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Server-Side vs. Client-Side for Streaming Ad Insertion

Learn more about SSAI at Streaming Media East.

See complete videos and other highlights from Streaming Media West Connect on Streaming Media's YouTube channel.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Jeremy Brown: Originally, with the first-generation Apple TV, the only way to get onto that platform was server-side. So that really triggered a love for me on that. Once we'd done that, we rolled it into every other device. So I think we touched on a few benefits of server-side, the other ones being that the video quality and the loudness are part of the transcoding steps. So you've not just got a linear playback experience, but you've got one where you don't get those loud ads that you often get on other experiences. It does present more challenges than client-side ads for the buyer. But I think they've all come around. It's taken a few years, but they all get it.

Jarred Willichinsky: For the most part server-side ad insertion, without a doubt. It's a TV-like experience. Because we all run TV, it has to work like TV, and that is the best way to achieve that. For certain executions, certain platforms, server-side might not make sense, and you have to do client-side. So, if you have your choice, server-side. But there are plenty of scenarios where you can't do it and you gotta do client-side actual insertion. I think the distinction is where you do tracking, and that's where you can really pivot and do a lot of different ways. And the more tracking you could bring to the client, the better, and that really comes to platform- and device-specific on where you can get away with it. And what Jeremy said is true: Server-side ad insertion lets you normalize audio because none of us like having loud or soft ads that make you not have a TV-like experience.

Larry Allen: I agree with everybody. Server-side is the right way to go. Given the kind of consumer experience that we're all managing, TV has set an expectation, and I think now with all of the streaming platforms, you have to have the same high-quality experience that you had gotten in broadcast. So server-side's the right way to go.

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