WTF is ad stitching?
Many prefer to see ad blocking as a wake-up call that requires a mindset change by publishers and advertisers. Others see yet another tech problem to solve. Enter ad insertion.
Video publishers are feeling the same heat, which is why a handful of ad tech companies are pushing “server-side ad insertion” as way to get the upper hand on ad blockers. Sure, many say that publishers and their ad tech henchmen are doomed to lose any technological arms race, but that’s not going to stop attempts to find a way around ad blockers.
Here’s a primer on server-side ad insertion and why interest in it is growing.
So WTF is server-side ad insertion?
Server-side ad insertion, also known as “dynamic ad insertion” or simply “ad stitching,” is a technology that lets publishers stitch their video and ad content together on the CMS level rather than on the level of the browser. It’s a technology that’s been around for years but one that’s picked up steam as ad blocking has become a bigger concern for publishers.
“It’s basically the streaming version of broadcast commercial delivery,” said Matt Smith, chief evangelist at Avanto, which sells server-side ad insertion tech.
So what’s different about it?
To understand why ad stitching is important, you first have to understand how most video ads are currently served. Videos and video ads are coming from different places — videos typically from a content delivery network (CDN) and ads from a third-party ad server, such as Doubleclick. These are then combined on the fly when people start watching videos. With server-side ad stitching, that combination of video and advertising happens on the backend.
So how exactly does this prevent ad blocking?
Ad blockers work by scanning pages and using filter lists to block domains that lead to third-party ad servers. The ad blockers can then prevent ads from being served while also letting publisher content through. Server-side ad stitching, however, combines the ad and video content into a single stream, which means that if the ad doesn’t get through, the video itself doesn’t either.
This tech can’t just be about blocking ad blockers.
It isn’t. Server-side ad insertion was actually created to solve other problems with video advertising. Combining video and advertising assets into a single stream avoids, for example, issues where a video’s ads load but the videos don’t. Likewise, the tech also keeps the quality of the elements consistent, which means less buffering. More, the technology’s applications beyond advertising will let publishers insert certain kinds of video content on the fly. A national network such as the Weather Channel can, for example, use the tech to swap out local weather forecasts that are custom to viewers’ locations.
“Having tech that lets you make those kinds of changes is pretty powerful, and we’re just starting to see what people can do with it,” said Alan Ramaley, CTO of thePlatform, which sells tech to video makers.
‘The pressure cooker is primed to explode’: How instant messaging tools are contributing to burnout
Despite their many benefits, instant-messaging tools like Slack have contributed to burnout over the last year — leading some businesses to drop them entirely.
Member ExclusiveGaming Advertising Forum Recap: Rapidly growing sector’s massive platforms and user diversity underestimated
Digiday’s Gaming Advertising Forum invited industry insiders and thought leaders from brands, gaming platforms and ad tech companies to take the industry’s pulse.
Heated founder Emily Atkin shows what it takes to make the transition from staff writer to Substacker
Substack is now a full-time job for Emily Atkin and her subscriber base has grown large enough for her to hire her first employee.
SponsoredWhat sustainable app monetization looks like in 2021
Apple’s iOS 14 changes are driving significant shifts in the app ecosystem. For gaming businesses, these new changes will make it challenging to show targeted ads. That said, the mobile game economy continues to boom, and analysts predict long-term growth; global in-app ad revenue in 2021 will rise by 6.2% for non-gaming apps, and 19.1% […]
‘As good a chance as anybody’: Verizon Media looks to build on its DSP hot streak
Verizon is hoping a spree of publisher and agency partnerships will help solidify its role as the top DSP that isn't owned by Google, Amazon or The Trade Desk.
TikTok-native publishers look to expand business on other platforms after building audiences
Media brands launching exclusively on TikTok have amassed large, Gen Z audiences. The next step is expanding to other platforms to build their businesses.