With IBC 2019 having ended, it’s essential in looking to the many fantastic and innovative media platforms that were showcased at the conference. One that stood out most notably was that of Verizon Media. At IBC 2019, Verizon media debuted Verizon Smartplay, the latest upgrade for its media platform.
What Is Verizon Smartplay?
Verizon Smartplay, also known as Stream Routing, is a Verizon Media platform that delivers video traffic over multiple content delivery networks (CDNs), which allows for quicker startup times and a rebuffering reduction. Verizon Smartplay uses Verizon Media’s server and client-side performance data from its global network and device distribution to dynamically deliver traffic. This can be very helpful in scenarios involving networks experiencing outages. With traffic being automatically re-routed, broadcasters will be protected against any potentially damaging network problems.
How Verizon Smartplay Delivers Better Quality Content
Several of Verizon Smartplay’s benefits include:
- Ad performance visibility
- Content personalization
- Delivery optimization
- Blackout control
In discussing the qualities of Verizon Smartplay in more detail, Verizon Media chief product officer, Ariff Sidi had this to say, “We enable broadcasters and content providers to more confidently deliver the best quality to viewers wherever they are in the world.” “Our Smartplay solution is entirely CDN-agnostic, meaning that decisions about how to route traffic are made purely on performance metrics. This means you can be sure your audiences will always get the best possible experience.”
Verizon Smartplay Improves Ad Insertion
In addition to rerouting traffic, Verizon Smartplay also works as an enhanced Ad Server Debug, offering end-to-end visibility into the ad insertion process, which can highlight errors, timeouts and tracking issues. With every ad transaction, an ad server debuf works to collect and store data, which includes response times and timeouts from third-party ad servers, and comprehensive session-level data that can be stored for a period of over fourteen days.
Sidi further elaborated on the use of ad server debug when he said that “Broadcasters and content creators have the ability to deliver personalized streams for every viewer but, until now, fragmented and evolving industry standards around OTT advertising have made it difficult to get a clear view of what’s actually going on during the ad insertion process. Ad Server Debug changes this by delivering far greater transparency and insight into how ads are delivered, enabling service providers to improve the quality of experience for millions of viewers worldwide.”
Verizon Smartplay And Personalized Video Streaming
Verizon Smartplay Content Targeting delivers ultra-personalized video streams that are via manifest manipulation technology. Because blackouts require content distributors to restrict any content that is based on a viewer’s location or device type, broadcasters must deliver alternative content rather than a static slate message that risks the loss of viewers in order to maintain audience engagement. Within the simple UI, customers are able t0 schedule blackouts ahead of time and plan the distribution of personalized content to better control viewer experience. Customers can create audiences, build rulesets, and then apply these criteria to the assets that matter.
To extend legacy broadcast workflows, content replacement and audience management can be automated for any workflow using Event Scheduling and Notification Interface (ESNI). Following the configuration process, Verizon Smartplay Content Targeting discerns a viewer’s location, device or environment in order to deliver an optimal experience specifically for their scenario.
Verizon Smartplay And OTT
When discussing OTT personalization, Sidi stated that “OTT personalization depends on the manifest server in order to generate a unique playlist of content, ads and playback instructions for every user. You need to be sure you can personalize content and match local content rights, regardless of how many viewers are watching,” said Sidi. “Smartplay allows you to build audiences and rulesets that are reinforced on every asset, for every viewer that presses play, anywhere in the world.”