What is the difference between consumers of media and entertainment from our childhood and now? Even ten years ago, people did not have as many choices as we have now when it comes to content and media platforms. You can think of Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Crunchyroll as the disrupters, who have made it possible for people to binge on shows without “annoying” ad placements. People can now choose to omit TV commercials altogether by either switching to one of the online cloud streaming services or switching on an ad-blocker.
Very recently, I was watching a friend of mine queue music videos on YouTube on my laptop. While the videos started to play, I had noticed he had installed an ad-blockers that omitted all client-side ads before and after the videos. While it sounds like a miracle cure for our impatience and annoyance, it is terrible news for the advertisers and marketers. As of 2017, close to 42% of internet users are using ad blockers to enjoy their favorite shows and music videos without any interruptions. It prompted me to ask my friend what TV shows he has been binging lately and he stated Narcos. He had not realized that his ad-blocker stripped his video off all advertisements on his browser.
Client-side ad insertion vs. server-side ad insertion
That is concerning news for all media and advertising companies out there who think all about marketing and rely on revenue from advertisement placement with ad-supported video. Here’s how it is currently possible for ad-blockers to weed out advertisements –
- Client-side ad insertion – you are on YouTube or a similar site. You choose to play an ad-supported video. When you do that, the player sends a call to the separate ad server when it is time to pause the video and play the ad. It is conspicuous for the oldest of the old ad-blocking technologies. The process is referred to as buffering, and the ad blockers get the time to judge whether the call is going out to a known ad server. When that is confirmed, it just prevents the content from playing and prompts the site player to continue playing the video without a pause.
- Server-side ad insertion – all the advertising integration occurs at the very beginning of the playback of the content. There is no requirement for the player to send a call to the ad server. It is one continuous stream of video with ad playback without any buffering. It keeps the ad content protected from the ad blockers.
How do these ad blockers work?
The presence of client-side dynamic ad insertion makes the web browsing experience slower and irritating. Almost 100% of all ad-blockers around the world use these add-ons on Chrome and Firefox because the presence of client-side ads on websites increases the page loading time incredibly. On the contrary, the inclusion of server-side ad insertion enables a smoother broadcast level quality of the videos online. So, if you are not already on top on server side advertisement insertion, you are already losing out on the lion’s share of your advertising revenue.
Ad blockers are mostly browser plug-ins that can detect a list of expressions that are similar or identical to known ad servers. Thus, when your user’s server makes an ad call or request, their plug-ins can instantly recognize it and resist the change to the page. It blocks the buffering action and allows the pause-less play of videos. All media companies that worry about their reach and revenue are already working on server side ad insertion since these plug-ins are incapable of blocking these ads.
Why should you love Server Side Ad Insertion?
Moreover, the SSAI services have superior advertisement monitoring services. You can now track who clicked on the ad, and how many potential customers are visiting your store after seeing the ad. A recent survey showed that over 40% of the customers are influenced by TVCs, but over 45% of internet users feel agitated when their videos stop playing to play an online ad. As a result, they are less likely to buy products endorsed in online ads. With the SSAI services, the integration of ads is smooth, and there are no play-and-pause cycles during their online binging experience. Advertisers are more likely to benefit from an SSAI experience than they are from the current CSAI services.
As advertisers, there is nothing to dislike about server-side advertisement insertion. With the rising popularity of ad-blockers, it is the only smart way to remain visible and influential in a competitive market without incurring extra expenses. Close to 615 million mobile and desktop users now use advertisement blockers in the form of add-ons or plug-in software services every time they access video content. It has resulted in an estimated loss of $35 million in terms of advertising revenue in the last year. It not only helps you reach new audiences as per their viewing preferences, but SSAI also helps with recuperating the losses you may have faced from advertisement blocking on video streaming websites in the recent past.