Thursday, 18 June 2015 06:39

Ooyala stops ad blocking Featured


Telstra subsidiary Ooyala has announced an integration of its video and anti-ad blocking technology platforms, following its acquisition of Videoplaza.

Ooyala is making a big deal of it, but not everyone will regard this as an improvement. The Telstra subsidiary, based in Silicon Valley and acquired last year for $350 million, will use new technology to make it harder for viewers to block ads in downloaded and streamed videos.

The new feature is “specifically designed to take advantage of key features in Ooyala’s ad serving platform, a new plugin available immediately to all Ooyala customers includes a host of new solutions including anti-ad blocking technology, sequencing for storytelling, audience targeting for ad personalization and rich customisation capabilities. This integration, available now, comes just six months after Ooyala’s acquisition of Videoplaza, upon whose technology the new features are based.

Ooyala says its new anti-ad blocking technology is an important new means of “unlocking significant revenue by preventing the use of third-party ad blockers, which keep video ads from displaying”. Just what end users want.

“Since December 2014, five major European premium publishers using this new and now publicly available feature consistently unlocked more than 90 million ad impressions per month that were previously blocked and otherwise could not have been monetised. As a result, the customers saw well more than $1 million of additional - or previously lost revenue - per month due to Ooyala’s new anti-ad blocking functionality. The feature also ensures more accurate reporting of ad impressions for advertisers.”

It’s all about the ‘monetisation’. We can’t have people blocking ads, can we?

Ooyala’s Jonathan Wilner said: “This is a major step forward for Ooyala customers as we weave our ad tech into our widely adopted personalised video platform. It provides an entirely new value-add for our customers as they begin to see how key components of our advertising technology stack can impact audience engagement and improve profitability when used in conjunction with our video platform.”

By ‘customers’, of course, he means the video distribution people Ooyala sells to, not the end users like you and me, who will now be prevented for stoping ads on video platforms using Ooyala’s technology.

The new features are all designed to improve ‘monetisation':

  • Ad Clash Protection: Advertisers are guaranteed protection from competing advertisements within a session or ad break.
  • Ad Sequencing: Strengthens the storytelling of a brand’s ad campaign by serving the proper sequence of ads for a viewer watching a single program.
  • Audience Targeting For Ad Personalization: Leverages the existing CMS metadata tied to video assets for better ad placement and targeting.
  • Dynamic Live Ad Insertion: The plugin can insert pre or mid-roll ads during a live stream when cue-points accompany the video, leveraging known parameters, such as location and device type, to personalise the ad to the viewer.
  • Interactive Features: The plugin will track interactions such as closure, expansion of the ad, the ad selector format as well as skip-ahead functionality.
  • Passbacks: A cue of backup ads from third party sources can be called upon and delivered if the primary ad, or any subsequent ad, fails to play;
  • Player Customisation: Customers can now personalize the skin, font, labels and languages of their player to match branding and audience preferences;.
  • Ad Unit Support: The plugin includes standard and premium pre-, mid- and post-roll, overlay, pause ads and companion banners.

Ooyala argues that the greater personalisation improves the viewer experience. You be the judge.


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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.



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