most valuable across the entire tournament, so advertisers and broadcasters had a lot to gain – and a lot to lose if their ad tech wasn’t able to respond as planned.

In this type of scenario a robust pre-fetch system is critical.  Yospace’s SSAI platform integrates with the broadcast automation systems – which hold all the information on programme and ad break timings – in order to look ahead to determine the length of the next ad break.  This allows it to pace calls to the ad server (ADS) over a prolonged period of time, which a) prevents the ADS being overloaded with simultaneous requests, and b) ensures the highest fill rates by allowing the ADS adequate time to respond.

With the right technology in place, broadcasters can realise the full value of live streaming while delivering consistent quality for the viewer, making sure that everyone is a winner.

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Yospace and Seven extend partnership for server-side ad insertion into live OTT

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Successful monetisation of major events portfolio and scalable programmatic result in deal renewal with Australian TV network

Staines-upon-Thames, UK – 30th May 2019 – Yospace, the pioneering provider of server-side ad insertion (SSAI) technology, has today announced the extension of its partnership with Seven, Australia’s leading commercial TV network, enabling SSAI into live OTT channels.

The announcement marks the third year of apartnershipinwhich Yospace’s SSAI technology has been leveraged to create new, addressable ad spots during some of Seven’s largestlive events, including the Winter Olympics, Rugby League World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Melbourne Cup, an event that pulls the highest concurrent streaming audiences in Australia.

Yospace’s SSAI platform, used by leading broadcasters across the globe, solves the technical complexities of delivering addressable advertising for streamed television while maintaining a TV-quality viewer experience, This has enabled Seven to generate new revenue streams across the breadth of its enviable live sports portfolio and 24×7 Broadcast simulcast streams.

The platform successfully addresses a critical challenge in monetising live streams at scale, that of managing the load on ad servers and programmatic platforms when they are hit by a sudden surge in simultaneous ad requests, as happens with major live events.  Yospace’s “prefetch” system enables it to call ad servers and the wider programmatic ecosystem in advance, affording them the time needed to handle the spike in ad requests and deliver the highest possible fill-rate for the broadcaster.

“We’ve worked with Seven to pioneer new approaches to monetising its premium live content,” said Tim Sewell, Yospace. “Broadcasters, advertisers, and audiences are demanding more from OTT in terms of viewer experience, addressability and scale – and the extension of our partnership is testimony to our ability to deliver that. We’ll continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with server-side ad insertion and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership with Seven for the long term.”

“Our viewers expect an engaging, high-quality viewing experience – whether they’re watching Broadcast or Internet streaming content – especially during high-profile live events,” said Darren Kerry, Director Digital Product and Technology, Seven. “Yospace has helped us elevate the OTT viewing experience while opening up whole new bodies of inventory at scale. Yospace will continue to be an important partner as we continue to maximise the value of that inventory through programmatic.”

 

The unique value of live streaming

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By Paul Davies, Marketing & Communications

Live event streaming offers tremendous value for viewers – thus, tremendous value for advertisers. Events like the World Cup present golden opportunities for broadcasters to supercharge ad breaks and golden moments for brands to be seen at scale.

Live simulcast gaining pace

The number of viewers who live stream content is growing; even in the early group stages of the World Cup, live streaming figures exceeded those of Super Bowl by 40%, with Conviva recording a peak 7.7 million concurrent viewers. In the UK alone, a record 3.3 million requests were made to stream England’s dramatic penalties win against Colombia via ITV Hub.

This trend isn’t confined to live sports. Events like the Royal Wedding and Trump’s presidential inauguration all drew significant online audiences, illustrating a diversity in event-based live viewing.

And why not? Live simulcast is now a valued part of the fan experience, and one which can be enhanced with added extras, like watching and syncing content on multiple devices, scrub control and interactive features.

Commanding hearts, minds, and eyeballs

Live events and, in particular, sports, command the hearts and minds (and eyeballs) of viewers, and huge rights sums from major broadcasters. Viewers expect to see premium quality content with advertising that is delivered seamlessly, frame-accurately and without interrupting or disrupting the live stream, regardless of the type of device they are watching on.

And when broadcasters deliver on expectations? You get vast audience numbers who are engaged for a specific reason, at a specific time, creating a hugely valuable opportunity for advertisers to achieve mass reach at a single point in time, with the accuracy that digital measurement can bring.  This is something that brands simply can’t achieve anywhere else, whether it’s a leading social media service or AVOD platform.

