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A Stitch in Time: How Stream Stitching Beats the Ad Blockers

By Tim Siglin

According to Smith, “more than $21 billion in ad payload (display and video, to be clear) is being lost in 2015 as a result” of ad blocking. How did we get to this point?

Beyond the Dual Player

That solution, at least as it stands today, is SSAI, the ad stitching technique described earlier.

Brigthcove acquired one of the original stream stitching technology companies, Unicorn Media, a few years ago. Unicorn had labeled its product Once, because it was able to deliver streams to the hundreds of Android and iOS devices from a single source. Brightcove now offers a derivative solution called Lift.

Brightcove’s server- side ad insertion SSAI solution, Lift (formerly called Once, as shown in this diagram), delivers streams to the hundreds of Android and iOS devices from a single source. 

Mike Green, vice president of marketing and business development at Brightcove, cites a specific example from Vox Media, a Brigthcove customer, to explain the benefits of Lift and SSAI in general, as opposed to CSAI.

“By implementing Brightcove Lift to stitch ads directly into the video content via server-side ad insertion, Vox Media removed some of the variables and obstacles of client-side ad calls that commonly impact performance for digital publishers,” Green says.

According to Green, Vox faced CSAI challenges prior to implementing Lift. One challenge involved a less-than-seamless end-user experience for mobile devices. “Trying to do client-side ad calls with HLS on Android mobile web was so poor that Vox had actually decided to remove ads there altogether,” Green says. “With Lift, Vox was able to restore monetization on Android and more broadly, on mobile web, the company significantly improved playback consistency and quality, and shortened the time to first frame between ads and video content.”

Anvato’s Smith says that he can’t think of a scenario where his clients would prefer CSAI to SSAI.

“CSAI was good in its day, but introduced characteristics that needed to be improved upon,” Smith says, “including introduction of latency, mismatched quality between program and ad payload, and others.”

Smith says that the ad blocking technologies used against CSAI may have other unintended consequences.

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