Evolving Dynamic Ad Insertion for the future of streaming

Real-time tutorials and certification from DFP.Training

This past year truly was the year of advanced TV video streaming. Viewers increasingly turned to over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms for entertainment, like new direct-to-consumer apps and free ad-supported streaming TV services. To help TV programmers and distributors adapt with this growth, we’ve been working on a more flexible approach on how they manage their content workflow and place ads into their streaming solutions.

We built Google Ad Manager’s Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) to provide TV partners an end to end solution to deliver broadcast-quality and personalized ad experiences for ad-supported video content. Today we’re reimagining our ad insertion technology for the next generation of video streaming with DAI Pod Serving, which helps simplify OTT streaming complexity by integrating with your existing first or third-party streaming workflow. This evolution of our DAI technology helps the broader streaming ecosystem by giving you and your video platforms more flexibility to manage your streaming workflow and deliver a customized viewing experience so that you can grow your business.

How DAI Pod Serving works

Ad Manager’s DAI has always been an integral part of ad-supported video streaming, helping TV partners power their live and on-demand video (VOD) content across screens. Historically, partners sent their video content through Ad Manager’s DAI, allowing it to decision the ads into an ad pod (or commercial break), transcode and condition creatives into the right format and then stitch the content and ads into a single video stream (also known as manifest manipulation). 

With DAI Pod Serving, partners no longer need to send their content to Ad Manager — they own their entire streaming workflow — and Ad Manager provides them with “ready-to-stitch” ad pods they can stitch into their content. TV programmers and distributors have many streaming solution providers to choose from, and with DAI Pod Serving they can integrate Google’s ad decisioning technology into their first or third party video streaming solutions.

An illustration of three screens, with the center screen showing three ads in different colors

DAI Pod Serving offers all the same great benefits of DAI, including live scale capacity with prefetching and Early Break Notification, creative transcoding and conditioning, access to all programmatic demand and verification and measurement. Now let’s take a look at how DAI Pod Serving works with partners’ existing video workflows. 

Integrating with first-party video streaming solutions

Some TV programmers build their own first-party video streaming solutions, where they own the content management, manifest manipulation and distribution workflow from start to finish. In this example, DAI Pod Serving will decision and condition each commercial break into a ready-to-stitch ad pod that’s in the appropriate format, and then partners can insert the ad pod into their TV content using their own in-house manifest manipulation solution. This provides partners with greater control over their entire video streaming workflow, while DAI Pod Serving delivers high-quality, seamless ads so that partners can grow their video revenue.

“DAI Pod Serving gives us flexibility to continue to use both our in-house video streaming and encoding solutions alongside streams encoded by our partners, while allowing Ad Manager to deliver broadcast-quality ads within MLB.TV live streamed baseball games and other longform content,” says Dan Newberry, Sr. Director, Ad Tech and Operations, Major League Baseball. 

Powering ads in third-party video platforms

To help partners increase flexibility and operational efficiencies across their streaming and monetization solutions, DAI Pod Serving can integrate with third-party video streaming platforms. Our first integration is with Verizon Media Platform, a leading provider of OTT video streaming solutions. This meets the needs of partners who use Verizon Media to manage their streaming workflow and use Ad Manager as their video ad server.

This integration provides an additional layer of flexibility for Verizon Media Platform customers using Ad Manager for programmatic demand. For those partners, Verizon Media Platform will stitch the ad pod provided from Ad Manager directly into a unified stream, allowing partners to continue taking advantage of Verizon Media’s Smartplay session management technology, and deliver personalized, broadcast-quality streams at scale.

“Our integration with Ad Manager’s DAI Pod Serving unlocks value across streaming ecosystems by enabling customers to take advantage of Google’s monetization in concert with Verizon Media’s personalization, digital rights management and content targeting,” says Scott Goldman, Director, Product Management, Verizon Media Platform.

With this integration, we’re able to further support joint partners like Hearst Television, who use both the Verizon Media Platform for streaming and Ad Manager for ad serving and monetization. Hearst Television can now use Ad Manager to decision their ads for both reservation and programmatic while Verizon Media Platform stitches the ads into their content to provide a high-quality streaming experience to viewers everywhere. 

“The integration between Ad Manager and Verizon Media Platform benefits our business by allowing our streaming and monetization solutions to work together so that we can deliver a high-quality streaming experience while maximizing revenue,” says Michael Rosellini, Vice President, Digital Operations, Hearst Television. 

