Akamai and Yospace bowl up dynamic ad insertion for live cricket with SonyLIV

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Bengaluru, India – March 15, 2018 – Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the world’s largest and most trusted cloud delivery platform, today announced that SonyLIV, the premium Video on Demand (VOD) service by Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), providing multi-screen engagement to users on all devices, leveraged Akamai’s Dynamic Ad Insertion capabilities during the India-South Africa cricket series held over January and February 2018.

SonyLIV was the official and exclusive mobile and internet broadcaster for the India Tour of South Africa series and delivered it to millions of users seamlessly across a variety of devices. Digital advertisers gained the most through the course of the series, with Akamai’s Dynamic Ad Insertion delivering targeted advertisements during the live stream. With this partnership SonyLIV achieved a near 100% ad fill rate without compromising on the viewing experience for users.

Pitch Madison’s Advertising Report for 2018[1] projects advertising spend on digital platforms is to reach Rs.11,629 crores in 2018, representing a 19.5% increase over the Rs.9,303 crores spent in 2017. In 2017, the spend on mobile was 78% (Rs.7,256 crores) of the total digital outlay. Video represented 35% (Rs.3,300 crores) of the total spend. This indicates a strong reflection of growing consumer trends in the country. A report[2] by MoMagic Technologies found that 40% of Indians prefer to watch advertisement videos on their mobile phones over other media. Additionally, as per IDC[3], India is the fastest growing smartphone market globally with a total of 124 million units shipped in 2017.

Powered by advertising technology expert Yospace, Akamai’s Dynamic Ad Insertion is designed to help content providers offer greater monetization opportunities through online advertising, while maintaining a TV-like experience for viewers at scale. Server-side ad insertion, in which advertisements are stitched into content from the server-side, is intended to offer numerous benefits to advertisers, content providers and consumers, including:

  • Reliability and limitless scale for linear broadcast-size television audiences
  • Increased device reach with faster time to market
  • Improved viewing experiences and resiliency to ad blocking
  • Enhanced operational visibility through analytics

Sidharth Pisharoti, Regional Vice President, Media, Asia Pacific and Japan, Akamai Technologies said, “SonyLIV has a vast library of original content. However, in India, few entertainment options have the capability to attract mass audiences like cricket. While the challenge on the one hand is to keep audiences engaged with a TV-like experience, the equally hard part is ensuring that advertisers see value in leveraging digital platforms to drive views and consequently, revenue through advertisements. With Akamai’s capabilities, we were able to successfully deliver what audiences and advertisers wanted over the course of the India-South Africa series.”

Uday Sodhi, EVP and Business Head, Digital Business, Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) added “The India Tour of South Africa series was a huge success for SonyLIV and our audiences had a seamless experience throughout. We partnered with Akamai and leveraged their technology and added it to our already existing capabilities. The series was a huge hit with all the brands we associated with.”

With video poised to be the largest driver of internet traffic in the country by 2021[4], opportunities for publishers and advertisers in this space are only set to grow.

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[1] Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2018
[2] 40% of Indians prefer video ads on mobile phones: Survey
[3] India Smartphone Market Finishes Strong with 124 Million Total Shipment Units in 2017 After a Brief Slowdown in 2016, says IDC
[4] Cisco VNI Forecast Highlights Tool


About Akamai

As the world’s largest and most trusted cloud delivery platform, Akamai makes it easier for its customers to provide the best and most secure digital experiences on any device, anytime, anywhere. Akamai’s massively distributed platform is unparalleled in scale with over 200,000 servers across 130 countries, giving customers superior performance and threat protection. Akamai’s portfolio of web and mobile performance, cloud security, enterprise access, and video delivery solutions are supported by exceptional customer service and 24/7 monitoring. To learn why the top financial institutions, e-commerce leaders, media & entertainment providers, and government organizations trust Akamai please visit www.akamai.comblogs.akamai.com, or @Akamai on Twitter.

 

About SonyLIV

SonyLIV is the first premium Video on demand (VOD) service by Sony Pictures Networks’ (SPN) providing multi-screen engagement for users on all devices. Launched in January 2013, it enables users to discover 20 years of rich content from the network channels of Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd. It also provides a rich array of movies, strong line-up of events across all sports, shows, music, product reviews.

With over 40 million app downloads so far, SonyLIV is the first amongst its competition to provide original exclusive premium content. As a true pioneer in its space, SonyLIV launched India’s first-ever original show exclusively for the online platform earlier this year. With #LoveBytes, it became the country’s first digital video-on- demand (VOD) platform to introduce an innovation of this nature. SonyLIV also launched YOLO – You Only Live Once, the first-ever regional language web-series on an OTT platform in India and LIV FIT the first-ever health and wellness segment on an OTT platform in the country. In October 2016, SonyLIV also introduced LIV Kids as its premium content especially designed for children. The digital platform is a home to over 4000 hours of food content making it the one stop destination for food lovers.

Streaming the biggest football tournament of 2017 – U-17 FIFA World Cup India 2017 and making SonyLIV the most preferred online destination for football fans.

