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Simplestream continues expansion of live stream monetisation with the launch of automated SCTE-35 Marker Inserter

Expanding its already highly developed ad-tech stack, a core component of the streaming expert’s frontend framework App Platform, Simplestream has added to its rich feature set with the launch of its own SCTE-35 Marker Inserter. This provides a technologically elegant solution to further increase monetisation across live streams.

The new tool, developed following discussion with clients and market analysis, significantly enhances automated Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) for customers using this workflow for ad insertion into live streams. For channels that don’t have SCTE-35 markers at the point of playout, this is a gamechanger and allows access to mid-roll monetisation using Server-Side Ad Insertion, which relies on the presence of SCTE-35 markers.

Simplestream’s Chief Product Officer, Lewis Arthur, said, “Mid-roll ad breaks are very important when it comes to the monetisation of live streams, typically representing over 80 per cent of digital live stream pod time. This compares to approximately 20 per cent for pre-roll ads. Using this technology, customers who don’t have SCTE-35 markers can still access mid-roll monetisation which they would otherwise be unable to do.”

The SCTE-35 Marker Inserter sources the metadata information from the playout schedule provided, which is a much more detailed version of the regular EPG. This workflow allows the automated identification of the breaks and inserts the markers at the point of encoding the live stream. By using a customer’s own schedule, the solution respects existing ad break positions and durations and ensures the schedule is always in control of the ad breaks, matching the broadcast channel and reflects in real time any changes that might occur.

When adverts are inserted, via Simplestream’s Encoding API, existing in-stream adverts are replaced with programmatic or direct digital ads, driving monetisation, as in-stream ads do not generate revenue on digital. The process, which is fully automated, is managed as part of the backend of Simplestream’s Media Manager.

The solution is ad-server and ad-partner agnostic, working with customers’ chosen advertising/demand partners and ad servers in all cases. VAST and VPAID tags are supported and it’s fully IAB compliant. The system also supports advert fallback slates and start and stop bumpers as standard.

Simplestream’s Chief Product Officer, Lewis Arthur, commented, “Monetisation is absolutely front and centre and we’re constantly looking at ways to allow our customers to expand their capabilities. Tailored to customers whose live streams do not have markers to allow mid-roll monetisation, it’s essential for easy customer integration and deployment that this is a fully automated solution. Based on an IAB-compliant solution, we’re helping our customers maximise each and every monetisation opportunity in a highly competitive market.”

SCTE-35 was first published in 2001 and is the core signalling standard for advertising and program control for content providers and content distributors.

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