This integration allows the video ecosystem to work more closely together for the betterment of video streaming and we look forward to integrating with more partners and video platforms in the future. 

More integrations for the future of video streaming

We’ll continue to build more functionalities into DAI Pod Serving, so that we can meet the varying use cases of the evolving video industry. This includes extending DAI Pod Serving to support ad insertion for addressable TV use cases, as well as new iterations of HLS and DASH standards in the future. No matter how you plug into DAI Pod Serving, you’ll have the ability to customize your own video streaming workflow while leveraging Ad Manager for monetization. With added flexibility to integrate with partners’ video streaming solutions, we’ll continue to support more partners and the broader ecosystem. 



Source: Google Ad Manager

Privacy-first web advertising: a measurement update

Real-time tutorials and certification from DFP.Training

In January, we shared how Google’s advertising teams have been evaluating the proposals in Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox, an open-source initiative to replace third-party cookies with viable privacy-first alternatives that can support the publishers and advertisers who help keep the web open and accessible.

Today, we’re going to explain how the latest proposals in the Privacy Sandbox can solve for key conversion measurement use cases on the web while preserving privacy – and we’ll also share a new resource to help you learn more about the overall initiative.

Conversion measurement

Chrome’s conversion measurement proposals center around an API that would have the capability to report both event-level and aggregated information. Event-level information is helpful when businesses need data to be more granular, such as deciding how much to bid on impressions or modeling conversions. Aggregated information is important for summarizing campaign performance, like reporting total conversion value or return on investment.

To make sure that the API preserves privacy, and that any data reported can’t be used to track individual people as they move across the web, the API uses one or more of the following techniques:

  • Aggregate the data that is reported so that each person’s browsing activity and identity remain anonymous among a large group of conversions.
  • Limit the amount of information reported about each conversion, so it’s not possible to expose the identity of the person behind the conversion.
  • Add “noise” to the data reported, which protects an individual’s privacy by including some random data along with the actual conversion results.

The Chrome team recently shared new proposals for how the API could apply these privacy considerations while reporting view-through conversions and cross-device conversions:

For view-through conversion measurement, Chrome proposes that advertisers use the event-level capability of the API to get a report on the conversions that happen on their website and are attributed to ad views across the web. The browser would enable this by registering the ad impressions that take place across websites and then matching any conversions that happen on an advertiser’s website back to the initial views. To prevent any conversion data from being used to track people individually, the Chrome API would limit the amount of information shared about each conversion and add noise to the data. 

Then, when advertisers are interested in reporting on the total number of view-through conversions, for a video ad campaign as an example, Chrome proposes that they can use the API’s aggregate reporting capability. This would allow advertisers to get more precise information on key metrics for the overall campaign without compromising people’s privacy. That’s because aggregate reporting keeps people’s identities and their browsing histories anonymous as it only shares data across a large group of conversions.

For cross-device conversion measurement, Chrome proposes that advertisers use the API’s event-level capability to report on the conversions that happen on their website and are attributed to ad views or clicks that happen on another device. This would only be possible if the people converting are signed into their browser across their devices. Access to this capability would enable cross-device measurement for all participating ad providers and networks.

The proposals in the Privacy Sandbox will change how measurement works for digital ads, but are designed to support key measurement use cases while protecting people’s privacy. We’re beginning to run simulations to understand how different use cases might be impacted by the privacy considerations made in Chrome’s various proposals and we look forward to sharing our findings in the near future.

Resources

We know that there are many questions about the Privacy Sandbox and that there is broad interest in learning more about each of the proposals. The Chrome team recently built a new website, privacysandbox.com, with an overview of this effort, FAQs, and links to additional resources. We’ll also continue to share regular updates about our work across Google’s ads teams to adopt the Privacy Sandbox technologies for our web advertising and measurement products.



Source: Google Ad Manager

Advancing mobile app inventory quality with app reviews

Real-time tutorials and certification from DFP.Training

To help create a clean and safe ads ecosystem for both developers and advertisers, we’re introducing a new app review process across AdMob and Ad Manager. The process will help enhance the mobile app inventory quality for developers who choose to monetize with either platform. Together with initiatives such as support for app-ads.txt and sellers.json, we continue to increase inventory quality and strengthen advertiser trust to create more value for publishers. 