BT Sport recognised this opportunity and has been using Yospace’s DAI technology since 2016 to monetise live sports. Jeremy Rosenberg, Head Of Advertising Partnerships TV at BT perfectly sums this up: “Audience and reach is paramount to any advertiser.  It is about appointment to view and I would say that reaching that at such a high level where people are engaged is paramount compared to other platforms out there that give you a very short attention span from a content perspective.”

A golden opportunity

Audience reach is great for advertisers, but how can broadcasters manage this scale? In live OTT all viewers go to an ad break at the same time, putting huge strain on an ad server which will have to manage a bombardment of ad requests: during a football match an ad server could be stone-cold for 45 minutes, until a half-time break unleashes millions of simultaneous ad requests.

BT Sport is just one name to have scored with scale-management: the broadcaster recently completed its second full season of Premier League and Champions League football with addressable DAI. Yospace’s pre-fetch system – a core component of scaling addressable DAI – ensures calls to the ad server are paced over a longer period so the ad server isn’t overloaded and the broadcaster can ensure maximum fill-rates. All of this must be achieved without affecting the viewer experience, of course.

Read more about the BT Sport project in our case study.

Other broadcasters are in a strong position to do the same. Live events continue to command huge numbers of engaged viewers who expect a high quality viewer experience. Investing in advanced ad tech translates this engagement into valuable opportunities for broadcasters, who’ll be able to open up new ad inventory, and to advertisers who are keen to capitalise on the unique appointment-to-view experience: “You can’t get that anywhere else,” concludes Rosenberg.

Jeremy Rosenberg was speaking at the Future TV Advertising event in London in December 2017.

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Champions League Final caps a fantastic season for DAI

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Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final was the premier sporting event of the year.  It marked the culmination of a football season in which Yospace’s Dynamic Ad Insertion platform enabled monetisation across the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

As a football fan it doesn’t come any bigger than the final of the Champions League.  It’s one of those events that viewers tune into no matter who they support, and the match rarely lets viewers down. Two giants of the game, in Real Madrid and Juventus, going head-to-head: one showing off the talents of the best player in the world; the other going on to score one of the all-time great team goals.

It’s easy to see why live sport is so important to a lot of broadcaster’s plans and, with the increasing number of viewers watching online, why a reliable, user-friendly online monetisation method is essential.

Come half time at a major event like the Champions League Final, we see national TV audiences go to an ad break at exactly the same moment, with a separate ad call being made on behalf of each streaming session. It’s fantastic to be able to prove the scalability of addressable DAI across multiple platforms so emphatically. I’m delighted that all our hard work is paying off.

Yospace has come a long way since our first major sports event (the Winter Olympics in 2014) and in a very short period. It’s an exciting time for the company, and I’m delighted to have so many major broadcasters across the globe on board. We’re already looking forward to next season – one in which our platform is to be used on an even larger scale.  More on that to come!

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Yospace to live stream Mobile World Congress

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At the 2017 GSMA Mobile World Congress, the award-winning broadcast service, Mobile World Live TV, will again be streamed across web and mobile by Yospace.

Two Mobile World Live TV channels will be streamed live: a studio channel, running 24/7, featuring interviews with global industry leaders, discussion panels and news; and a keynote channel which will broadcast all the keynote sessions in the Mobile World Congress conference programme.

Yospace’s encoders will prepare the live feeds for delivery across iOS, Android and web browsers. In addition, its live-to-VoD service will capture programmes, including keynotes, as they are broadcast and automatically make them available for catch-up within minutes of ending. Pre-roll promotions can be applied to the new VoD assets using Yospace’s advanced server-side stitching platform.

“Mobile World Congress is considered the mobile industry’s ‘must-attend’ event and is also gaining importance among other major industries with connected products. It is critical that Mobile World Live, with keynotes and coverage of breaking industry news, is accessible throughout, 24/7, and in the highest possible quality,” said Trevor Skinner, Digital Director, GSMA, the organisation that hosts Mobile World Congress.

David Springall, CTO of Yospace, said: “This is the eighth year we’ve partnered with GSMA on Mobile World Live and we’re delighted to be returning for what looks set to be the busiest MWC yet. The continually increasing global level of coverage of the show demonstrates just how important the smooth running of Mobile World Live is to the event.”