New research highlights the power of personalised ad insertion

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Yospace has commissioned research into attitudes towards personalised advertising in the online world, with a particular focus on live channels in TV Everywhere services.  The research, conducted by Censuswide, was carried out on 2001 consumers across 17 major cities in the UK.

Some of the key findings are listed below.  Click the image to see the full infographic.

Viewers showed a keen interest in ads that were relevant to their geographical location, age and interests:

  • 88% of audiences do watch the adverts during live TV
  • 78% more likely to take notice if they’re personally targeted
  • 38% of 16-24 year old “millennials” definitely take notice of personalised advertising

Viewers are more likely to respond positively to an advert that is personally relevant:

  • 55% are likely or very likely to look online for a product if an ad was targeted towards them personally
  • The majority of consumers (62%) said they had already taken follow-up action after seeing an advert while watching TV
  • More than three quarters (78%) said they would be likely to some degree to look in store for the product being advertised

Millennials driving interactivity:

  • Nearly 4 of 5 under 35s take follow-up action to personalised advertising
  • Across all age groups, 64% of respondents said they were likely to some degree to click on an advert they like online, climbing to 76% in the under 35 age range

Consumers expect an excellent, relevant user experience:

  • One in five people said they found it most annoying that the adverts were irrelevant to them personally
  • 28% of viewers find multiple ads before a programme or channel starts is the most annoying element of adverts
  • One quarter of respondents (25%) said they would consider switching channels when faced with technical problems in adverts on live OTT channels
  • Nearly one fifth (19%) said they would think less of the broadcaster if there were technical issues

In response to the poll results, Tim Sewell, CEO, Yospace says: “The results send a strong message to broadcasters that personalised advertising is one of the most effective tools to enhance broadcaster/viewer relationships. It is perhaps unsurprising that the millennials are leading the charge for more personalised and targeted ads. This generation is used to online experiences in which content is served that is highly relevant to individual interests.

“Live streaming is evolving and many forward-thinking broadcasters are already using server-side Dynamic Ad Insertion to deliver targeted and personalised promotions in a way that combines with excellent user experience. The combination of great user experience, relevance and interactivity paves the way for broadcasters to generate more ad revenues from live television than ever before.”

Channel 4 launches personalised and dynamic ad replacement with Yospace

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New digital platform All 4 introduces personalised ad insertion in the live stream to boost revenues and customer engagement

Channel 4 has selected a solution by Yospace, the leading name in dynamic advertisement replacement, to introduce personally targeted video ads across all of its online content.

Earlier this month, the broadcaster announced that it was moving away from traditional linear ad feeds across its digital properties in favour of dynamically served, targeted ads. Channel 4 will replace its pre-scheduled blocks of inventory, with tailored and targeted live video advertising, which will be available to buy programmatically by the end of the year.

The solution from Yospace provides unique in-stream ad replacement with seamless transitions to and from the advertising.  Insertions are performed server-side, so the viewer will see an uninterrupted stream, while being presented with ads that are customised according to their unique user profile.  By ensuring seamless and transparent splicing, the consumer perceives a broadcast quality service, but with advertising of such relevance that they stay with the stream.

The recent agreement with Yospace is part of the second phase of the All 4 launch – the broadcaster’s new online destination that presents all of Channel 4’s linear channels, digital content and services in one place, for the first time. All 4, the offering’s new brand identity for its digital platform, initially introduced ad insertion for VOD, and will now use the Yospace solution to launch personalised ad insertion into the live stream.

Jonathan Lewis, Head of Digital Innovation and Partnerships, said: “For Channel 4’s registered viewers, the All 4 experience is becoming even more personalised.  We have leading audience insight capabilities and a database of more than 12 million viewers who can access a bespoke set of content and related experiences.  This ethos is increasingly carried throughout our advertising, and the Yospace solution will enable us to deliver personalised ads to both individuals and specific groups seamlessly into the live stream.

“Our programmatic launch has also opened up a host of opportunities around what we do with our live feed generally – and we’re currently exploring what place dynamic ad serving could have on the big screen.”

Channel 4’s online revenues have tripled in the last five years and continue to show strong growth driven by product and data innovation. The latest figures from Yospace show that deployments of its technology has brought view-through rates for dynamic advertisement replacement up to 98.7% for broadcasters.  With the ability to incorporate interactive functions in the online advertising, such as clickable overlays, engagement is driven even further.

Yospace CEO, Tim Sewell said: “Our technology is already driving substantial advertising views for a growing number of broadcasters, and is ideally suited to Channel 4’s requirements.  We are delighted to be working with such an esteemed broadcaster who already leads the field in providing the most personalised viewer experience.  Our solution will enable it to leverage its extensive user database to really maximise revenues through personalised and seamless live ad insertion.”

“A solution like this will only work if it’s reliable and stable enough to cope with major TV audiences, as potentially millions of viewers will tune in at the same time. Another fundamental requirement is flexibility.  Timings of the ad breaks in live programming are often fluid, so ad replacements have to be applied on-the-fly, in real-time, and with scale.”

The Yospace solution is robust and proven in the most demanding live environments, and scales to meet the demand of very large concurrent audiences.  Broadcasters and online content providers can use tailored, dynamic ad insertion to make digital services financially viable and build better audience relations.