Customers and Case Studies

In-stream Ad Insertion for Channel One

In-stream ad insertion is a revolutionary technology for seamless television advertisement replacement. TV providers set targeting parameters and select a new commercial to insert within the video feed.

SPB TV has been developing ad replacement for several years, and was awarded the “TV Technology Europe STAR Awards” in 2012.

Advertising substitution takes place on the server, which ensures the smoothness and continuity of the broadcast for viewers on all screens: mobile devices, PCs or TVs.

This approach benefits all parties involved, such as broadcasters and TV channels looking for new audiences and increasing their ad sales, advertisers improving performance and cutting costs, and, of course, TV-providers.

SPB TV AD Expert features:

  • SPB TV ad insertion technology for the server side is secured by the US9319730 B2 patent (date of the publication – April 19, 2016)
  • New ad is inserted seamlessly and with no delays
  • Use of SCTE-35 cue-tones or an XML/JSON program for marking the start and end points of in-stream commercial blocks
  • REST API for integrating 3rd-party ad automation systems
  • Various targeting parameters based on users data
  • TV analytics and performance reports with number of break views
  • Ad Expert can determine commercial blocks without prepared SCTE-35 marks on the TV channel side
  • Ad broadcasting to all devices (smartphones, tablets, computers, TV) and Oss from a single head-end.
  • Adaptive streaming technologies (HLS, HDS, DASH, Smooth Streaming and RTSP protocols) for smooth and stable playback across all networks.

In spite of its obvious advantages, legal in-stream ad replacement was only applied to the Russian market in the beginning of 2017.

One of the obstacles to its deployment was the controversy between TV-channels/broadcasters and independent OTT-services. As we know, legal distribution of a TV-channel over the Internet requires a special stream, licensed specifically for the OTT environment. However, not all TV-channels can provide such a stream.

Concurrently, in the aim of expanding their audience, independent OTT-providers carried over-the-air versions of TV-channels, under the cable operators’ license. In response, TV channels have repeatedly pointed out that the existing legislation does not give any Internet TV service the right to broadcast over-the-air content on the Internet. 

Without collaboration with OTT-platforms, broadcasters missed main OTT advantages – digital TV viewing data.

Finally, a three-way dialog betweenChannel One, National Service Company and SPB TV was the push to overcome this situation. As the result, a joint project for the legal in-stream ad replacement was launched on the SPB TV advertising platform – SPB TV AD Expert.

As of now, in-stream ad insertion on Channel One is implemented as a pilot study and is available to a limited number of SPB TV app users. However, the commercial launch of the project is planned for the second quarter of 2017.

In-stream ad replacement goes as follows:

  • Channel One licenses a special TV stream with SCTE-35 cue-tones
  • NSC prepares alternative targeted commercial blocks based on the SPB TV viewing data
  • SPB TV Ad Expert determines cue-tones and seamlessly replaces an existing advertisement (within the Channel One stream) with commercials offered by the NSC, and forward the viewing performance.

SPB TV Ad Expert determines cue-tones and seamlessly replaces an existing advertisement

In addition to this case, Ad Expert includes these features:

  • Machine learning algorithms allow Ad Expert to determine commercial blocks without prepared SCTE-35 marks on the TV channel side.
  • Prior to the launch of a video ad campaign, advertisers can upload their commercial to the Ad Expert platform and be notified about first ad impression on linear TV.

Reputedly, this joint advertising solution will allow other TV channels, OTT-providers and advertisers to work transparently and follow commercial interests of all sides.

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