Teamwork for ‘dynamic’ Total Video advertising sales

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Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and advertising technology provider Yospace are jointly testing targeted, digital spot exchanges.

Cologne, Germany, 28th June 2019 – The right advertising at the right time for the right target group, all thanks to Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI). To ensure the dynamic delivery of video advertising during live streaming, the British video technology provider Yospace is teaming up with Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and advertising sales specialist IP Deutschland. Yospace, which was acquired by RTL Group in January 2019, is specialised in Server-Side Dynamic Ad Insertion (SSDAI) solutions. The technology enables ads to be exchanged in the video stream, both in live streams and during on-demand viewing. The advertising technology is first being tested in VOX’s live stream on TVNOW.

“We want to be the nation’s number one in every discipline. And one way to achieve that is by forging strong alliances. One such alliance is our close cooperation with RTL Group subsidiary Yospace, which is a key component of our Total Video advertising sales strategy”, explains Matthias Dang, Chief Commercial, Technology & Data Officer at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. “Part of our day-to-day business entails analysing, testing and evaluating innovations. The combination of an extensive reach and the latest advertising technology is a significant contributing factor in our advertising sales success. Integrating the Yospace technology is a further building block that will give us a clear competitive edge.”

Tim Sewell, CEO at Yospace, explains what makes the technology so special:”When ads are inserted digitally, the power of television advertising and online advertising come together, such as targeting, linking and enhanced measurement. Rather than assembling television content and video advertising from two different sources, our technology integrates both into a single stream, guaranteeing a seamless transition. We’re already working together with many well-known broadcasters, Telcos and pay-TV operators in Europe, the USA and Asia and are looking forward tremendously to the first media partnership with Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. More partners from the RTL Group family will follow shortly.”

Yospace’s advertising technology enables dynamic ad exchange in both live content and on-demand video content on any Internet-enabled device. Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland is currently sizing up its potential, because according to Jens Pöppelmann, Director Media Operation at IP Deutschland, this test is just a first step. “We see DAI as a future market and additional key pillar in video advertising sales and expect SSDAI to become the standard in premium streaming services. Consequently, we’re planning an even deeper technical integration of Yospace’s technology, to enable us in the medium term to propose the offering for all live streams and subsequently also for our on-demand content. This will enable us to create even greater incentives for advertisers.”

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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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