Adobe Boosts Dynamic Ad Insertion Across Linear And OTT TV Streams

StitchingDynamic ad insertion is technically easier on over-the-top (OTT) apps, but it’s less prevalent, at least at scale, in live TV and video on demand (VOD).

To help answer that call, Adobe has enhanced its Primetime solution to enable dynamic ad insertion for live, linear TV streams. The solution already supports VOD and OTT devices.

The tech that delivers dynamically inserted ads is crucial because TV publishers must ensure seamless playback and proper ad rendering for millions of consumers watching across a plethora of devices and operating systems.

In building out support for linear TV, Adobe Primetime is doubling down to fix this problem.

One of Primetime’s biggest differentiators is that its dynamic ad insertion capabilities can either be client-side (where the ad serving tech exists in a consumer’s device) or server-side (where ad serving tech sits on a cloud).

During the Rio Olympics, NBC used hybrid server and client-side ad insertion to support 3.4 billion minutes of online streaming and more than 50 million viewers using Adobe Primetime.

NBC Sports used server-side insertion for ad delivery on Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast. Ads delivered to iOS, Android and desktop, however, were all served client side.

“Prior to our work with NBC for the Olympics, no one was doing DAI in a live broadcast at the scale of millions of concurrent viewers,” claimed Campbell Foster, the head of product marketing for Adobe Primetime. “DAI has been around awhile. What’s new is being able to reach every device in a live environment.” 

In supporting both server- and client-side ad insertion, Adobe’s clients theoretically get the best of both worlds.

Server-side stitching streamlines ad delivery because publishers don’t need to build SDKs to different devices. Publishers can stitch an ad right into content in a single stream – rather than relying on a content delivery network to call up an ad network to deliver the video ad.

But there are strengths and weaknesses to both of these methods.

Because ads and content are essentially stitched together in server-side, some argue this method helps avert ad blockers (though that’s more probable in a desktop environment at the browser level).

On the flip side, said Foster, analytics for server-side ad insertion aren’t as rich as those for client-side ad insertion. Additionally, hosting and content delivery costs tend to be higher

“Taking a hybrid approach lets you [serve an ad] to every device, maintain IAB compliance, and keep hosting and content delivery costs down,” he explained.

In other news, Adobe updated Adobe Analytics for Video to allow publishers to report video views on a per-second basis.

In the past, its reporting analyzed starts and stops (or told a publisher that a viewer made it through 50% of the video) but didn’t address video view time in absolute terms – e.g., six seconds might look like six minutes without the added granularity.

Adobe will also support both Nielsen and comScore metrics within Adobe Analytics for Video, as well as through the Adobe Primetime TV SDK.

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