As revenue streams become increasingly reliant on digital content, the strategic insertion of advertisements assumes greater significance in driving profitability. Ad markers, acting as vital indicators within video streams, play a critical role by marking the beginning and end of advertisements. This precision allows for effective control over monetization efforts.

However, the task of seamlessly integrating ad markers into video streams poses significant challenges for broadcasters and network operators. From identifying optimal insertion points without disrupting viewer engagement to ensuring technical synchronization and continuous performance optimization, the ad insertion process demands meticulous attention to detail.

The subsequent sections describe a cloud-based workflow deployed on AWS that leverages the Amazon Rekognition Shot Detection API, AWS Elemental MediaTailor, and AWS Elemental MediaConvert to streamline and automate ad marker insertion.

The Role of SCTE-35 Ad Markers

SCTE-35 (Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers – 35) is a communication protocol used to signal specific events in a video stream such as the start and end of advertisements. SCTE-35 ad markers are crucial for broadcasters and network operators as they allow precise control over when advertisements are aired, facilitating content monetization.

SCTE-35 Ad Marker Insertion

Inserting SCTE-35 advertising markers can be incredibly tedious and demanding. Determining the best placement for inserting these markers involves the following steps: 

Content analysis: Each program is unique, with its own pace, natural breaks, and key moments. Content needs to be carefully analyzed to spot appropriate moments for ad insertion while avoiding disruptions in the viewing experience.

User experience optimization: Inserting ads at the wrong time can frustrate viewers and lead to decreased engagement. Markers must be strategically placed to minimize interruptions and maintain a smooth user experience.

Technical considerations: Inserting SCTE-35 markers also involves technical considerations such as synchronization with broadcasting systems, managing transitions between main content and ads, and coordinating with other associated metadata.

Continuous monitoring and adjustment: Once ad markers are inserted, it is crucial to monitor and analyze data to assess the effectiveness of the advertising strategy. This may require constant adjustments to optimize performance and maximize advertising revenue.

Workflow Overview

The combination of the Amazon Rekognition Shot Detection API, AWS Elemental MediaConvert, and AWS Elemental MediaTailor results in a powerful solution that streamlines and automates the insertion of ad markers.

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Amazon Rekognition Shot Detection API: The API utilizes artificial intelligence to automatically detect shot changes in a video. This enables operators to quickly segment content into individual shots, facilitating rapid video content analysis and management. With this capability, operators can quickly identify key moments in a program, such as transitions, action sequences, or scene changes, which can be useful for inserting advertisements or other content.

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Technical cue

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Shot Detection

AWS Elemental MediaConvert: A cloud-based video transcoding service that enables the conversion of videos from one format to another while offering advanced features such as SCTE-35 marker insertion. By integrating Amazon Rekognition shot detection with MediaConvert, operators can automate the process of inserting advertising markers, placing them precisely at opportune moments. This allows for more accurate and less intrusive advertising insertion for viewers.

AWS Elemental MediaTailor: Enables the customization of video content delivery based on viewer preferences and behavior. Combining information about detected shots with the customization features offered by MediaTailor allows operators to create smoother and more relevant viewing experiences for viewers. For example, by dynamically adjusting the placement and frequency of advertisements, operators can maximize the impact of ads while minimizing interruptions for viewers.

Conclusion – The Potential of Cloud-Based Workflows for Content Monetization

The integration of Amazon Rekognition’s Shot Detection API with AWS Elemental MediaConvert and AWS Elemental MediaTailor offers a powerful solution for operators to streamline ad insertion workflows and enhance viewer experience. 

This solution demonstrates the significant potential of cloud-based workflows in advertising and content monetization within the VOD landscape. As the media industry continues to evolve, embracing the latest advancements in cloud-based AI technology can offer a crucial edge to broadcasters and network operators aiming to stay competitive and meet the ever-changing demands of their audience.

About TrackIt

TrackIt is an Amazon Web Services Advanced Tier Services Partner specializing in cloud management, consulting, and software development solutions based in Marina del Rey, CA. 

TrackIt specializes in Modern Software Development, DevOps, Infrastructure-As-Code, Serverless, CI/CD, and Containerization with specialized expertise in Media & Entertainment workflows including AWS Studio in the Cloud (SIC), Retail workflows, High-Performance Computing environments, and data storage.

In addition to providing cloud management, consulting, and modern software development services, TrackIt also provides an open-source AWS cost management tool that allows users to optimize their costs and resources on AWS.