Only available in Google Ad Manager 360.

Learn about Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI)

Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) is a server-side video ad technology that allows you to serve video ads into live linear programming and video on demand content. #dai #livestream #videoondemand

DAI stitches your video content and ads into a single stream, independent of a web page or app, and removes the ad request and ad response process from the SDK. This reduces the likelihood of client-side errors and produces a seamless TV-like experience without latency or buffering between content and ads.

With DAI, you can target individual ads for live linear and video on demand programming, obtain multi-screen reach with broad device support, and take advantage of programmatic monetization across all devices with Ad Exchange for Video. Regardless of the original format of your content, once it becomes digital, DAI can stitch custom targeted video ads into the stream, based on the individual user viewing the content.

See how the DAI workflow differs from traditional video ad serving

Traditional (non-DAI) video advertising

  1. The video player on the web page or app loads the SDK.
  2. The SDK makes a request to the ad server and receives a VAST response.
  3. The SDK parses VAST response.
  4. The SDK retrieves inline video creatives (and companions, if needed).
  5. The video player plays the ad.
  6. The SDK loads impression pixels.
  7. After ads are shown, the video player fetches and plays content from the CDN.

Steps 2-7 are repeated every time ads need to be shown.

DAI video advertising

  1. The web page or app loads the IMA SDK.
  2. The IMA SDK makes request to the Ad Manager DAI cloud service for content.
  3. The cloud service returns ads and content stitched together in a single stream.
  4. The video player plays the stream.
  5. The IMA SDK loads impression pixels.

Traditional video feature support for DAI

Most common video features are supported for DAI, depending on the platform where they appear. Below, you can see the video features that may not be supported for certain platforms, and for any additional targeting that may be required to ensure delivery to DAI inventory.

Feature Support status More information
Clickable ads Varies Clickable ads can be executed on browsers when using the HTML5 (desktop), iOS and Android IMA SDKs. All other platforms do not support this functionality.
Companion ads Varies Companion ads can be executed on HTML5 browsers when using the IMA SDK (using static assets only). Other platforms do not support this functionality. Learn more about companion ads for video and audio.
Viewability Varies Reporting metrics for viewability can be tracked on HTML5/Desktop, iOS, and Android when using the corresponding IMA SDKs. All other OTT platforms do not support this functionality due to the inability to scroll down or up on a video page.

On platforms where the IMA SDK is not available and the DAI API is used, publishers can implement Open Measurement Interface Definition (OMID) for viewability tracking, which is not yet MRC accredited.

Skippable ads Varies

Skippable ads are supported (for video on demand only) with HTML5, iOS, and Android only when using the IMA SDK. When using the HTML5 IMA SDK the adUiElement parameter must be passed when creating the StreamManager.

When skippable creatives are eligible and selected in unsupported formats, they will not deliver, resulting in an unfilled monetization opportunity.
VPAID ads Not supported VPAID ads are not supported through Ad Manager DAI because they can't be transcoded. Both the content and ads need to be transcoded into various HLS variants so the highest quality adaptive bitrate (ABR) can deliver.

When you set up your DAI inventory, make sure that VAST creatives are the only ads available and targeted. This can easily be achieved using video creative profiles.

When VPAID creatives are eligible and selected in unsupported formats, they will not deliver, resulting in an unfilled monetization opportunity.
Video fallback Supported

The video fallback feature is helpful when delivering your standard video campaigns mitigating the risk of not monetizing an impression opportunity. Ad buffet can be used to provide fallback functionality to optimized pods.

For your DAI campaign, this is supported in beta.

Additional requirements for DAI

While Ad Manager provides many supported options for delivering video ads to a wide variety of inventory, DAI has some additional requirements that ensure only your premium content is matched up with premium video ads.

  • All video ads must be able to be transcoded

    Transcoding is the method of taking one ad format and converting it into another format. In the case of live linear DAI, ads can begin in a linear format and then be transcoded into a digital format. A transcoded ad can also be formatted into different adaptive bitrates (ABR) to increase or reduce the number of pixels compressed in that particular ad. The higher the pixel count, the higher the quality of the ad.

    Only ads that can be transcoded are supported through Ad Manager DAI.

  • All video ads must be VAST compliant

    The IAB's Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) is a video format designed to standardize communication between video players and servers, facilitating traffic across all kinds of publishing platforms. All video ads used with DAI must be VAST-compliant.

  • Set up unique ad units for DAI inventory

    When you create your DAI network, ensure you set up DAI-specific ad units. This allows you to track and report DAI campaign delivery, prevent non-compliant video ads from being targeted to DAI inventory, and reduces trafficking errors.

  • Video ad ingestion

    Before you deploy your DAI campaign for live linear or video on demand, video ad content must be ingested or uploaded into the Ad Manager DAI CDN, where it is transcoded into the required HLS variants.

    Learn more about transcoding.

    If ingestion and transcoding are not performed prior to launch, they occur on the first monetizable impression. You should set up tests for DAI campaigns to ensure all video ads are eligible, transcoded, and ready to serve to your live campaign.

    Set up test campaigns

    To ensure ad eligibility and content ingestion prior to your live campaign, you can complete the following:

    1. Book and test direct sold campaigns

      All DAI line items should be booked and targeted to DAI-specific inventory (the inventory you chose when you set up unique ad units).

      If your direct buys have VAST re-directs, work with your advertisers to ensure their third-party ad servers are booked and targeted with VAST only video ads.

    2. Book and test programmatic buys

      All programmatic buys, like Ad Exchange line items should be booked and targeted to DAI-specific inventory. If your programmatic line items have VAST redirects ensure that you have ad rules that only serve VAST video ads. If any non-transcodable video ads (for example, VPAID) are eligible, they do not deliver.

      Learn how to activate skippable ads when using DAI and Ad Exchange in Ad Manager.

      Note that when using the HTML5 IMA SDK, the adUiElement parameter must be passed when creating the StreamManager. For Android and iOS, ensure you've upgraded to the latest IMA SDK version.

    3. Write a script to request streams with targeting parameters

      All DAI-activated content for the campaign should be played to ensure ads are requested with all of the applicable targeting parameters (for example, key-value or DAI-specific ad units). Once the ad requests are made, Ad Manager triggers the ad ingest process.

For any issues related to DAI troubleshooting or outages, contact publisher support.

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