Author Archives: Peentoo Patel

New ways for publishers to manage first-party data

People’s expectations for online privacy have changed, making it essential that digital advertising evolves to better meet their needs. That’s why we’ve been investing in durable solutions to help publishers of all sizes grow their businesses in privacy-forward ways. To help our partners prepare for the future, we’re sharing details on new and updated features that give publishers added control of their first-party data and how they can share it with their advertising partners.

Make your first-party data more accessible to programmatic buyers

Publishers have always had the most relevant insights about the audiences visiting their sites and apps, along with information about the content they consume. But there hasn't been an easy way for publishers to make use of this information with programmatic buyers outside of direct reservations.

We’re introducing publisher provided signals to help you categorize your first-party data into consistent audience or contextual segments and then share these signals with programmatic buyers. These signals make it easier for programmatic buyers to find and purchase audiences based on things like demographics, content interests or purchase intent across multiple sites and apps without tracking people’s activity in apps or across the web.

To help publishers and buyers find value and easily use these new first-party signals, we are working to incorporate industry standards. As a first step, we are integrating the IAB Tech Lab’s Seller Defined Audiences into this solution. Publishers can use the IAB’s Audience Taxonomy and Content Taxonomy to share signals with Google Ads and Display & Video 360 as part of our beta testing. In the future, we’ll roll out publisher provided signals to more publishers and Authorized Buyers and Open Bidders. We look forward to incorporating their feedback into the product development.

“Seller Defined Audiences was created by the advertising industry via Project Rearc, to help advertisers and publishers responsibly and reliably share first-party data at scale without the need for user identifiers. It's a great step forward to have Google Ad Manager adopt these new standards for their publisher partners, and help advance a new system for addressability and accountability that meets user privacy expectations.”

– Anthony Katsur, CEO IAB Tech Lab

Share secure signals with your trusted partners

We’ve also been working with publishers to improve a feature that allows them to securely share signals with their trusted third-party buying partners – Authorized Buyers and Open Bidders. During our beta testing, we heard feedback from publishers and third-party buyers that you’d like more flexibility with this feature. That’s why we’re adding new controls and renaming the tool from encrypted signals to secure signals to better reflect how you can choose to implement its functionality.

Currently, publishers work with third parties to set up code on their websites and apps to activate this feature. This new expanded functionality will let publishers use their own code, making it easier for them to create and send data, like first-party identifiers, to trusted partners.

Secure signals still gives publishers full control over what data is collected and who can receive the signals. When passed through Google Ad Manager, the data is required to be obfuscated, meaning Google cannot read or use the signals. Ad Manager only acts as an intermediary on behalf of the publisher to pass the signals to their chosen third-party bidders.

We understand that you work directly with many third parties to maximize the value of your content. That’s why we will continue to support these trusted, direct relationships and build solutions to help you monetize your inventory in the best way for your business.

Deliver more relevant app ads with same app key

The growing desire for privacy isn’t unique to the web. Any publisher who has an app should also be exploring privacy-preserving solutions to increase the value of its app inventory as well. That’s why in the coming months we’ll update a feature called same app key to help publishers using Ad Manager serve relevant ads on iOS without tracking users across third-party apps.

Same app key uses first-party data collected from your apps, such as information about how users interact with ads inside your app. It can’t be used to link user activity from your apps to third-party apps.

Get up to speed on ads privacy and our privacy safe solutions

In addition to the new capabilities we shared above, we’re committed to helping publishers of all sizes navigate the evolving privacy environment. You’ll find new resources below to help you learn about industry-wide privacy changes, develop new privacy-forward strategies for using data and decide which Google solutions are right for you.

  • Publisher Privacy Playbook - Learn about the digital ads ecosystem, get practical strategies for improving your ads privacy and an overview of Google’s solutions for publishers.
  • See how other publishers are preparing for the future of privacy. Working with Deloitte, we commissioned new studies to better understand how top European publishers are adapting to the ads privacy landscape and how North American publishers are turning to first-party data to prepare for the future.
  • Learn how to use key values to earn more from your first-party data in this series on the Ad Manager YouTube channel.
  • Level up your knowledge of Ad Manager’s first-party data solutions and earn an award on our Skillshop learning platform by completing the Privacy-forward Solutions for Publishers learning path.
  • Lastly, learn more about the privacy forward solutions available in Google Ad Manager, like Publisher Provided Identifiers by watching webinars at PublishersOnAir.withGoogle.com.

New ways for publishers to manage first-party data

People’s expectations for online privacy have changed, making it essential that digital advertising evolves to better meet their needs. That’s why we’ve been investing in durable solutions to help publishers of all sizes grow their businesses in privacy-forward ways. To help our partners prepare for the future, we’re sharing details on new and updated features that give publishers added control of their first-party data and how they can share it with their advertising partners.

Make your first-party data more accessible to programmatic buyers

Publishers have always had the most relevant insights about the audiences visiting their sites and apps, along with information about the content they consume. But there hasn't been an easy way for publishers to make use of this information with programmatic buyers outside of direct reservations.

We’re introducing publisher provided signals to help you categorize your first-party data into consistent audience or contextual segments and then share these signals with programmatic buyers. These signals make it easier for programmatic buyers to find and purchase audiences based on things like demographics, content interests or purchase intent across multiple sites and apps without tracking people’s activity in apps or across the web.

