A definitive guide on the use of Server Side Ad Insertion for Marketers


SSAI helps in seamless insertion of ads into video streams, enabling monetization on any such device that can play videos. It is one of the most important innovations that have let OTT video to become one of the most viable industries. It has opened up paths for monetization and helps in the absorption of infrastructural costs and creation of profit centers in place of cost centers. You get to stitch ads on server-side and ensure that the Video Ad Serving Template pings of the individual ads are tracked properly to put out an integrated stream. There is no question of buffer wheels where you need to wait for the ads to load right in the middle of the streaming, which feels just like television.

If this is something that makes the viewer happy, it ends up making the distributors and content publishers ever happier. SSAI has brought forth the opportunities of significant linear and live OTT inventory. The server side ad insertion has also simplified VOD as the same technology can be used for all kinds of media assets. This has driven scale in monetization and multi-platform distribution for the content publishers and distributors.

Moving past the Ad Blockers

The server-side ad insertion is the only way of showing ads on multiple diverse connected TV devices, in a situation where it is hard to build up customized client for each device. The web publishers opting for SSAI can avoid the ad blockers and improve their user experience. The ad stitching and calling are carried out before the stream goes to the client. Thus, the ad blocker is unable to detect the ad call and block the response, which enables SSAI for both VOD and live streaming.

Enabling cross-device scaling

The server-side ad insertion enables personalization and targeting for videos, with some minor differences. Specific types of non-cookie based targets, work in the environment, but retargeting is not that readily available. The level of cross-device scaling that SSAI allows appeals to the agencies and advertisers. One stream remove majority of the work when combined with native players on numerous devices. It opens up the flexibility of targeting different viewers and stream in an effective manner, which is something that media buyers look for.

Doing away with buffering

SSAI eliminates buffering, which you would usually find in CSAI, also known as client-side ad insertion scenarios. This is highly important in case of live streaming. As the consumption of live news and sports increases across OTT and mobile devices, stitching offers a reliable option for the marketers looking to reach out to the audiences through a high-quality user experience.

Cross-platform advertising options

The question arises as to how the publishers can monetize the OTT inventory without causing a disruption in the present ad-sales system. The answer to that lies in the fact that SSAI is suited for minimal levels of disruption when involved in cross-platform advertising. The requirements for integration are reduced significantly because the ads get inserted into the original stream and then sent to the devices of the clients.

Overcoming the measurement challenges

CSAI is known to have better measurement tools than SSAI. Presently, it is expensive or difficult to integrate third party targeting data in SSAI. But with better ways of retaining audience data and increase of client side integrations, SSAI is not too far from catching up.

SSAI ensures that the consumers do not need to sacrifice the comfort of watching their television just because they are moving to mobile devices. This is good news for the advertisers as well because with no buffering or differed visual and audio quality on the commercials they are also able to create greater user engagement.

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