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What is Ad Podding

Ad podding is a digital advertising technique where multiple advertisements are grouped together and played sequentially during a single break. This strategy is predominantly utilized by Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms and online content publishers to enhance fill rates and advertising revenue.

Usage in OTT Platforms:

Ad podding arranges a series of ads to play one after another during an ad break. This approach minimizes the need for multiple ad requests, streamlining ad delivery to the viewer. It’s applicable to various types of ad placements such as pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll.

Comparison with Traditional TV:

This method resembles traditional TV commercial breaks where ads are played back-to-back. The primary difference lies in its application, which is tailored for digital video content, especially for long-form Video on Demand (VOD) on OTT platforms.

Origin and Evolution of Ad Podding

 Introduced by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in VAST 3.0 in 2012, ad podding initially saw slow adoption. However, its potential was soon recognized by OTT service providers and content owners, leading to widespread implementation, notably by YouTube in 2018. Now, it’s a common strategy used by established OTT platforms to optimize ad inventory and increase revenue from VOD and live streaming content.

Ad Pods vs. Ad Slots

An ad pod consists of several ad slots, each with a specific sequence for play. Publishers can auction each ad slot within a pod, often commanding higher prices for prime positions, like the first slot in the sequence.

Operational Mechanics

To viewers, ad podding appears as a straightforward sequence of ads. However, the process involves sophisticated mechanisms, including the use of a video CMS for setting up ad tags (each representing a slot in the pod) and managing them through Client-Side Ad Insertion (CSAI) or Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI). Tags are assigned unique sequence numbers for orderly play, and various scenarios are managed to ensure seamless ad delivery.

Why is ad podding important?

  1. Revenue Enhancement: By serving multiple ads in a single request, ad podding increases the ad fill rate and allows for strategic pricing of ad slots. This leads to maximized utilization of ad inventory and enhanced revenue generation.

  2. Improved Viewer Experience: Ad podding reduces repetitive ad play and enhances viewer engagement through creative deduplication and control over ad quantity and duration. This results in a more enjoyable viewing experience with lower latency and faster loading times.

  3. Benefits to Advertisers: Advertisers gain insights into ad inventory and have more control over ad placements. Techniques like competitor separation ensure diverse ad breaks, enhancing ad campaign performance and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Customization and Bidding

Ad podding solutions offer customization in terms of pod length, the number of ads per pod, and individual ad duration. Publishers can use ad analytics to fine-tune these parameters. The bidding process for ad pods and slots enables both publishers and advertisers to optimize their strategies, with publishers setting floor prices to boost revenue.

When Not to Use Ad Podding

Ad podding may not be suitable for short-form content or when other monetization models like subscriptions or paywalls are in place. It’s most effective for long-form VOD and live streams.

Key Takeaways of Ad Podding:

  • Ad podding, first introduced in 2012, is a strategic approach to group ads for OTT platforms.
  • It maximizes revenue, enhances viewer experience, and benefits advertisers.
  • Best suited for long-form content, ad podding offers customization and effective ad inventory management.
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