To help publishers and buyers find value and easily use these new first-party signals, we are working to incorporate industry standards. As a first step, we are integrating the IAB Tech Lab’s Seller Defined Audiences into this solution. Publishers can use the IAB’s Audience Taxonomy and Content Taxonomy to share signals with Google Ads and Display & Video 360 as part of our beta testing. In the future, we’ll roll out publisher provided signals to more publishers and Authorized Buyers and Open Bidders. We look forward to incorporating their feedback into the product development.

“Seller Defined Audiences was created by the advertising industry via Project Rearc, to help advertisers and publishers responsibly and reliably share first-party data at scale without the need for user identifiers. It's a great step forward to have Google Ad Manager adopt these new standards for their publisher partners, and help advance a new system for addressability and accountability that meets user privacy expectations.”

– Anthony Katsur, CEO IAB Tech Lab

Share secure signals with your trusted partners

We’ve also been working with publishers to improve a feature that allows them to securely share signals with their trusted third-party buying partners – Authorized Buyers and Open Bidders. During our beta testing, we heard feedback from publishers and third-party buyers that you’d like more flexibility with this feature. That’s why we’re adding new controls and renaming the tool from encrypted signals to secure signals to better reflect how you can choose to implement its functionality.

Currently, publishers work with third parties to set up code on their websites and apps to activate this feature. This new expanded functionality will let publishers use their own code, making it easier for them to create and send data, like first-party identifiers, to trusted partners.

Secure signals still gives publishers full control over what data is collected and who can receive the signals. When passed through Google Ad Manager, the data is required to be obfuscated, meaning Google cannot read or use the signals. Ad Manager only acts as an intermediary on behalf of the publisher to pass the signals to their chosen third-party bidders.

We understand that you work directly with many third parties to maximize the value of your content. That’s why we will continue to support these trusted, direct relationships and build solutions to help you monetize your inventory in the best way for your business.

Deliver more relevant app ads with same app key

The growing desire for privacy isn’t unique to the web. Any publisher who has an app should also be exploring privacy-preserving solutions to increase the value of its app inventory as well. That’s why in the coming months we’ll update a feature called same app key to help publishers using Ad Manager serve relevant ads on iOS without tracking users across third-party apps.

Same app key uses first-party data collected from your apps, such as information about how users interact with ads inside your app. It can’t be used to link user activity from your apps to third-party apps.

Get up to speed on ads privacy and our privacy safe solutions

In addition to the new capabilities we shared above, we’re committed to helping publishers of all sizes navigate the evolving privacy environment. You’ll find new resources below to help you learn about industry-wide privacy changes, develop new privacy-forward strategies for using data and decide which Google solutions are right for you.

  • Publisher Privacy Playbook - Learn about the digital ads ecosystem, get practical strategies for improving your ads privacy and an overview of Google’s solutions for publishers.
  • See how other publishers are preparing for the future of privacy. Working with Deloitte, we commissioned new studies to better understand how top European publishers are adapting to the ads privacy landscape and how North American publishers are turning to first-party data to prepare for the future.
  • Learn how to use key values to earn more from your first-party data in this series on the Ad Manager YouTube channel.
  • Level up your knowledge of Ad Manager’s first-party data solutions and earn an award on our Skillshop learning platform by completing the Privacy-forward Solutions for Publishers learning path.
  • Lastly, learn more about the privacy forward solutions available in Google Ad Manager, like Publisher Provided Identifiers by watching webinars at PublishersOnAir.withGoogle.com.

Evolving Dynamic Ad Insertion for the future of streaming

This past year truly was the year of advanced TV video streaming. Viewers increasingly turned to over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms for entertainment, like new direct-to-consumer apps and free ad-supported streaming TV services. To help TV programmers and distributors adapt with this growth, we’ve been working on a more flexible approach on how they manage their content workflow and place ads into their streaming solutions.


We built Google Ad Manager’s Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) to provide TV partners an end to end solution to deliver broadcast-quality and personalized ad experiences for ad-supported video content. Today we’re reimagining our ad insertion technology for the next generation of video streaming with DAI Pod Serving, which helps simplify OTT streaming complexity by integrating with your existing first or third-party streaming workflow. This evolution of our DAI technology helps the broader streaming ecosystem by giving you and your video platforms more flexibility to manage your streaming workflow and deliver a customized viewing experience so that you can grow your business.


How DAI Pod Serving works

Ad Manager’s DAI has always been an integral part of ad-supported video streaming, helping TV partners power their live and on-demand video (VOD) content across screens. Historically, partners sent their video content through Ad Manager’s DAI, allowing it to decision the ads into an ad pod (or commercial break), transcode and condition creatives into the right format and then stitch the content and ads into a single video stream (also known as manifest manipulation). 


With DAI Pod Serving, partners no longer need to send their content to Ad Manager — they own their entire streaming workflow — and Ad Manager provides them with “ready-to-stitch” ad pods they can stitch into their content. TV programmers and distributors have many streaming solution providers to choose from, and with DAI Pod Serving they can integrate Google's ad decisioning technology into their first or third party video streaming solutions.


