Brightcove tackles ad blocking, latency with cloud-based insertion solution

With ad blocking as arguably the hottest topic in the online video industry right now, Brightcove has introduced Lift, a service designed to skate around most blocking software to deliver video ads to consumers.

Brightcove Lift combines server-side ad insertion with the company's HTML 5-based player to enable OTT video providers to stitch in video ads in a way that most of the ad blockers in use today won't be able to detect. The solution can be integrated with an AVOD provider's chosen ad server, such as Freewheel, LiveRail or SpotX.

What's interesting about Brightcove Lift is that it was developed to solve other annoying problems with online video ad delivery: ad latency, which causes a noticeable pause in the video stream when an AVOD service transitions from the main content being played to an inserted advertisement; mobile and streaming device reach, often made difficult by market fragmentation; and delivery errors or "leakage," where ads aren't properly monetized for a number of reasons.

"We invented it because it's a better way to deliver ads," said Brightcove CEO David Mendels, in an interview with FierceOnlineVideo.

The company said that Lift delivers a "TV-like" ad experience with minimal buffering, including mid-roll ads. Providers can still combine client-side features in their video stream, such as interactive overlays, clickthrough tracking and "companion" ads.

One early client was Vox.com, which was looking to improve delivery of its ad-supported video on Android devices. "Delivering AVOD on Android is a particularly hard problem because of device fragmentation," Mendels said. "But with this, as long as the device can play a video" then ads could be delivered through the Brightcove service. Mendels said that Vox saw a "big uplift" in ad completion rates shortly after deploying the Lift solution.

Mendels said that another unnamed client which streams a large amount of ad-supported online video saw a 50 percent improvement in video ads being delivered after deploying the solution. Previously it had estimated that more than half its ads were being blocked.

While Brightcove Lift offers video providers a way forward in the increasingly mobile OTT space, it is only one part of the solution to the ad-blocking conundrum, Mendels said. Providing better targeted and more relevant ad content is important, as well. "But we also believe that consumers should not be forced to endure heavy video players, slow load times, high latency between ads and content, and frequent errors."

Brightcove isn't the only company doing server-side ad insertion: Akamai teamed with Adobe Primetime earlier this year on SSAI to improve video delivery, and thePlatform also offers a solution.

For more:
- see the release

Special Report: Ad blocking becomes a $22B headache for online video providers, advertisers

Related articles:
Striking a balance between advertisers and OTT viewers requires holistic thinking
Akamai, Adobe Primetime team for server-side dynamic ad insertion
Google, Scripps, BBC: balancing consumer demand, video technology an expensive proposition
The ad-blocking reality app developers must face

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