Michael Grotticelli /
02.17.2011 10:55 AM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Free, open-source software introduced for dynamic ad insertion

This Technology, a company based in New York City, has developed open-source software for dynamic ad insertion in VOD, IPTV, broadband video and network DVRs that it is making available for free download.

Called SpotLink, the standards-based architecture connects SCTE 130-compliant dynamic ad insertion systems to broadband ad servers using the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Video Advertising Serving Template standard. Such systems enables ads to be inserted into VOD and other content, much like the way ads are quickly inserted into websites and search requests. It also enables operators to insert ads targeted to specific demographics.

“The days of networks being forced to purchase new campaign management systems to get (digital ad insertion) campaigns off the ground are over,” said Jeffrey Sherwin, CEO of This Technology. “With SpotLink, the networks are finally free to use their proven, cost-efficient broadband ad servers to interface with any campaign management system being used by any operator.”

With SpotLink, previous integration challenges have been removed that existed for networks that wanted to use their current broadband ad server with any MSO system, regardless of the campaign management system in place. Historically, programming networks have been forced to buy proprietary campaign management systems in addition to their existing broadband ad server equipment to interface with MSOs for digital ad insertion. The capital costs and decision making associated with this scenario resulted in deployment delays and, in many cases, no deployments at all. Because ad operations for dynamic ad insertion on applications like VOD typically have more in common with broadband advertising than broadcast advertising, many networks would rather use their existing broadband ad server instead of purchasing an unnecessary third-party system and further building out operations.

SpotLink provides a simple way for programming networks and operators to use broadband ad servers for digital ad insertion. Plug-in-based integration enables broadband ad servers to extract SCTE 130 metadata from operator equipment and convert it into a format that can be interpreted and acted upon by a programming network’s broadband ad servers. The open-source licensing model allows each programming network to build and maintain their own plug-in, making the overall solution less costly to implement and faster to scale.

For cable operators, the software provides a plug-and-play approach to digital ad insertion that controls addressable information and supports vendor diversity across all of their applications. It also reduces the time and cost to make digital ad insertion work at scale, improving the business case for all applications that have revenue models dependent on digital ad insertion.

For programming networks, it makes it easy and cost-effective to connect a broadband ad server of choice to any SCTE 130-compliant operator campaign management system, eliminating the need for networks to determine how to integrate with a broad lineup of vendors. It also enables networks to aggregate the management of all digital ad insertion spots with their current broadband ad server.

Sherwin said This Technology is giving the software away in hopes of attracting more customers to the company’s core products, which include SpotBuilder and MetaMore. SpotBuilder offers content and service providers a platform and a simple workflow to manage advanced ad inventory rights for both linear and nonlinear video content. MetaMore software provides users with Web-based tools for editing content metadata.

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