What’s the new app review process?

App review is a new process that evaluates a mobile app’s inventory quality before allowing unrestricted ad serving. In going through the process, publishers will get a unified view of all their apps’ approval status with actionable feedback. The feedback will help them resolve issues upfront and lessen the likelihood of future policy violations. App reviews will be rolled out gradually in 2021 with two features: app readiness and app claiming.

AdMob App Review Status

AdMob publishers will see the review status of their apps in one view.

Ad Manager App Review Status

Ad Manager publishers will see the review status of their apps in one view.

App readiness  

With app readiness, publishers will need to link new mobile apps they want to monetize with AdMob or Ad Manager to at least one supported app store. Linking an app will kick off a review process which checks things like the app source, the publisher’s ownership of the app, and compliance with AdMob or Ad Manager policies. These checks help ensure that the apps entering our networks have high inventory quality, and bring value to the users and advertisers. 

We will gradually roll out app readiness to all publisher accounts for AdMob and Ad Manager starting in April 2021.

App claiming

With app claiming, publishers can declare a comprehensive list of their apps’ inventory with the ability to manage and track all apps’ review status directly in their AdMob or Ad Manager account. With this feature, publishers will receive suggestions of mobile apps that are being monetized using their publisher ad code, but haven’t been added to their AdMob or Ad Manager account. Publishers can act on suggestions starting in mid-2021, and eventually will be required to add all apps to their account to allow unrestricted ad serving. 

How to prepare for the changes

We recommend publishers complete the app review process by linking mobile apps to supported app stores and claiming their mobile apps to prevent potential interruptions in monetization. If next steps are required from a publisher to complete the process, we’ll send timely updates in the publisher’s account, the policy center or via email. 

We’re excited about the benefits app review can bring to publishers and advertisers. And we’ll continue to share our efforts in creating a healthy and sustainable ads ecosystem. 



Source: Google Ad Manager

New advanced TV insights from Google Ad Manager

Real-time tutorials and certification from DFP.Training

Advanced TV viewership, or the usage of digital technology to watch TV content, continues to accelerate with new direct-to-consumer apps and free ad-supported TV services. To help our partners gain insight into how 2020 impacted advanced TV monetization trends, we’re publishing our second annual Google Ad Manager advanced TV inventory report. This data can help you understand how viewers are watching your advanced TV content, what opportunities exist to monetize this content, and where to focus your strategies to grow revenue.

To uncover these insights, we analyzed 35 global advanced TV partners who use Google Ad Manager. This year’s report focuses on 2020 and is a bit different from our 2019 report. We specifically focused on advanced TV partners who have long-form and episodic commercial break inventory to ensure we only analyzed TV-like content. The report looks at both live and on-demand video (VOD) content, and data from 2019 through 2020 for year-over-year insights. 

The report’s four sections tell a story of how last year’s conditions drove transitions that point toward the industry’s future:

COVID-19 recovery

As we all saw, in Q2 at the height of the downturn, advertisers pulled back from most channels including advanced TV. However, we found that one device type’s ad impressions grew even during the depths of Q2 — Connected TV (CTV) remained resilient as viewers streamed more content during this time. Similarly, programmatic was also paramount in Q2, declining much less than traditional reservations as it offered both publishers and advertisers increased flexibility.

Viewership insights

In 2020, more ads continued to be viewed on CTVs than any other device globally, but the environments where people are watching are changing. For example, in-app impressions showed significant gains in 2020 as more people moved towards over-the-top (OTT) streaming apps and adopted CTV devices. 

Transaction trends

Traditional reservations still led in 2020, but programmatic transactions grew faster, as advanced TV partners leaped at the opportunity to grow demand, improve efficiency and diversify their demand sources.

Livestreaming performance

When the pandemic first hit, all live events froze. But as live sports started returning around midyear, advanced TV was there to serve fans who couldn’t attend in person, and live impressions grew much faster than VOD — mostly on (yes, you guessed it) those big CTV screens.  

Advanced TV viewership, CTV devices, in-app impressions, programmatic deal types and live events were the lead stories for advanced TV monetization trends this past year. If you’re interested in a deeper dive, our 2020 Advanced TV Inventory Report takes a closer look at these insights, and what they suggest for the future.



Source: Google Ad Manager