Smart Ad Server vs Smart Playtech in DOOH

Digital Ninjas, what’s up?! Parisien here in beautiful Stockholm Sweden.

Today we have a special guest, BroadSign’s Director of Business Development Stephanie Gutnik (smiles and waves), and we are going to be talking about DOOH and whether it needs a smart ad server, with its head in the proverbial cloud, or smart player tech, which lives on the edge.

The debate, which has raged on for nearly a decade, seemed to have been resolved just a few short years ago. The smart player, which downloads details about the campaigns targeted to it, is powered by business rules. It autonomously downloads the content, creates the playlist, adapts to local stimuli such as triggers or condition toggles and reports back to the “dumb” server which is essentially a high performance database.

The rise of programmatic in DOOH, driven by the unstoppable convergence of all digital media, has fundamentally challenged this model. DOOH’s digital cousins, mobile, social, display and video, all use a smart server architecture where the decision as to which ad is selected and played is done in the cloud at the moment of playback. Many of the largest digital networks are at a crossroads decision point about which architecture to invest in to best capture the growing ad dollars being funnelled to DOOH.

Stephanie, who has been at BroadSign over 4 years now, knows quite a bit about this evolution due to her involvement in standards and trade organizations such as the DPAA, DSF, OAAA, IAB and FEPE during her tenure there.

The answer for digital out-of-home and place-based media merges the best of both worlds: a smart server and a smart player. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too. Due to infrastructure and bandwidth considerations unique to our industry, the DPAA’s recently published Programmatic Technical Specification introduces the concept of “delayed delivery”, which is not present in digital and mobile workflows.

Though “delayed delivery” may sound like a limitation, it actually enables the playback of high definition content that is unparalleled online. It also prevents lags associated with the loading of such heavy assets, given that content is “stored forward” on the media player and played from its hard drive. Other playback advantages include the inability for viewers to block or skip ads, along with 100% viewability – DOOH content is always “above the fold”. A brand’s messaging generates a consistent and impressive impact across a variety of screen sizes, making impressions count that much more.

Another distinctive quality of digital out-of-home and place-based media, is the ability to respond to local stimuli and trigger a just-in-time decision as to which message should play. This allows brands to reach their desired audience in the appropriate and optimal context. Moreover, if a campaign is conditional to a specific audience profile, messaging will be played in the next ad slot if targeted viewers are present. Flexibility and reactivity are traits digital ninjas can appreciate.

Alright ninjas! This has been DOOH Decoded telling you why DOOH needs both a smart server and a smart player. Shinobi seeing you!

Stephanie Gutnik, Director of Business Development, BroadSign and Daniel Parisien, Chief Strategy Officer, Quividi

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