Skip to content

Content monetization using ad insertion

One of the ways to monetize the IPTV/OTT service is to sell the ad inventory. Distributors and content owners allocate part of the airtime for ads, and the advertiser pays for the views of the ads. Viewers are most often interested in content rather than advertising, so balance the amount of ads and content time. Usually, 5-10 minutes in an hour are filled with ads.

In complex distribution networks, content owners and distributors share advertising breaks. In the case of live broadcasting, the distributor may insert regional ads into the ad breaks allocated by the content owner. All market participants need to receive accurate statistics on ad viewing: who, where, and how many times viewed a commercial.

Flussonic provides the following features for working with advertising:

Flussonic tracks the ad insertion event ad_inject via the API that you can use to provide the statistics to advertisers.

You can insert ads on server using the following methods:

Ad insertion is used in the following broadcasting scenarios:

  • Video on Demand (VOD):

    • SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand) is VOD by subscription, often without ads. For a viewer to purchase the subscription, this method is combined with AVOD. When viewers get tired of constantly watching commercials, they buy a subscription.

    • AVOD (Advertising-Based Video on Demand) is a free VOD with ads. It uses both intervals and SCTE markers to insert the ads.

  • Live TV:

    • vMVPDs (Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor) is the TV by subscription. SCTE markers ad insertion.

    • FAST (Free Ad-Supported TV). Ad insertion according to SCTE markers with prerolls.

SSAI modes

There are two ways of using SSAI, which differ in whether or not it is possible to detect ads in the manifest:

  • Inserting ads as separate segments.

    Encountering the start position of an ad insert in a manifest, the player requests the ad segments from the server. Based on the data received from the player in the request, the server returns a personalized ad.

    The player pauses the main stream, requests the ad from the server, plays the ad, and resumes playing the main stream.

    So when switching from the main stream to the ad, latency appears and affects the viewer's experience. An ad blocker detects the ad and skips the URL of the ad segment in the manifest without downloading the segment.

  • Inserting ads as segments of the main stream.

    The server inserts the ad directly into the video stream without going to the server for the ads. In this case, ad blockers cannot block ads because it cannot distinguish them from the main stream segments in the manifest.

    The server outputs a stream with a standard structure so that all versions of players can play it.

SSAI modes comparison

SSAI mode Separate segments Segments of the main stream
On which side the ad is inserted On the server's side On the server's side
Visibility of the ad source to the player Open to the player. Hidden from the player.
Is the ad source separated from the content source Separated. Not separated.
Ad insertion information Passed to the player. Stays on the server.
Personalized ads Yes Yes
Ad blocking Ads are blocked. Bypassing the ad blocker.
Technical difficulty Simple Difficult
Manifest and media caching CDN caches media with content. Manifests and media with ads are personalized. CDN caches manifests and media without ads. Media with ads isn't cached. To do so, the CDN should allow you to manage caching parameters through headers. We advise you to use a CDN based on Flussonic.

To learn more about how SSAI works, see Ad insertion technologies.

Use the following guidelines to select an ad insertion technology for a particular broadcast scenario:

  • For FAST (Free Ad-Supported TV) – SSAI with preroll.
  • For vMVPDs (Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor) – SSAI with SCTE markers.
  • For AVOD (Advertising-Based Video on Demand) – SSAI with SCTE markers or intervals.