VOD is a useful CTV testbed because integrating new ad products into a live stream is risky.
If the WiFi connection isn’t strong, new ads could disrupt the content stream itself with more lag. Ford also said that live PIP ads pull from different demand sources – such as direct-sold sponsors and programmatic demand – and must work seamlessly across TVs, phones and the web, where the content could be streaming.
“It gets complicated behind the scenes when you’re producing an event and that feed is leveraging programmatic demand, direct demand and third-party demand [e.g. a distribution channel such as Roku, Fire TV or Pluto TV, a CTV app that holds inventory rights deals],” he said.
For now, Ford said FloSports is having Transmit fill the ad units, instead of patching its direct-sold ads into the PIP units. If there is any breakage, FloSport doesn’t want to leave a key brand sponsor hanging.
Another important piece of the PIP puzzle is Transmit learning when and where to place a box during a live sports event.
“We’re looking at meta-data cues frame by frame, Young said of Transmit’s tech. Those meta-cues dynamically place the PIP ad so it won’t disrupt the flow of content.
Though FloSports is using PIP ads only for VOD streams rights, live action is a big opportunity, Ford said.
FloSports would like to use PIP ads when it can maximize high viewership numbers and a time when people won’t switch channels – at the start of an overtime period, say, or in a stoppage of play before the game resumes.
“Right now, we have to be very delicate because we have to place a break on the action to show an ad, and it’s a tough choice to show an ad if some viewers might leave,” Ford said.