An illustration of three screens, with the center screen showing three ads in different colors

DAI Pod Serving offers all the same great benefits of DAI, including live scale capacity with prefetching and Early Break Notification, creative transcoding and conditioning, access to all programmatic demand and verification and measurement. Now let’s take a look at how DAI Pod Serving works with partners’ existing video workflows. 


Integrating with first-party video streaming solutions

Some TV programmers build their own first-party video streaming solutions, where they own the content management, manifest manipulation and distribution workflow from start to finish. In this example, DAI Pod Serving will decision and condition each commercial break into a ready-to-stitch ad pod that’s in the appropriate format, and then partners can insert the ad pod into their TV content using their own in-house manifest manipulation solution. This provides partners with greater control over their entire video streaming workflow, while DAI Pod Serving delivers high-quality, seamless ads so that partners can grow their video revenue.


“DAI Pod Serving gives us flexibility to continue to use both our in-house video streaming and encoding solutions alongside streams encoded by our partners, while allowing Ad Manager to deliver broadcast-quality ads within MLB.TV live streamed baseball games and other longform content,” says Dan Newberry, Sr. Director, Ad Tech and Operations, Major League Baseball. 


Powering ads in third-party video platforms

To help partners increase flexibility and operational efficiencies across their streaming and monetization solutions, DAI Pod Serving can integrate with third-party video streaming platforms. Our first integration is with Verizon Media Platform, a leading provider of OTT video streaming solutions. This meets the needs of partners who use Verizon Media to manage their streaming workflow and use Ad Manager as their video ad server.


This integration provides an additional layer of flexibility for Verizon Media Platform customers using Ad Manager for programmatic demand. For those partners, Verizon Media Platform will stitch the ad pod provided from Ad Manager directly into a unified stream, allowing partners to continue taking advantage of Verizon Media's Smartplay session management technology, and deliver personalized, broadcast-quality streams at scale.


“Our integration with Ad Manager's DAI Pod Serving unlocks value across streaming ecosystems by enabling customers to take advantage of Google's monetization in concert with Verizon Media's personalization, digital rights management and content targeting,” says Scott Goldman, Director, Product Management, Verizon Media Platform.


With this integration, we’re able to further support joint partners like Hearst Television, who use both the Verizon Media Platform for streaming and Ad Manager for ad serving and monetization. Hearst Television can now use Ad Manager to decision their ads for both reservation and programmatic while Verizon Media Platform stitches the ads into their content to provide a high-quality streaming experience to viewers everywhere. 


“The integration between Ad Manager and Verizon Media Platform benefits our business by allowing our streaming and monetization solutions to work together so that we can deliver a high-quality streaming experience while maximizing revenue,” says Michael Rosellini, Vice President, Digital Operations, Hearst Television. 


This integration allows the video ecosystem to work more closely together for the betterment of video streaming and we look forward to integrating with more partners and video platforms in the future. 


More integrations for the future of video streaming

We’ll continue to build more functionalities into DAI Pod Serving, so that we can meet the varying use cases of the evolving video industry. This includes extending DAI Pod Serving to support ad insertion for addressable TV use cases, as well as new iterations of HLS and DASH standards in the future. No matter how you plug into DAI Pod Serving, you’ll have the ability to customize your own video streaming workflow while leveraging Ad Manager for monetization. With added flexibility to integrate with partners’ video streaming solutions, we’ll continue to support more partners and the broader ecosystem. 


New advanced TV insights from Google Ad Manager

Advanced TV viewership, or the usage of digital technology to watch TV content, continues to accelerate with new direct-to-consumer apps and free ad-supported TV services. To help our partners gain insight into how 2020 impacted advanced TV monetization trends, we're publishing our second annual Google Ad Manager advanced TV inventory report. This data can help you understand how viewers are watching your advanced TV content, what opportunities exist to monetize this content, and where to focus your strategies to grow revenue.

To uncover these insights, we analyzed 35 global advanced TV partners who use Google Ad Manager. This year’s report focuses on 2020 and is a bit different from our 2019 report. We specifically focused on advanced TV partners who have long-form and episodic commercial break inventory to ensure we only analyzed TV-like content. The report analyzes both live and on-demand video (VOD) content, and covers date ranges from Q3 2019 to Q4 2020. 

The report’s four sections tell a story of how last year’s conditions drove transitions that point toward the industry’s future:

COVID-19 recovery

As we all saw, in Q2 at the height of the downturn, advertisers pulled back from most channels including advanced TV. However, we found that one device type’s ad impressions grew even during the depths of Q2 — Connected TV (CTV) remained resilient as viewers streamed more content during this time. Similarly, programmatic was also paramount during this time, declining much less than traditional reservations as it offered both publishers and advertisers increased flexibility.

Viewership insights

In 2020, more ads continued to be viewed on CTVs than any other device globally, but the environments where people are watching are changing. For example, in-app impressions showed significant gains in 2020 as more people moved towards over-the-top (OTT) streaming apps and adopted CTV devices. 

Transaction trends

Traditional reservations still led in 2020, but programmatic transactions grew faster, as advanced TV partners leaped at the opportunity to grow demand, improve efficiency and diversify their demand sources.

Livestreaming performance

When the pandemic first hit, all live events froze. But as live sports started returning around midyear, advanced TV was there to serve fans who couldn’t attend in person, and live impressions grew much faster than VOD — mostly on (yes, you guessed it) those big CTV screens.  

