Live streaming poses a unique set of challenges and online audiences can only be monetized to the extent that they remain engaged. From an advertising perspective, the viewing experience between your live content and the ads needs to not only be seamless, but also highly targeted in order to achieve meaningful returns.
Prefetch is the name of the game.
It is a technique by which ad calls begin to occur long before an ad break, ensuring that the ad decisioning system has time to resolve all ad requests. Prefetching enables one-to-one addressability, while reliably scaling to handle peaks in demand to maintain a seamless and consistent viewing experience across your audience. There are the three main approaches to this technique:
While a current ad break is playing, the SSAI system can prefetch ads for the next scheduled Break.
The SSAI system can prefetch ads for a scheduled break at a predetermined time before the break starts.
When a viewer first starts watching a live stream, the SSAI system can fetch ads for a contingency ad pod to be used in filling unscheduled ad breaks.
Using prefetch techniques allows the ad decisioning system to cope with the unpredictable surges in viewer requests for content, typically seen in live streaming. It also ensures content distributors and video service providers maximize ad revenue generation.
Drawing from the combined experience of Akamai, Yospace and SpotX in delivering and monetizing the largest live audiences in the world, this whitepaper focus on the three key pillars of live event streaming - monetization, scale and viewer experience. The piece outlines the technical complexities involved in delivering all three pillars in an environment where having to effectively handle peaks in audience demand, while delivering targeted ads and a seamless experience at any scale is critical for monetization of content.