Mobile World Congress will be held in Barcelona from 27 February – 2 March 2017.
Mobile World Live TV can be accessed at:
www.mobileworldcongress.com/news/mobile-world-live/
www.mobileworldlive.com

Live Streaming Gathers Momentum

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Akamai has announced that online coverage of Friday’s Presidential Inauguration broke its live streaming records, with peak live video streaming consumption registered at a mammoth 8.7 Tbps. This is the latest in a run of similar announcements over the last six months that show the growth of live streaming has really picked up momentum.

It’s a very different picture to just a few years ago, when many were predicting the ultimate demise of live television.  There’s no denying that sport and news are the main drivers behind the recent surge, but what stands out is just how much major event television is available online now.

An obvious example is football coverage. Major domestic and European matches are streamed across the UK week in, week out.  The range of online-only subscription packages available has opened the door to a new audience that wouldn’t otherwise commit to subscription TV.  Ever-improving streaming quality is a big factor, too, as is the huge range of content available.  For example, BT Sport streams every single Champions League match, opening up a huge amount of action that was previously unavailable to watch live.

Underpinning these developments is the broadcasters’ ability to monetise online channels – it’s no coincidence that the use of Dynamic Ad Insertion technology has also risen sharply over the last twelve months or so. BT Sport would find it a lot harder to justify the cost of securing Champions League football if they weren’t able to apply advertising.

Looking forward, there are many events coming up that will see live streaming audiences continue to grow.  The 6 Nations rugby kicks off across Europe next month, followed almost straight away by the culmination of the football season.  In the news there are two major European elections to come, plus, of course, the never-ending news cycle that swarms around the newly appointed President Trump. I expect Akamai will see its live streaming record broken again fairly soon.

*http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/inauguration-sets-record-for-live-video-streaming-of-news-event-on-akamai-300394284.html

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NexPlayer SDK now fully compatible with Yospace

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NexStreaming has announced today that its flagship product, NexPlayer SDK is now pre-integrated to support Yospace’s Dynamic Ad Insertion platform. From now on, video service providers and broadcasters will be able to monetize their video apps and ensure their viewers enjoy the best user experience and even easier implementation, thanks to this pre-integration of the two products.

Yospace’s server-side Dynamic Ad Insertion technology allows broadcasters to replace ads in linear streams when viewed online, in a way that reflects the seamlessness of broadcast television. Replacement ads can be targeted to ensure relevancy to each viewer, which brings great benefits to advertisers and end-customers alike, who reap the rewards of an improved video experience.

NexPlayer SDK is the leading multiscreen player for mobile apps and it is integrated by premium video service providers from all around the globe. Its streaming capabilities provide the best video quality across all mobile devices with an advanced features set that includes closed-captioning, time shifting, multiple audio tracks or the possibility to launch media content into large screens with Chromecast, integrated into the player itself.

Carlos Lucas, General Manager of NexPlayer SDK said: “It is great to combine our technologies with a market proven Dynamic Ad Insertion solution like Yospace’s. Together, we aim to deliver the most advanced streaming and ad insertion capabilities that will benefit video service providers, advertisers and end-customers alike”

David Springall, CTO of Yospace, added: “Many of our customers have chosen NexPlayer for its high performance and because it is on the forefront of streaming technology. Our service, which unlocks incredible revenue opportunities in live sports and VOD streaming alike, is further enhanced by client-side functionality such as clickable ads and beaconing. This announcement means that customers choosing NexStreaming will benefit from the simplicity of integration of our pre-integrated technologies into their mobile applications.”

– Ends –

About NexStreaming
NexStreaming is a global mobile software company with headquarters in Seoul (Korea) and branches in Spain, the US, Taiwan and China. NexStreaming is known for its excellent customer support and highly competitive time to market. The flagship product is NexPlayer SDK, an HLS player SDK integrated in the mobile apps of more than 200 premium video service providers around the globe. NexPlayer SDK secures the best user experience in all Android and iOS devices.
NexStreaming is a publicly traded company listed on the Korean stock market, KOSDAQ 139670. For more information, visit nexstreaming.com

About Yospace
Yospace is at the forefront of innovation in broadcast stream manipulation and management (live and Video On Demand). Its Dynamic ad insertion technology provides a link between playout systems and ad platforms, enabling server-side, frame-accurate ad insertion/replacement. Through the management of each individual user session, advertising can be tailored to the tastes of the individual viewer.

