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What Is Server-Side Ad Insertion And How It’s Useful

by Mubi 

What Is Server-Side Ad Insertion And How It's Useful

Server-side ad insertion is a process where an ad is inserted into a digital video stream before it is delivered to the viewer. This allows the advertiser to know exactly when their ad will be shown and gives them more control over the placement and timing of their ads. Let’s discover all of its elements and benefits.

What Is Server-Side Ad Insertion?

Server-side ad insertion is a technique that’s used by media companies to make their broadcast channels more profitable. This technology allows them to create different versions of the same commercial (with different voice overs, pictures, etc.) and then serve the right version at the right time for each viewer since they can track exactly what everyone watches on TV with Nielsen ratings, all while bypassing ad blockers. This way, they’re able to reach more viewers while earning extra money from advertisers who want their spots played during high viewership times like major sporting events or award ceremonies. With server-side advertising, there’s no need to worry about accidentally broadcasting every single commercial that’s purchased.

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How Is It Done?

When a streaming video ad is created, the advertiser provides certain pieces of information about when they want their ads to appear. For example, if Apple wanted to show an ad for the new iPhone between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm on Monday in all selected markets, they would provide that information to have it inserted into the proper streams at that time. This description of when the ad should play is called an ‘ad cue’, or just cue points. Now let’s get back to how this process works once it’s completed.

Once after receiving this information from the advertiser, encoding companies encode the video material with special markers (called AdSets), which tell their encoders when to insert the ad. As soon as their encoders receive this information, they start inserting the pre-encoded ads into the video streams at precisely the right moments according to cue points.

Advantages of Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI)

Server-side ad insertion offers many benefits to both advertisers and viewers, which is why it’s become so popular in recent years. The first advantage is that by knowing exactly where their ads will play, advertisers can create more effective campaigns because they can pinpoint ideal times to show different types of ads or present multiple commercials for one product or service. This also helps save them money since they won’t have to pay media outlets for showing their ads outside of ad-supported times.

Another advantage is that viewers can skip ads they don’t want to watch, which allows them to watch the video without having their time wasted by commercials. The viewer simply presses play on their remote control and automatically skips right past the unwanted commercial only after the content starts playing. This feature comes in especially handy when watching live TV or sports events where you can’t fast forward through a commercial break.

How Can Advertisers Benefit From Server-Side Ad Insertion?

One of the first benefits is that advertisers can plan their campaigns more precisely since they’ll know exactly where their ads will be placed within the broadcast stream before it even happens. They also benefit from skipping rates, which measure how many people are watching their ads. Server-side ad insertion makes it possible for advertisers to see how many viewers watch their commercials and make changes accordingly. They can even choose not to pay for the airtime of shows where fewer than 90% of the viewers watched their ads.

Control Ad Streams

Another benefit is that they can control where exactly each ad plays within a stream, which means they don’t have to take the default spots provided by media outlets. For example, an advertiser may want to show different versions of an ad (with different voice overs or pictures) depending on what type of device it’s being played on so that their target audience is reached more precisely. Even if multiple commercials are included in one stream, can be split up using AdSets and sent to different locations, which means they can even be targeted by geography if desired.

Better Ad Reach

Another benefit is that advertisers can get their ads in front of a wider audience since more people are watching TV with DVRs and video-on-demand services than ever before. When streaming video content was limited to PCs and laptops, there were simply too many options for viewers who didn’t want to watch commercials. But when using streaming devices like an Apple TV or Roku, viewers must sit through the commercial to view the content they want so it becomes much harder for them to skip over these spots just because they can do so.

Another thing that makes server-side ad insertion such a great option for advertisers is that they’ll know exactly how many people are watching their ads since they’ll be able to track the viewing habits of every single TV-connected device in use within a household. This means that they can easily learn how many unique viewers saw their ads and whether or not they need to make changes to their campaigns.

A Retrospective

With so many benefits, ad insertion has become one of the most popular video monetization techniques and it’s estimated that over 90% of major U.S. TV content distributors use ad servers for this purpose today while earning millions from these types of ads each year! Companies have recently reported that American companies alone have spent more than $22 billion just on server-side ads during 2019 with an average annual growth rate of 10%. By 2020, server-side ads have accounted for around $30 billion in yearly earnings!

Server-side ad insertion is a beneficial technique that can help advertisers reach more viewers and allows media companies to earn more money from the ads they show. Media companies use server-side ad insertion to make their broadcast channels profitable by serving different versions of the same commercial to viewers so that they can track what everyone watches on TV with Nielsen ratings, which means no accidental broadcasting of purchased commercials and an increase in revenue for both parties involved. This makes it useful for advertisers, as well as broadcasters and viewers alike.

About the author 

Mubi Ace

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