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Verizon unveils new Media Platform features

Aims to make it easier for broadcasters and content owners to deliver personalised content

Verizon Media will debut advanced capabilities for delivery optimisation, ad performance visibility, content personalisation and blackout control on its Media Platform at IBC 2019 (Stand 5.B64). With these enhanced offerings, Verizon Media can deliver personalised, TV-like experiences to viewers on one of the largest and most reliable streaming networks.

Smartplay: Stream Routing
Verizon Smartplay: Stream Routing delivers video traffic over multiple content delivery networks (CDNs), benefiting viewers with faster startup times and reduced rebuffering, resulting in a high quality viewing experience. New for IBC 2019, Smartplay: Stream Routing uses Verizon Media’s server and client side performance data from across its global network and device distribution to dynamically deliver traffic. If one network experiences an outage, traffic can be automatically re-routed, protecting broadcasters against catastrophic network issues.

“We enable broadcasters and content providers to more confidently deliver the best quality to viewers wherever they are in the world,” said Ariff Sidi, chief product officer, Verizon Media. “Our Smartplay solution is entirely CDN-agnostic, meaning that decisions about how to route traffic are made purely on performance metrics. This means you can be sure your audiences will always get the best possible experience.”

Ad Server Debug
Verizon Media’s enhanced Ad Server Debug empowers content owners with end-to-end visibility into the ad insertion process, highlighting errors, timeouts, and tracking issues. The technology automatically collects and stores data on every ad transaction, including response times and timeouts from 3rd party ad servers. Comprehensive, session-level data can be stored up to 14 days, so there’s never a lack of data for in-depth troubleshooting and analysis.

Sidi added, “Broadcasters and content creators have the ability to deliver personalised streams for every viewer but, until now, fragmented and evolving industry standards around OTT advertising have made it difficult to get a clear view of what’s actually going on during the ad insertion process. Ad Server Debug changes this by delivering far greater transparency and insight into how ads are delivered, enabling service providers to improve the quality of experience for millions of viewers worldwide.”

Smartplay Content Targeting
Smartplay Content Targeting delivers TV-like quality video streams that are ultra-personalised via manifest manipulation technology. Blackouts require content distributors to restrict content based on a viewer’s location or device type, and to keep the audience engaged, broadcasters must deliver alternative content during these blackouts (rather than a static slate message that risks the loss of viewers). Within the simple UI, customers can schedule blackouts ahead of time and plan the distribution of personalised content to better control the viewer’s experience. They create audiences, build rulesets, and then simply apply these criteria to the assets that matter. The Verizon Media Platform also supports scheduling through our API or by uploading a CSV.

To extend legacy broadcast workflows, content replacement and audience management can be automated for any workflow using ESNI (Event Scheduling and Notification Interface), saving time and extending reach, while creating harmony within existing broadcast workflows. Once configured, Smartplay Content Targeting is intelligent enough to discern a viewer’s location, device or environment to deliver an experience optimised for their scenario and ensures approved content is delivered to the right audience at the right time anywhere in the world.

“OTT personalisation hinges on the performance of the manifest server to generate a unique playlist of content, ads, and playback instructions for every user. You need to be sure you can personalize content and match local content rights, regardless of how many viewers are watching,” said Sidi. “Smartplay allows you to build audiences and rulesets that are reinforced on every asset, for every viewer that presses play, anywhere in the world.”

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