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Medialaan finds the Holy Grail – a better advertising viewing experience and increased ad yield

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The leading DAI vendor Yospace has successfully demonstrated how the introduction of addressable advertising on broadcaster digital services, using server-side dynamic advertising insertion, can deliver the double-win of reduced ad load on a per-viewing-session basis (thus improving the appeal to younger audiences and the ad-shy) and improved advertising yield (thus improving monetisation of content). The company says this presents “a viable and future-proof model for broadcasters in the OTT space”. In a ground-breaking service innovation, the Belgian commercial broadcaster Medialaan has seen a 10% capacity increase in long-form views on its Stievie online service since lowering ad load and using addressability.

Medialaan is using the server-side ad insertion (SSAI) technology from Yospace and its new Non-Linear Startover (NLSO) technology. NLSO allows users of OTT streaming services to rewind live content mid-stream. Ad breaks are then intelligently reduced in length, allowing the viewer to catch up with the live action. “We developed this technology in anticipation of a growing need among broadcasters to consider reducing ad load to improve viewer engagement, particularly among those viewers of the ‘Internet-first’ millennial generation,” says Yospace.

Although ad breaks are shorter, precise per-viewer ad decisioning (with targeting algorithms working out the best ad campaign to show someone) means broadcasters can command a premium price for advertising, ensuring net advertising revenue (yield) is positive, despite reduced load. “Individual viewers are served only relevant ad content, thus boosting their engagement with the advertising and driving up the CPM [cost per thousand viewers that the broadcaster can charge advertisers],” Yospace explains.

With its Stievie TV everywhere service, Medialaan has focused its attention on engaging a new generation of viewers. Launching with Yospace’s SSAI technology and NLSO in late 2017, Medialaan has reported an increase in capacity for long-form views over a 12-month period, with greater ad revenues enabled through addressability. Calogero Macaluso, Marketing Director Stievie, at Medialaan, says: “Providing a seamless viewing experience was more important than creating as many ad positions as possible and Yospace understood that. Ultimately, we want to encourage the transformation from linear to digital by delivering a better customer experience.”

Olivier van Zeebroeck, Head of Sales Digital, Medialaan, confirms: “We have unlocked hundreds of hours of advertising inventory since working with Yospace. The introduction of server-side DAI resulted in a 10% capacity increase for long-form views.”

Tim Sewell, CEO at Yospace, comments: “The next generation of viewers are online and have grown up used to video with lighter ad loads. With the right ad-tech and data strategy in place, broadcasters can cater to that audience while increasing engagement with the advertising. Yospace’s technology continues to successfully push the boundaries of what a 21st century TV experience looks like.”

In recognition of the success, the project was awarded the IBC2018 Innovation Award for Content Distribution. This project also won the Silver prize for the ‘Contribution to User Experience – TV & Video’ category at this year’s Connies. You can hear more about the Medialaan implementation in this video interview.

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Interested in monetising online video better, using advertising, or in where advertisers are going to find their audiences in future? Then check out the ‘Ad-engagement in a disrupted content value chain’ session at Future TV Advertising Forum next week. David Springall, Founder and CTO at Yospace, is speaking about how commercial broadcasters are responding to the online world, and you can hear Christian Godske, Head of Commercial Product Development at another innovative broadcaster, TV2, explaining how his company is getting viewers to ‘say yes’ to ads on TV2 Play with discounted, ad-funded versions of the service.

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