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Automating ad insertion in live streams with Cognitive Computing

December 16, 2022 · 5 min read
Pavel Saskovec Technical Writer
Proofread by the expert: Oleg Gubin

Video content promotion works extremely well these days, doesn’t it?.

Lots of marketing people — around 86% — use video for their promotion purposes and are very satisfied with the return they get on that.

Marketing with video content proves to be very efficient.
Marketing with video content proves to be very efficient.

But it's one thing to produce video ads and put them on social media or websites, where the infrastructure is quite welcoming for that.

Inserting the most relevant video ads in video content itself is another challenge. And do not forget live streams as well.

Let’s talk about the most effective ways of ad insertion in live streams and video content.

Debunking video ad insertion

First things first — what are we talking about? Gotta start with clearing that up.

Video ad insertion is often referred to as a way to put video advertisements inside the video content consumed by viewers. Think of advertisements breaking news blocks, sporting broadcasts, or shows on television.

But it can also be done on the internet as well. Why waste so much valuable space?

There’s nothing complex to the notion. But the way you go about inserting advertisements in video content can pose some challenges.

The issues of manual ad insertion

Here’s the basic breakdown of the video ad insertion process.

Say you have a video content of any type you want to insert advertisements in. To do that, you will have to manually go through the entire footage and select the places where it makes sense to insert an ad break.

It's not that hard. But it does become harder if you put the process in the context of a media company or an ott platform production process — obviously, it’s not just one piece of footage that needs the ads inserted.

Manual ad insertion means a lot of editing.
Manual ad insertion means a lot of editing.

Each and every piece of content that goes onto television or the internet will probably require the same treatment, which means dozens and hundreds of videos to work with. Responding to that, you will have to scale the process with more and more human editors.

A bunch of people looking through many hours of content is not fast and effective, as you might agree. The more content you get, the more time it takes; if you hire more people — it becomes more and more expensive.

And let’s factor in the main thing we came here for: live streams. It poses a different kind of difficulty, since you have to have people keeping an eye on the stream and putting in the ads on the fly.

But not to worry! We have something that can help you put ads in video content with utmost ease and effectiveness.

Automated ad insertion in live streams

The key to the most effective ad insertion is automation. You implement a software that can understand the best time to place an ad and do it without human intervention.

But here you will encounter another type of problem. How does the software understand where to put those advertisements?

Some might think Artificial Intelligence can do all that. But the truth is that it can’t

Let me explain.

AI lacks the subtle ways of recognizing the time to an ad in video content. It can only use workarounds to do that. For example, you can have AI look at the timer of a sports match, scouting the end of the period and inserting the ads then.

That’s simple enough.

But what will you do with a movie, or a long series episode? The content variety is so high that it would be very hard to come up with clues for AI to cling on that are consistent through a soap opera, an action movie, or a reality show.

The ability to understand context is essential to flawless automated ad insertion.
The ability to understand context is essential to flawless automated ad insertion.

Even if you manage to work something out, you most certainly will have to re-configure the algorithm for a different type of video content.

I’m not a media expert, but I don’t think you have the time to do that with manual ad insertion in live streams.

So — we need an ad insertion platform powered by a more sophisticated tech.

Ad insertion powered by Cognitive Computing

Finding the best moment for ad insertion in video content requires some form of context understanding. If the machine understands what is going on in the footage, it won’t abruptly cut the content mid-sentence, won’t interrupt an emotional character-driven moment, won’t spoil the excitement of a hard-earned score.

Humans can recognize context easily. So we can turn to the technology that simulates human reasoning and decision-making abilities — like Cognitive Computing.

Tell us your thoughts on cognitive computing!

Cognitive Computing hosts a whole bunch of tech that picks apart each and every frame of the video and figures out what it is about. Those technologies can recognize emotions, faces, smart plays, and a bunch of other things that drive decision-making.

That’s how the streaming ad insertion platform can work with the help of Cognitive Computing: by analyzing the footage, it can recognize the moments when there’s not much action, and place the ads in those.

Ad insertion in live streams can also make sure that those moments are equally placed from each other, so that the viewers do not get the next ads three minutes after they saw the last one, and then the third one an hour into the broadcast.

Another perk of more thorough video content analysis is that the context understanding allows for better targeted ad insertion. For instance, if you have sports streams, the ad insertion technology can recognize that it’s the sports content, and offer advertisements accordingly, like betting companies, or sports gear.

You can automatically insert ads relevant yo your content.

Automated ad insertion to enhance your media business

Ad insertion in video content and broadcasts is quite an involved process. You need to dedicate a lot of time to study the footage and identify the best places to put the ads in, and the job gets only harder when you go on to live streams.

Hence the automation appears a very helpful option for video ad insertion. With the right technology, you can automate the entire process: the software will analyze the footage thoroughly, pinpoint the best spots for ads, and insert the ones most relevant to the context of the footage.

Apart from taking the workload off your editors’ shoulders, the streaming ad insertion tool also works 50 times faster than humans while providing the same consistent results.

If you’re looking to automate your ad insertion efforts for live broadcasting? Reach us at contact@aihunters.com or use the form below. We are happy to cooperate!


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