Yospace services major broadcasters and network operators throughout the world, including DirecTV and Canal 13 in the Americas, Sky Media, ITV, Channel 4, BT Sport, STV and UTV in the UK, BFMTV, Medialaan, TV4, TV3 and TG4 in mainland Europe, and Seven West Media, Channel 9 and Network Ten in Asia-Pacific.

www.yospace.com

Yospace enable Dynamic Ad Insertion for BT Sport

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BT Sport has deployed Yospace’s innovative solution to monetise live channels across its online platforms.

Launching ahead of the 2016 Premier League football season, the Yospace platform enables ad breaks in BT Sport’s live streams to be replaced when viewed online, in a way that is frame-accurate and seamless for the viewer, resulting in a vast amount of new inventory being made available across the broadcaster’s impressive line-up of exclusively live sports coverage.

Boasting rights that include the Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the Aviva Premiership, BT Sport has attracted millions of customers through its fan-friendly approach. In keeping with this approach, the replacement of ad breaks using Yospace’s solution ensures a true broadcast-quality viewing experience.

By managing each individual streaming session, Yospace allow replacement advertisements to be chosen based on their relevance to an individual viewer and, as a result, the viewer is more engaged and far more likely to watch through the ad break.  Advertisers benefit greatly from such a high level of audience penetration while the viewer enjoys the seamless streaming of events.

“BT Sport is a ground-breaking, vibrant service that brings the best quality sport to its customers across a wide number of platforms and devices,” said Tony Singh, Business Affairs and Development Director at BT, “Yospace has been a strong partner as we look to open up advertising opportunities and maximise their potential while putting the needs of the viewer first.”

“BT is a leading player in sports broadcasting in the UK and it is a pleasure to add them to our impressive list of broadcast customers,” said Tim Sewell, CEO of Yospace.  “The demands of such a wide range of live sports coverage on infrastructure are huge, and our platform has proved its robustness in such an environment.  BT’s selection of Yospace further demonstrates our position as the leader in multi-platform stream manipulation.”

Yospace multiplies online advertising response for Canal 13 during Copa America

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Coverage of Copa America sees almost 100% view-through rates with dynamic advertising replacement.

Staines-upon-Thames, 16 July 2015 – Yospace, the leading name in live dynamic advertising replacement, has implemented a system at leading Chilean broadcaster Canal 13. In its first major test – coverage of the South American football competition Copa America – it delivered very high audience retention and a four-fold increase in advertising inventory.

The Yospace solution replaces commercials at the point of stream delivery, working in conjunction with the playout automation system to switch content on a precise frame. The result is that audiences do not realise that broadcast advertisements have been replaced in their online stream, but receive much more accurately targeted advertising, which in turn leads to better retention.

Canal 13 were looking to insert clickable video ads within their live streams to deliver impressions that were trackable. Its current solution could insert separate ads in live streaming but were neither interactive nor trackable.

The principal advantage is that Yospace can insert interactive advertising into online feeds, with all the appropriate tracking capabilities to ensure a broadcaster gets paid. Coupled with the seamless user experience, this makes a very attractive proposition for advertisers, as Canal 13 demonstrated.

“Yospace gave us 10 times more inventory to replace ads,” said Rodrigo Torrealba Ruiz-Tagle, Sub Gerente Comercial Medios Digitales Canal 13. “We had an average of 98.7% view-through rate, which is just incredible.”

“We needed to find a better monetisation solution for digital live streaming,” he added. “It makes no sense to offer only TV spots within live streaming, and figure out concurrency to understand reach. With Yospace we can offer interactive video advertising while tracking  impressions accurately .”

The system was installed in time for Copa America, Canal 13’s largest event for 2015. The broadcaster’s engineering team worked alongside Yospace on a collaborative project. The result was a simple workflow that delivered a huge increase in inventory and in the effectiveness of the online advertising.

“This is another great example of how Yospace’s in-stream dynamic advertising replacement can have a transformative impact on a broadcaster,” said David Springall, CTO and Founder, Yospace. “This project not only reinforces the continued success of our proposition to deliver significant advertising revenue uplift, but also demonstrates the global reach of our service.”