Advanced TV viewership, CTV devices, in-app impressions, programmatic deal types and live events were the lead stories for advanced TV monetization trends this past year. If you’re interested in a deeper dive, our 2020 Advanced TV Inventory Report takes a closer look at these insights, and what they suggest for the future.

Start the year with new video measurement and reporting features

As 2021 begins, we’re still adapting to new ways of life, whether it’s working from home or streaming the latest TV shows and movies directly from our living rooms. In this new environment, businesses are also learning how to achieve goals while working more efficiently across distributed workforces, and it’s no different when it comes to publishers’ video monetization goals. As viewers spent 57% more time streaming video content this past year, video publishers and TV programmers adjusted quickly to measuring ad performance across screens to understand how to meet their goals, grow revenue and deliver a good viewing experience. 

However, video and over-the-top (OTT) measurement hasn’t always been easy due to the variety of devices and platforms, the lack of standardized signals and the reliance on traditional TV data and reservations. To help our partners more efficiently and effectively measure video and OTT inventory performance, we’re launching a suite of new video-first measurement and reporting tools in Google Ad Manager so they can understand what’s working best and earn more money.


Better understand your true video inventory availability

Video True Opportunities Reporting enables partners to understand the true inventory potential of every commercial break using time-based metrics that are built specifically for video. With this feature, you can easily define the ad duration which you consider to be an ad opportunity, let’s say 30 seconds. Then, you can report on the total number of ad opportunities in a video stream, the number of capped opportunities based on your max ads per pod settings, and the number of matched opportunities that were filled by direct or programmatic demand sources. Video True Opportunities will only measure commercial breaks that viewers actually watch, automatically adjusting for user drop-off that occurs on on-demand content. With a more accurate view into inventory availability and fill rates, you can understand mid-break drop-offs, unfilled ad time, and slate in live broadcasts, so that you can better optimize your video inventory.

You can also use this report with Ad Break Templates, a feature that enables you to use granular advertising rules to create a customized commercial break, so that you can understand ad opportunities based on how you sell your ads. Easily break down Video True Opportunities metrics by custom spots to see how your inventory is performing—whether it’s programmatic, sponsorships or inventory-shared ads. This information can help you determine where user drop-off or empty ad breaks have occurred, optimize your max ad settings and understand where fill rates may be low so that you can improve ad break performance and monetize more effectively across all of your demand partners.

We’ve also made enhancements to TV Forecasting that allow partners to more accurately project available video inventory and account for seasonality complexities like those caused by the unpredictable nature of COVID-19. First, we’ve integrated Video True Opportunities metrics into TV Forecasting, like ad duration and ad opportunities, so that partners can use these new data points to understand future inventory availability. Next, partners can now customize and adjust ad requests based on reference points. For example, if you’re planning to premiere a new season of an existing show in January 2021, but the previous season premiered in November 2019, you can tell Ad Manager to use the traffic spikes or ad request characteristics from the 2019 premiere as a reference point instead of the previous year’s January to more accurately inform the forecasted inventory availability in 2021. 


Explore, measure and package your inventory based on content insights

Content has become an even more critical inventory signal across OTT devices due to device fragmentation. To give partners a new content-aware way to explore, measure and package their video inventory, we’re making the Video Content Explorer UI more widely available and adding new insights cards. The new audience insights card offers demographic breakdowns of content based on your first-party audience data so that you can understand what audiences are watching your content and more effectively value your inventory. Additional insights cards also reveal details into the top devices your content was viewed on, which content is driving the highest impressions, and the sell-through performance of ads on your content. This information can help you optimize your ads across devices and demographics, and understand where there are opportunities to increase monetization of specific content. Moving forward, this screen will be Ad Manager’s primary content hub, where we’ll add more content packaging capabilities, audience insights sources and monetization features.


Video Content Explorer

Increase OTT impression value with Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings 

Part of what makes TV content so valuable is the fact that it’s often a shared viewing experience, with families and friends viewing together in the same room. To help our partners accurately measure this viewership, we've integrated with Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings product suite, which provides OTT measurement of select platforms that is inclusive of co-viewing. Using Nielsen data, you can measure and receive credit for multiple impressions on your OTT inventory that reflects co-viewing. Additionally, using Google Ad Manager’s demographic pacing features, it’s possible to have your line item impression goals update automatically based on Nielsen in-demo rates and advertiser requirements.

As we look at the year ahead, we’ll continue building even more advanced video measurement and reporting features, like automated video notifications, new insights cards and video content packaging, so that you can have more actionable insights and sell your video inventory as efficiently as possible. 

Start the year with new video measurement and reporting features

As 2021 begins, we’re still adapting to new ways of life, whether it’s working from home or streaming the latest TV shows and movies directly from our living rooms. In this new environment, businesses are also learning how to achieve goals while working more efficiently across distributed workforces, and it’s no different when it comes to publishers’ video monetization goals. As viewers spent 57% more time streaming video content this past year, video publishers and TV programmers adjusted quickly to measuring ad performance across screens to understand how to meet their goals, grow revenue and deliver a good viewing experience. 

However, video and over-the-top (OTT) measurement hasn’t always been easy due to the variety of devices and platforms, the lack of standardized signals and the reliance on traditional TV data and reservations. To help our partners more efficiently and effectively measure video and OTT inventory performance, we’re launching a suite of new video-first measurement and reporting tools in Google Ad Manager so they can understand what’s working best and earn more money.


