Ateme Partners With Digitalrich For Multichannel Ad Insertion

French video processing and transcoding vendor Ateme has teamed up with Digitalrich, a provider of ad insertion technology in South Korea, to create an integrated advertising insertion package operating across broadcast and online channels.

The package incorporates Ateme’s Titan Live transcoding and Titan Mux multiplexing products with Digitalrich’s ad insertion server. This is designed to provide an all-in-one ad splicing package capable of managing analogue or digital cue tones and ad campaigns for any channel supported by the Ateme video processing components.

As Gautier Vandomme, VP APAC, Ateme, put it, “Thanks to the synergy between ATEME TITAN Live and TITAN Mux and Digitalrich’s solution, we are able to offer both our new and existing customers internationally a one-of-a-kind, integrated ad insertion solution, helping them to create new revenue streams and offer audiences a more personalized viewing experience.”

The package will help Ateme meet rising demand for integrated ad insertion from broadcasters and pay TV operators seeking new sources of revenue from ad targeting at a time when traditional spot advertising on linear TV is showing signs of terminal decline. This is particularly the case in North America and to a lesser extent Europe, where Ateme hopes to exploit the package.

TV advertising revenues in Europe have been stagnating over the last decade in the range 20 – 25 billion Euros per year and then declined sharply in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Damien Lucas, CTO and co-founder of events and market research firm Dataxis. “We expect a slow recovery with a return to the levels of the last three years not before 2025,” Lucas added at an event where Ateme also presented.

Lucas pointed out that while overall pay TV subscribers have been increasing gradually every year in Europe, unlike the case in the USA, new customers are mostly joining OTT-only versions and paying less in subscription. As a result, aggregate ARPUs have been declining by an average 30 Euro cents per year since 2015.

The take home message from that Dataxis event was that targeted Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI), alongside greater personalization of the accompanying content, offers perhaps the only chance of reversing the revenue decline for legacy video service providers, while achieving significant ROI (Return On Investment).

Other providers of video processing and transcoding technology have also acted on such messages. AWS Elemental developed its MediaTailor package allowing content owners to insert pre-roll advertisements before streams start, overwriting the beginning of their live streams with personalized ads as part of a relatively low cost monetization strategy capable of delivering high ROI. This can work independently of traditional ad infrastructure that uses SCTE (Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers) markers within compressed streams to determine where to insert ads. It allows dynamic ad insertion for ad breaks to be scheduled at set times for insertion locally, regionally or nationally.

Cobalt Digital is another video technology vendor increasingly active in ad insertion. The firm notes in a white paper that OTT delivery is particularly favorable for ad insertion because its unicast nature allows ads to be personalized in principle to each specific viewer, and not just at the household level as with broadcast packages such as Sky AdSmart. Furthermore, through being connected via a web server, user identification and tracking methodologies developed for the internet come into play.

Cobalt Digital also points out that additional levels of control need to be imposed in many OTT Ad insertion deployments, especially on a large scale. Geoblocking may be required for ads as well as surrounding content on the basis of rights, while there may also be issues over varying interpretation of the SCTE-35 messages between service providers, when they are used.

Cobalt Digital offers an automated ad insertion system for broadcasters and pay TV operators spanning IPTV, satellite, and cable TV, incorporating Transport Stream (TS) splicing software from UK based Starfish Technologies. This is designed to replace ad insertion or content blocking applications, taking in transport streams with SCTE-35 triggers and inserting ads based on the embedded control signals. 

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