While the world has been fascinated and is now fairly used to subscription-based streaming services which have been almost flooding the industry, we are now in the phase of rediscovering other models of content revenue collection. With the accumulation of costs and fees for numerous VOD/OTT accounts, the audiences are looking around for new, free or partially free services. This is where Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) comes to play, as a new form of access to content-hungry users and an opportunity for media owners. 

What is DAI and how does it work? 

Today’s enormous competition somewhat forces all video-related entities toward the hiper-personalization of every material and video solution, from suggestion engines, intuitive pop-ups or design possibilities up to the topic of this text – ads.  

Dynamic Ad Insertion works on a basis of seamlessly weaving sponsored materials into the video stream itself. The advertisements can be specially adjusted for each and every user according to the played material as well as the information gathered based on the IP address, geolocation, device, demographics and other parameters. The video stream gets divided at the appropriate time, the ad is inserted, and all the parts are combined creating an uninterrupted experience. 

The otherwise called Addressable TV advertising is primarily implemented in two models – SSAI and CSAI. 

Dynamic ads two ways: The difference between SSAI and CSAI 

Although their basic functionality and purpose are the same, the solution owners can choose between two types of Dynamic Ad Insertion with slightly different characteristics and ways of operation. 

  • SSAI (Server-Side Ad Insertion) – the ad is stitched directly into the video stream, the action of ad implementation happens on the server level and after a finished request, reaches the user in a full format 
  • CSAI (Client-side Ad Insertion) – the ad is requested by the client-side from the ad server after reaching a certain marker in the video stream or manifest 

Pros and cons 

Like with every solution, also Dynamic ad insertion in both variants has its advantages and disadvantages. The knowledge of them is essential when deciding which one would suit certain projects, solutions and businesses best. 

pros  cons  pros  cons 
Uninterrupted, smooth ad experience  May need external (independent) personal data Possibility of implementing interactive ads High latency
Ad-block safe  May need player adjustments  Detailed tracking and metrics by a 3rd party is easily applicable  Unproper optimization may be the cause of more extensive buffering 
High ad personalization  Manifests can be tricky to cache which could prove to be problematic  High ad personalization  The lack of stream continuity may make the ads exposed to ad-blocks 
Easier implementation  The provision of personal data may be required (cookies, consent information etc.)  Easy integration within the B2B model Visible differences in streaming quality 
Better perfomance with live streaming   No need for sharing user data with external servers  


DAI integration with video solutions: streaming, live, VOD/OTT 

Today’s systems allow for various possibilities in relation to Dynamic Ad Insertion, both models can correspond with other vital parts of every application like different types of players or servers. Basically, the whole front and back end can be adjusted accordingly to every technical requirement. DAI can be implemented in almost all content provision formats, whether it was streaming, live or VOD/OTT materials.  

The only tricky part from the customer’s point of view would be finding the best possible experts for the implementation job. The most important would be the experience and expertise in the media or video industry as well as deep knowledge of all occurring processes and possible problem fixes around the whole realm of the application and not only concerning the ad insertion part of functions. 

Why you should choose Dynamic Ad Insertion for your content

Even though there are currently numerous options for revenue collection in the market, the audience’s preferences are shifting. Being able to offer an alternative to boring or annoying ads with seamless, personalized materials is a definite competitive advantage. Combining it with the ease of implementation, higher revenue generation, simplicity of use and maintenance makes DAI a perfect candidate for almost all apps and types of content.