Better understand your true video inventory availability

Video True Opportunities Reporting enables partners to understand the true inventory potential of every commercial break using time-based metrics that are built specifically for video. With this feature, you can easily define the ad duration which you consider to be an ad opportunity, let’s say 30 seconds. Then, you can report on the total number of ad opportunities in a video stream, the number of capped opportunities based on your max ads per pod settings, and the number of matched opportunities that were filled by direct or programmatic demand sources. Video True Opportunities will only measure commercial breaks that viewers actually watch, automatically adjusting for user drop-off that occurs on on-demand content. With a more accurate view into inventory availability and fill rates, you can understand mid-break drop-offs, unfilled ad time, and slate in live broadcasts, so that you can better optimize your video inventory.

You can also use this report with Ad Break Templates, a feature that enables you to use granular advertising rules to create a customized commercial break, so that you can understand ad opportunities based on how you sell your ads. Easily break down Video True Opportunities metrics by custom spots to see how your inventory is performing—whether it’s programmatic, sponsorships or inventory-shared ads. This information can help you determine where user drop-off or empty ad breaks have occurred, optimize your max ad settings and understand where fill rates may be low so that you can improve ad break performance and monetize more effectively across all of your demand partners.

We’ve also made enhancements to TV Forecasting that allow partners to more accurately project available video inventory and account for seasonality complexities like those caused by the unpredictable nature of COVID-19. First, we’ve integrated Video True Opportunities metrics into TV Forecasting, like ad duration and ad opportunities, so that partners can use these new data points to understand future inventory availability. Next, partners can now customize and adjust ad requests based on reference points. For example, if you’re planning to premiere a new season of an existing show in January 2021, but the previous season premiered in November 2019, you can tell Ad Manager to use the traffic spikes or ad request characteristics from the 2019 premiere as a reference point instead of the previous year’s January to more accurately inform the forecasted inventory availability in 2021. 


Explore, measure and package your inventory based on content insights

Content has become an even more critical inventory signal across OTT devices due to device fragmentation. To give partners a new content-aware way to explore, measure and package their video inventory, we’re making the Video Content Explorer UI more widely available and adding new insights cards. The new audience insights card offers demographic breakdowns of content based on your first-party audience data so that you can understand what audiences are watching your content and more effectively value your inventory. Additional insights cards also reveal details into the top devices your content was viewed on, which content is driving the highest impressions, and the sell-through performance of ads on your content. This information can help you optimize your ads across devices and demographics, and understand where there are opportunities to increase monetization of specific content. Moving forward, this screen will be Ad Manager’s primary content hub, where we’ll add more content packaging capabilities, audience insights sources and monetization features.


Video Content Explorer

Increase OTT impression value with Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings 

Part of what makes TV content so valuable is the fact that it’s often a shared viewing experience, with families and friends viewing together in the same room. To help our partners accurately measure this viewership, we've integrated with Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings product suite, which provides OTT measurement of select platforms that is inclusive of co-viewing. Using Nielsen data, you can measure and receive credit for multiple impressions on your OTT inventory that reflects co-viewing. Additionally, using Google Ad Manager’s demographic pacing features, it’s possible to have your line item impression goals update automatically based on Nielsen in-demo rates and advertiser requirements.

As we look at the year ahead, we’ll continue building even more advanced video measurement and reporting features, like automated video notifications, new insights cards and video content packaging, so that you can have more actionable insights and sell your video inventory as efficiently as possible. 

Start the year with new video measurement and reporting features

As 2021 begins, we’re still adapting to new ways of life, whether it’s working from home or streaming the latest TV shows and movies directly from our living rooms. In this new environment, businesses are also learning how to achieve goals while working more efficiently across distributed workforces, and it’s no different when it comes to publishers’ video monetization goals. As viewers spent 57% more time streaming video content this past year, video publishers and TV programmers adjusted quickly to measuring ad performance across screens to understand how to meet their goals, grow revenue and deliver a good viewing experience. 

However, video and over-the-top (OTT) measurement hasn’t always been easy due to the variety of devices and platforms, the lack of standardized signals and the reliance on traditional TV data and reservations. To help our partners more efficiently and effectively measure video and OTT inventory performance, we’re launching a suite of new video-first measurement and reporting tools in Google Ad Manager so they can understand what’s working best and earn more money.


Better understand your true video inventory availability

Video True Opportunities Reporting enables partners to understand the true inventory potential of every commercial break using time-based metrics that are built specifically for video. With this feature, you can easily define the ad duration which you consider to be an ad opportunity, let’s say 30 seconds. Then, you can report on the total number of ad opportunities in a video stream, the number of capped opportunities based on your max ads per pod settings, and the number of matched opportunities that were filled by direct or programmatic demand sources. Video True Opportunities will only measure commercial breaks that viewers actually watch, automatically adjusting for user drop-off that occurs on on-demand content. With a more accurate view into inventory availability and fill rates, you can understand mid-break drop-offs, unfilled ad time, and slate in live broadcasts, so that you can better optimize your video inventory.

