Advertising support for Media Player framework on Windows 8

This blog post is to introduce what type of advertising support we have through Microsoft Media platform player framework(aka MMPPF). If you want to build a video application on Windows 8 platform, you may want to utilize this out-of-box advertising support to monetize your application.

Term definition:

1. Linear Ads: presented before, between or after video content and most importantly,Linear Ad takes over the full view of video.Take the xbox linear ad as a sample below, it takes over the whole screen so viewer has to watch the Ad.

2. Non-Linear Ads: runs parallel to the video content so the user still has the option of viewing the content. It could be text, graphical banner/buttons or video overlays. Looking at xbox non-linear Ad below, you still could watch Big Buck Bunny main content with a XBOX banner overlay the video.

3. Companion Ad: it could be pairing with Linear Ad or Non-Linear Ad to offer sustained visibility of the sponsor throughout the video content. Below is an example for a companion ad pairing with a Linear Ad. After the linear ad is over, you could see the companion is still showed above the Ad as a banner.

4. IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau): comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies, and responsible for setting up standards and measurements for online advertising.

5. VAST (Digital Video Ad Serving Template): a universal XML schema for serving ads to digital video players defined by IAB.

6. VMAP (Digital Video Multiple Ad Playlist): an XML template that video content owners can use to describe the structure for ad inventory insertion when they don’t control the video player or the content distribution outlet, defined by IAB.

4. MAST(Media Abstract Sequencing Template): defines a set of triggers that define when events called triggers should be acted upon based on a set of associated conditions.

VAST supports for Windows 8 through MMPPF:

It has been four years since IAB released the first version of VAST 1.0. VAST is a common XML language Ad server, 3rd-party provider and video players speak. Through VAST, Ad server is telling video player – that’s the Advertisement you need to play, here is how you could find it on my server, this is the tracking URL, how long the Ad is and etc. And video player is able to play the Ads properly since it understands VAST language.

Through MMPPF, we support the newest VAST 3.0 standard. VAST 2.0 is supported since VAST 3.0 is backward compatible. VAST 3.0 currently supports five types of Ad formats: Skippable Linear Ads, Ad Pods (a sequenced group of ads),Linear Ads, Non-Linear Ads, Linear Ads with Companions. Here is a sample of VAST xml file with linear ad and companion ad.

If I expend <Linear> tab, you could see the following details with Ad duration, tracking event, video clicks, media files location and etc.

VMAP supports for Windows 8 through MMPPF:

VMAP stands for Digital Video Multiple Ad Playlist and it is recommended by IAB. You could download the detail spec here. VMAP is a xml schema used by content providers to define Ad breaks, when they don’t have the control over video player. For instance, studio A has this movie and it want advertisements to be inserted before 40:00 minutes from the starting of the movie – maybe this is a best spot in movie storyline. However, studio A doesn’t implement its own player. Other companies buy content from studio A and host its content as premium video. In this case, studio A needs a way to communicate with its media players – and that’s the value of VMAP.

And here is a sample for VMAP file. it defines ad should be inserted into main content at the start, 5% of time and 15 sec. That’s how content owner could set how they want the ads to be inserted and video developer could apply VMAP rule accordingly.

Meanwhile, VMAP is designed to accept VAST 3.0 response for filling in advertisement in the Ad Break. This is a sample VMAP with VAST insertion.

From this sample VMAP file below, you could see VAST is defined inside of VMAP file for serving video content.

If you want to know more how to implement VMAP support with our Windows 8 player framework, you could check out my another blog – Adding VMAP support for Windows 8 video application.

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