By: Abhinav Rao, Product Designer, Binge Watcher
According to a new report published by the IAB and PwC called the “IAB Outlook” 2022 Digital Ad Ecosystem” research, consumers are fleeing bad ad-supported experiences in favor of efficient ad experiences. The IAB and PwC’s findings indicate that user experience is going to be the single biggest factor that will influence ad-supported digital advertising.
Given the ever increasing ad investment in CTV, it follows that some of the most exciting and interesting innovations have been in this space. This also explains why CTV publishers are focused on ad podding, specifically creative deduplication and competitive ad exclusions.
Ad pods provide publishers with an opportunity to sequence together multiple video ads using a single VAST request. The functionality simulates a TV commercial break with multiple ad slots. Competitive exclusions provide advertisers with this ability to exclude other demand sources from eligible supply that they deem non-conducive to their brand. Publishers have unequivocally stated that these features are the biggest revenue drivers. While this clearly addresses a very specific client need, innovations addressing repetition within ad pods goes a long way in addressing ad efficiency for viewers.
Addressing the Creative Review Conundrum
Traditionally, the creative review process has been an integral part of the CTV and OTT work streams. Content owners need to ensure that ads are compliant with various rules and regulations while also monitoring for competitive separation. Simultaneously, they need to ensure that the creative flows seamlessly from a viewer’s perspective.
The standard creative audit process has consisted of a person manually approving a piece of creative before it is processed by the ad server. Apart from being prone to human errors, the more challenging issue in this process is the amount of time needed. Human beings can not be reasonably expected to operate at optimal efficiencies over extended swaths of time. While ads are being reviewed, there is a significant amount of unreviewed ad volume that still serves on a publisher’s inventory that can be potentially non-compliant and detrimental to user experience.
To address these very specific pain points, SpringServe is now introducing a brand-new industry-leading product, the first in its class, and this product is called BingeWatcher.
What is BingeWatcher?
Simply put, it’s a paradigm shift in the CTV and OTT work streams. It is a fully-automated, easily scalable and highly flexible technological alternative to the manual process of creative review. BingeWatcher is SpringServe’s proprietary creative scanning product that assigns specific creative metadata attributes to each ad after scanning it, downloading it and analyzing it. The creative metadata we assign to each creative can be classified in three broad categories:
- Creative Language,
- Creative Context, and
- Creative Audio Volume
Each creative scan takes a maximum of 5 to 10 seconds and BingeWatcher scans every previously unscanned creative within a matter of a few minutes. Once a creative has been scanned and it’s attributes assigned, it is immediately available in the ad server for consideration in filling an ad request. The technology works whether the creative is uploaded to SpringServe and comes through programmatically via server side header bidding or RTB or through a VAST tag. Typically if a publisher is running demand from a VAST tag, there’s no way to know what is serving behind that tag. Bingewatcher knows what is serving behind the tag and eliminates this long-standing opacity for publishers.
The really incredible aspect of this technology is that because BingeWatcher scans each video fully, our proprietary image comparison algorithm looks at each creative, and based on the results of this comparison, is able to definitively determine whether two creatives are the same or different and if they share the same creative metadata.
With BingeWatcher, SpringServe is now the first video ad serving platform to have true video creative deduplication. Since BingeWatcher doesn’t rely on human-encoded creative metadata, we have an accuracy rate that’s remarkably close to 100% which can provide true competitive separation and ad deduplication. The ability to confidently vet ad creatives at scale is a huge benefit to most CTV and OTT content owners, particularly those that have been unable to tap into programmatic due to the need for enhanced creative review.
Based on the data we analyze for each creative, media owners have the option to add quarantine parameters if they want to manually approve certain categories or types of ads. Additionally, BingeWatcher can also detect if an ad is stitched, for example, when one 30 second ad impression is purchased for the purpose of running two 15 second spots.
BingeWatcher taps into automation to increase the speed of the creative review process and improve its accuracy, with the added viewer experience benefits of audio normalization, ad deduplication, and competitive separation. SpringServe is excited to make this powerful new feature available to media owners and we will continue to build additional functionality based on the feedback we receive from clients.