You can also use this report with Ad Break Templates, a feature that enables you to use granular advertising rules to create a customized commercial break, so that you can understand ad opportunities based on how you sell your ads. Easily break down Video True Opportunities metrics by custom spots to see how your inventory is performing—whether it’s programmatic, sponsorships or inventory-shared ads. This information can help you determine where user drop-off or empty ad breaks have occurred, optimize your max ad settings and understand where fill rates may be low so that you can improve ad break performance and monetize more effectively across all of your demand partners.

We’ve also made enhancements to TV Forecasting that allow partners to more accurately project available video inventory and account for seasonality complexities like those caused by the unpredictable nature of COVID-19. First, we’ve integrated Video True Opportunities metrics into TV Forecasting, like ad duration and ad opportunities, so that partners can use these new data points to understand future inventory availability. Next, partners can now customize and adjust ad requests based on reference points. For example, if you’re planning to premiere a new season of an existing show in January 2021, but the previous season premiered in November 2019, you can tell Ad Manager to use the traffic spikes or ad request characteristics from the 2019 premiere as a reference point instead of the previous year’s January to more accurately inform the forecasted inventory availability in 2021. 


Explore, measure and package your inventory based on content insights

Content has become an even more critical inventory signal across OTT devices due to device fragmentation. To give partners a new content-aware way to explore, measure and package their video inventory, we’re making the Video Content Explorer UI more widely available and adding new insights cards. The new audience insights card offers demographic breakdowns of content based on your first-party audience data so that you can understand what audiences are watching your content and more effectively value your inventory. Additional insights cards also reveal details into the top devices your content was viewed on, which content is driving the highest impressions, and the sell-through performance of ads on your content. This information can help you optimize your ads across devices and demographics, and understand where there are opportunities to increase monetization of specific content. Moving forward, this screen will be Ad Manager’s primary content hub, where we’ll add more content packaging capabilities, audience insights sources and monetization features.


Video Content Explorer

Increase OTT impression value with Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings 

Part of what makes TV content so valuable is the fact that it’s often a shared viewing experience, with families and friends viewing together in the same room. To help our partners accurately measure this viewership, we've integrated with Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings product suite, which provides OTT measurement of select platforms that is inclusive of co-viewing. Using Nielsen data, you can measure and receive credit for multiple impressions on your OTT inventory that reflects co-viewing. Additionally, using Google Ad Manager’s demographic pacing features, it’s possible to have your line item impression goals update automatically based on Nielsen in-demo rates and advertiser requirements.

As we look at the year ahead, we’ll continue building even more advanced video measurement and reporting features, like automated video notifications, new insights cards and video content packaging, so that you can have more actionable insights and sell your video inventory as efficiently as possible. 

Powering live events with Ad Manager’s Dynamic Ad Insertion

In our new reality of live events—whether it’s sports, concerts, or performances—we enjoy the excitement from the comfort and safety of our own homes. Over-the-top (OTT) streaming has become even more important during this time, offering viewers access to relevant information and entertainment on a variety of devices. But delivering a great viewing experience during live events can be especially challenging for the ads ecosystem, since there can be millions of concurrent viewers, unknown commercial break times, and ad request spikes that occur simultaneously. This can make it difficult for the ads ecosystem to scale with the high demand of viewership spikes, which can lead to choppy ads, repetitive ads, or house or slate placeholder ads—all resulting in a poor user experience.

With an uptick in live streaming as more sports events resume globally, we’re announcing new features in Google Ad Manager’s Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) to help programmers, distributors, and sports leagues power their live events with seamless, broadcast-quality ads across screens. This includes working closely with our partners, like Asahi Television Broadcasting Corporation (ABC TV), Major League Baseball (MLB), NASCAR, SonyLiv, Univision, and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to power their live sports events with relevant ads. 


Deliver high-quality ad experiences at scale with DAI Prefetch

Google Ad Manager’s DAI, which is the first server-side ad insertion (SSAI) solution to be accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC), is launching DAI Prefetch for live events. This feature uses a 2-staged approach, first allowing partners to prefetch a portion of their next ad break, say the first ad for each viewer, at the end of the prior ad break. Then, when the ad break begins, Ad Manager serves the first ad that was prefetched and in parallel fetches the subsequent ads based on information such as ad break duration or custom parameters related to events in a game like a goal or touchdown. DAI Prefetch distributes ad requests more evenly and accommodates longer ad decisioning times, which helps solve for surges in traffic during live events. This enables partners to deliver a high-quality ad experience to millions of concurrent viewers while maximizing fill rates and revenue, and increases the ability for the broader ads ecosystem to handle the scale of large live events.

DAI Live Events Graph

Sports partners globally like SonyLiv and ABC TV (JP) are using Dynamic Ad Insertion with prefetch to successfully monetize their live events. SonyLiv uses DAI to deliver ads to its livestream viewers across screens, including for its India tour of West Indies 2019 cricket match. And ABC TV uses DAI and DAI Prefetch to power ads for livestream events, including their Japanese National High School Baseball Championship Tournament known as Summer Koshien. 


“We were able to use DAI to provide a quality user experience and absolutely no buffering—even with sudden traffic spikes during the live event,” says Yasuharu Ikeda, Section Chief of Content Strategy Department, General Programming Division at ABC TV.


