Adobe Primetime intros live-linear ad replacement for better targeting

Adobe headquarters in San Jose, California. (Credit: Adobe)

AMSTERDAM - Adobe is rolling out linear ad replacement to allow broadcasters to insert more targeted ads into live content streamed over IP networks on multiple screens.

As live broadcast content is reused on different devices, allowing for ad replacement can potentially help broadcasters to better monetize the practice.

“If I can change the ads, they become more targeted and that means more money,” Steve Allison, senior evangelist for Adobe Primetime, told FierceCable.

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Adobe Primetime’s new technology has already been put into use by programmers. NBC tapped it for its vast Olympics multiscreen coverage and, according to Adobe, saw a 34 percent increase in ad revenue.

In addition, M6 in France used the technology for the Euros tournament. Allison said that broadcasters have not necessarily revealed what kind of specific CPM gains they’re seeing, but said they are indicating the technology has improved ad performance.

The types of ad replacements Adobe is talking about include swapping out local ads and keeping national ads in place, or replacing everything. It’s also possible to change the ad break entirely, making it longer, shorter or tailoring it for specific devices.

Paired with historical data from Adobe Marketing Cloud, Allison says broadcasters can go back and analyze data to revise targeting rules.

Right now, Primetime live ad insertion is for IP delivery, but Adobe says it could eventually be used on operators’ managed networks as well, as long as the video is being delivered through HLS or M-DASH protocols.

Of course, ad insertion technology is fairly standard in the industry. But Adobe says it can differentiate by having the widest variety of devices on which it can replace ads but allowing for the same process to be used for ad replacement on each device.

“That’s something a lot of the broadcasters have been struggling with, getting that consistency across all those devices,” said Allison.

That array of devices used for TV Everywhere access is starting to point back toward the actual TV, particularly for communal viewing experiences like live sports and films. Allison said viewers are transitioning back to watching more content on large screens, particularly through TV-connected devices. In fact, Adobe says that the amount of time spent on those connected devices grew 149 percent year-over-year, outpacing the viewership growth on browsers, Android and iOS.

That shift in viewership patterns is giving Adobe more data to help understand how people are using content on different devices.

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