VAST in the Screen9 Players

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    Introduction

    When displaying ads in the Amber player there are three main components involved.

    1. The Screen9 player
    2. IMA-SDK, Implemented in the Screen9 player (More details here).
    3. The Advertising Server (e.g. Google Ad Manager or Smartclip)

    When presenting ads, the Screen9 Player displays the IMA-SDK player as a separate frame on top of the Screen9 video content which in turn presents the ads. The Screen9 player listens to events from the IMA-SDK to pause and resume the Screen9 video content accordingly. 

    When presenting VPAID ads the advertising server may include JavaScript code to control the playback and ad presentation inside the IMA-SDK frame, allowing for interactive ads.

    Graphic Overview

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    Using VAST ad tags to display ads

    The following steps describes how ads are fetched and presented after starting playback of video in the Screen9 player when using VAST tags.

    1. IMA-SDK: Sends a request to the configured pre-roll VAST tag.
    2. Ad Server: Responds with an ad to present.
    3. IMA-SDK: Checks if there is an ad in response from ad server. Sends event -> pause_your_content.
    4. Screen9 Player: Pauses the Screen9 video content.
    5. IMA-SDK: Presents the ad content provided in response from ad server.
    6. IMA-SDK: Sends events -> ad_completed, play_your_content.
    7. Screen9 Player: Resumes the Screen9 video content until it is time to display next ad (i.e. mid-roll).
    8. IMA-SDK: Sends a request for the next ad based on configured VAST tag.
    9. Ad Server: Responds with ad to present.
    10. IMA-SDK: Checks if there is an ad in response from ad server. Sends event -> pause_your_content.
    11. Screen9 Player: Pauses the Screen9 video content.
    12. IMA-SDK: Presents the ad content provided in response from ad server.
    13. IMA-SDK: Sends events -> ad_completed, play_your_content
    14. Screen9 Player: Resumes Screen9 video content until it is time to display next ad (i.e. post-roll)
    15. And then repeats step 8 to 14 for the post roll.

    Using a VMAP ad tag to display ads

    VMAP tags work similarly to VAST tags, but instead of having a pre-roll, mid-roll and a post-roll statically configured on your Screen9 account, you have a single VMAP tag. The player then sends a request to the ad server via the VMAP tag when presenting videos. The ad server responds with an ad configuration.

    The ad configuration provided by the ad server maps out when the Screen9 player should take ad breaks and which VAST tags to fetch those ads from. The VMAP response may contain any combination of ads both linear and non-linear (overlays) and is usually dynamically controlled by your ad provider (the ad server).

    The following steps describes how linear ads are fetched and presented after starting playback of video in the Screen9 player when using a VMAP ad tag.

    1. IMA-SDK: Sends a request to the VMAP tag configured on your Screen9 account.
    2. Ad Server: Responds with an ad configuration.
    3. IMA-SDK: Checks if there is a pre-roll ad in the ad configuration from ad server. Sends event -> pause_your_content.
    4. Screen9 Player: Pauses the Screen9 video content.
    5. IMA-SDK: Presents the pre-roll ad content provided in configuration from ad server.
    6. IMA-SDK: Sends events -> ad_completed, play_your_content.
    7. Screen9 Player: Resumes the Screen9 video content until the next ad break which is defined in the ad configuration provided by the ad server.
    8. And it then repeats step 3 to 7 for the remaining ads until the end of the video.

    Notes

    • Some older devices  which only support one video player at a time and iPhones will use the main player instead due to limitations of the devices.
    • As VPAID ads may be controlled by code from the ad, playback issues may occur that are out of control for the Screen9 player in case the ad provided by the ad server has any issues.
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