Grow demand with Early Break Notification API

We’re also launching an Early Break Notification API in Ad Manager’s DAI to make it easier for partners to use real-time ad break data to monetize live events. This API lets partners send ad break data to Ad Manager, such as program information from SCTE-35 or custom parameters, in advance of an ad break so that they can deliver relevant ads and adhere to brand safety requirements. Data may include program ID, break number, or custom parameters such as whether the ad break is at half-time or the end of a game. This enables partners to deliver ads based on these circumstances, such as a food delivery ad, sponsorship ad, or an ad based on who won the game. Sending ad break data in advance also provides additional ad decisioning time across programmatic demand sources, which is especially important during live events and can help partners increase fill rates. Partners can use DAI Prefetch and Early Break Notification API together to optimize for a great viewing experience while maximizing yield.


Resuming live streamed sports with our partners

Google Ad Manager’s DAI has already delivered relevant ads to more than 1 million concurrent livestream viewers at the same time during multiple events, including during the recent UEFA Champions League final, which was broadcast by Univision and four of our other partners across three continents.1 Now, as sports return and viewership grows as live streamed games become the primary way for fans to watch sporting events, we’re working closely with our partners to help them continue to deliver broadcast-quality viewing experiences with DAI. 

Partners like NASCAR, WWE, Univision, and MLB are using DAI to power ads for their live sporting events. For example, NASCAR Digital Media uses DAI to deliver ads for its in-car camera streams on NASCAR.com during live races including the Daytona 500. WWE is planning to expand its use of DAI to power live events on its network. Univision is using DAI for its live broadcasts of UEFA League games and other sporting events. And MLB is using DAI on MLB.tv to power out-of-market live streamed games.

“With sports back in full swing, we’re using Dynamic Ad Insertion to deliver high-quality, relevant ad experiences to our fans across screens, whether they’re watching MLB.tv on TV, mobile or web,” says Jason Gaedtke, Chief Technology Officer, MLB.

To help our partners continue to identify the best way to use Dynamic Ad Insertion to power their live events, we’ve published a DAI best practice guide, which offers implementation and live event best practices. As more live events resume, we’ll be ready to provide our partners with advanced technology, global support, and best practices to grow their businesses.

1  Google Ad Manager Internal Data, Global, August 2019 - August 2020

Helping partners scale connected TV monetization

More people are streaming TV content than ever before—often through connected TV devices like streaming sticks and boxes, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. In fact, over the past year Google Ad Manager has seen a nearly 3x increase in the number of connected TV ad requests.1 This fast pace of growth, as users shift from traditional TV to digital over-the-top (OTT) streaming, creates an opportunity for partners to grow connected TV revenue, but has also resulted in challenges in scaling connected TV ads across the ecosystem. The lack of connected TV standards and programmatic signals is making it difficult for the ecosystem to verify, reach, and measure connected TV inventory, and even worse, is leading to an increased threat of fraudulent activity.

With Ad Manager, we’re focused on enabling our partners to deliver a good viewing experience while preserving the safety, trust, and relevancy of the ads on our systems. For connected TV, it's no different and we're continuing to take a standards-driven approach as the ecosystem develops. Today we're sharing a set of new Ad Manager features that help partners scale connected TV revenue safely and effectively by leveraging industry standards and programmatic signals. 


Verify and increase the value of your connected TV inventory

To help programmers and distributors monetize connected TV ads at scale while respecting our Ad Manager video publisher policies, we’re introducing new features that help verify their inventory is authentically represented. Our new Programmatic Access Library (PAL), currently in beta, is an easy-to-implement lightweight SDK alternative for partners who are unable to integrate with our Interactive Media Ads (IMA) SDK due to technical limitations or complex video setups. While the IMA SDK remains our recommended default monetization solution with all safeguards and access to demand in place, PAL offers partners with more technical setups the ability to securely pass programmatic signals, enable inventory verifications against fraud, and streamline workflows that don’t require content to be manually tagged. This ensures that all partners—regardless of their technical setup or how they choose to work with us—can programmatically monetize connected TV inventory on our platform. 

We’re also integrating additional connected TV app identification capabilities into Ad Manager that ensure each ad request is coming from a connected TV app's content owner or authorized seller. While we work with the IAB Tech Lab to scale the adoption of the app-ads.txt standard for connected TV, this beta feature offers extra verifications for partners and devices that haven’t yet integrated with the standard. It increases device categorization and ensures signals like app name, app/bundle ID, and Identifier for Advertising (IFA) values are passed to Authorized Buyers, including Google Ads and Display & Video 360, and Open Bidders so that connected TV inventory is authentically represented across all demand channels.  


Grow advertiser demand for connected TV inventory

To make it easier for our partners to unlock advertiser demand, we’re launching features to enable viewability measurement and frequency capping on connected TV inventory. With inferred viewability measurement for connected TV, viewability is assigned to connected TV inventory so that it’s eligible for advertising campaigns that may have viewability goals. As an interim solution until an industry standard is available, this can enable advertisers to discover and run ads on desirable connected TV content and help partners grow more revenue. 

We’re building on Ad Manager’s existing integration with the IAB Tech Lab’s IFA standard by adding support for Session ID. This allows partners to implement a temporary IAB Tech Lab-compliant connected TV advertising identifier if the device doesn’t currently support an IFA value for advertising. Session ID helps partners adhere to advertisers’ frequency cap settings and measure campaign reach, which also minimizes the number of repetitive ads users see on connected TVs and results in a better viewing experience. By satisfying these common advertiser requirements, Session ID can help increase advertiser demand for our partners’ connected TV inventory. 


