What is Dynamic Ad Insertion?

Posted in Streaming, Technology on Jun 14, 2022

Every audio and video platform knows the struggle.

You host creators with powerful stories, but keeping the older stuff relevant gets more challenging, the more you do. Worse, you scramble to monetize despite the views you're getting.

What technology do you use to keep users interested and take advantage of your network efficiently?

Maybe you're getting a lot of good info on who's visiting your platform, but how do you analyze the data and make smarter decisions with what you know?

Enter Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI)

DAI is a technology that allows you to swap out ads in your audio streams and target them based on known user criteria.

Have someone who loves dogs and is watching on a Tuesday morning from Los Angeles? Dynamic Ad Insertion means you can target that person and someone else who loves cats watching from New York on a Wednesday night, all without changing a thing.

If done correctly, this means that your platform can keep ads pertinent to users and stay fresh without having to micromanage delivery. You set up the ads beforehand, and dynamic ad insertion seamlessly stitches them into the feed based on custom algorithms.

Even if you're already familiar with DAIs, there are many ways you can take advantage of this technology that you might not be aware of.

Here's what Dynamic Ad Insertion is and how it can help your business.

The Eagle Eye View

Every podcast, live streaming audio, or video online is hosted somewhere, usually on a network.

Advertising is the primary way creators and platforms host them to make money. Why? Because the internet is mainly free to travel around, getting people to buy stuff is the easiest and most cost-effective way to make money.

Websites that people visit can learn a lot about who's visiting them, but it's useless without a way to reach them.

Like television, content such as podcasts, live streams, and videos are a great way to accomplish monetization. But how do you advertise to people with vastly different criteria?

On TV, they do the best they can base on what they know. We can target based on vast data collections and algorithms to manage them online.

Dynamic ad insertion targets based on the information about the listener to bring them ads most beneficial to them. If you've ever used social media, you know how targeted Facebook ads can be. That's because information about you is being collected from all over the internet, and then advertisers are bidding to put the most relevant ads in front of you. The more time you spend exploring online, the more targeted your ads will be.

How does DAI work?

When a listener or viewer presses "play," the hosting platform receives four critical pieces of information that it can use to tailor an experience for the listener.

The first is when the user is experiencing the content. Not only can you wish each user a "Happy Monday" or "Happy Sunday" based on what day it is, but you can also dial it in so that an ad might begin, "Before you clock out for the night," or, "Hope you grabbed your cup of coffee!"

The next is the what. What is the content of the video or podcast they're listening to? Depending on that, they could offer a listener deals on pet food or ads from nearby car mechanics. The algorithm will use these context clues to uncover the best ad to play.

The next is the "who." Using cookies and other means, the host can learn things like whether the user is on a phone, desktop, or TV, whether they came from another platform like Spotify; or even the brands of the device in question.

Last is the "where." The host can learn where the user is and even what internet service provider they use using the listener's IP address.

Dynamic ad insertion flavors: server-side and client-side

Client-side advertising comprises player-based advertising, companion banners, and all other advertising on the website or application where end-users interact. Server-side advertising directly incorporates ad audio or video into the content itself as it's being streamed or downloaded.

Client-side advertising is the most common version that end-users, website/app developers, and advertisers are familiar with. Banner ads strewn across web pages, skippable advertisements that play before a video, ad breaks that mute and minimize your stream while you wait through 8 back-to-back ads. Client-side ads are also what ad blockers are engineered to prevent, dramatically reducing the inventory you have available to sell to advertisers.

However, server-side advertising is a compelling and valuable way to approach dynamic ad insertion. The ads become part of the content itself, no different or separate from the podcast or stream. Server-side means little to no integration is needed to deliver ads across all available platforms and no pesky adblockers to limit your revenue opportunities. Server-side insertion also makes contextual advertising simpel. Your content itself can be analyzed by the same system injecting the ads, helping to ensure that the most valuable ads possible are served where available across your inventory.

What Does This Mean For You?

If you implement dynamic ad insertion properly, you can monetize your content or market your goods in a targeted, adaptable way.

Maybe your content creators have a new book coming out or want to run a campaign for a new season they will release in the next few months. Using DAI, they can tailor ads for specific parts of their audience and reach them when they're most likely to be interested.

What this means for you is that DAIs are podcast-ready. They deliver ads inside a podcast or can operate behind a caching CDN. All this in real-time, maximizing inventory value.

DAI maximizes listening time as well and is quickly scalable. You can easily up the number of streams, listeners, session starts, and listening hours. Whatever degree of redundancy you are looking for is possible!

DAIs support any audio type in-stream, including Simulcast, OnDemand, PurePlay, or Podcaster, over various protocols, players, encodings, bitrates, and detection of various ad break markers.

That means high quality and real-time ad insertion and ad replacement while providing a fully synchronized delivery of companion display and dynamic ad break management.

Last, DAIs are the lowest TCO (total cost of ownership) option and feature excellent metadata support.

Here to Guide You

Whether you have experience using DAIs or are just beginning to explore the possibilities, StreamGuys can help you unleash the potential in your service.

We've been in the game for 20 years and offer the most cost-effective, professional-grade streaming services.

We love exploring ways to get the most of it in today's saturated online market.

Dynamic ad insertion is a vital part of any platform strategy, and we're here to help guide you in exploring what's possible.

If you're interested in learning more about how you can upgrade your reach, contact us at https://streamguys.com/contact.

Back to News