Increase user trust and transparency in your connected TV inventory

Ad Manager’s connected TV solutions also help partners provide more transparency and control to viewers, which can increase trust in their connected TV content and inventory. As a part of this, we’re launching ‘Why this Ad’ settings for ads on connected TVs which provides viewers with more information on why an ad is being shown to them on connected TV content. This provides more transparency to viewers about the ads they see and even gives them the option to mute certain ads, which results in a better viewing experience that will keep them coming back to your content.  

These new Ad Manager features help our partners scale their connected TV monetization using industry standards and programmatic signals, increase advertisers’ ability to discover and reach new audiences on premium connected TV inventory, and provide more transparency to users. As viewership on connected TV continues to gain momentum, we’ll be working with the industry to increase adoption of standards like app-ads.txt and building for a safer and more sustainable connected TV future for everyone.

Google Ad Manager Internal Data, Global, 2H '18 vs. 2H '19


Helping partners scale connected TV monetization

More people are streaming TV content than ever before—often through connected TV devices like streaming sticks and boxes, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. In fact, over the past year Google Ad Manager has seen a nearly 3x increase in the number of connected TV ad requests.1 This fast pace of growth, as users shift from traditional TV to digital over-the-top (OTT) streaming, creates an opportunity for partners to grow connected TV revenue, but has also resulted in challenges in scaling connected TV ads across the ecosystem. The lack of connected TV standards and programmatic signals is making it difficult for the ecosystem to verify, reach, and measure connected TV inventory, and even worse, is leading to an increased threat of fraudulent activity.

With Ad Manager, we’re focused on enabling our partners to deliver a good viewing experience while preserving the safety, trust, and relevancy of the ads on our systems. For connected TV, it's no different and we're continuing to take a standards-driven approach as the ecosystem develops. Today we're sharing a set of new Ad Manager features that help partners scale connected TV revenue safely and effectively by leveraging industry standards and programmatic signals. 


Verify and increase the value of your connected TV inventory

To help programmers and distributors monetize connected TV ads at scale while respecting our Ad Manager video publisher policies, we’re introducing new features that help verify their inventory is authentically represented. Our new Programmatic Access Library (PAL), currently in beta, is an easy-to-implement lightweight SDK alternative for partners who are unable to integrate with our Interactive Media Ads (IMA) SDK due to technical limitations or complex video setups. While the IMA SDK remains our recommended default monetization solution with all safeguards and access to demand in place, PAL offers partners with more technical setups the ability to securely pass programmatic signals, enable inventory verifications against fraud, and streamline workflows that don’t require content to be manually tagged. This ensures that all partners—regardless of their technical setup or how they choose to work with us—can programmatically monetize connected TV inventory on our platform. 

We’re also integrating additional connected TV app identification capabilities into Ad Manager that ensure each ad request is coming from a connected TV app's content owner or authorized seller. While we work with the IAB Tech Lab to scale the adoption of the app-ads.txt standard for connected TV, this beta feature offers extra verifications for partners and devices that haven’t yet integrated with the standard. It increases device categorization and ensures signals like app name, app/bundle ID, and Identifier for Advertising (IFA) values are passed to Authorized Buyers, including Google Ads and Display & Video 360, and Open Bidders so that connected TV inventory is authentically represented across all demand channels.  


Grow advertiser demand for connected TV inventory

To make it easier for our partners to unlock advertiser demand, we’re launching features to enable viewability measurement and frequency capping on connected TV inventory. With inferred viewability measurement for connected TV, viewability is assigned to connected TV inventory so that it’s eligible for advertising campaigns that may have viewability goals. As an interim solution until an industry standard is available, this can enable advertisers to discover and run ads on desirable connected TV content and help partners grow more revenue. 

We’re building on Ad Manager’s existing integration with the IAB Tech Lab’s IFA standard by adding support for Session ID. This allows partners to implement a temporary IAB Tech Lab-compliant connected TV advertising identifier if the device doesn’t currently support an IFA value for advertising. Session ID helps partners adhere to advertisers’ frequency cap settings and measure campaign reach, which also minimizes the number of repetitive ads users see on connected TVs and results in a better viewing experience. By satisfying these common advertiser requirements, Session ID can help increase advertiser demand for our partners’ connected TV inventory. 


Increase user trust and transparency in your connected TV inventory

Ad Manager’s connected TV solutions also help partners provide more transparency and control to viewers, which can increase trust in their connected TV content and inventory. As a part of this, we’re launching ‘Why this Ad’ settings for ads on connected TVs which provides viewers with more information on why an ad is being shown to them on connected TV content. This provides more transparency to viewers about the ads they see and even gives them the option to mute certain ads, which results in a better viewing experience that will keep them coming back to your content.  

These new Ad Manager features help our partners scale their connected TV monetization using industry standards and programmatic signals, increase advertisers’ ability to discover and reach new audiences on premium connected TV inventory, and provide more transparency to users. As viewership on connected TV continues to gain momentum, we’ll be working with the industry to increase adoption of standards like app-ads.txt and building for a safer and more sustainable connected TV future for everyone.

Google Ad Manager Internal Data, Global, 2H '18 vs. 2H '19