Server-Side Beaconing (SSB) for DAI

Server-Side Beaconing (SSB)

SSB allows an HLS player to make a direct HTTP request to the Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) system, where Ad Manager tracks and reports on video stream metrics based on estimates. Any HLS video player should be able to play a SSB DAI stream, however the feature support is limited. As an alternative to SSB, applications can use the Google IMA SDK, which enables more features and more accurate reporting.

Compare features and functionality of SSB and the IMA SDK

This table compares the DAI features supported for implementations that use SSB streams versus the IMA SDK.

Feature/functionality SSB                   IMA SDK                  
Video ad metric reporting Limited

With SSB, the ad server tracks video ad impressions, however there is no support on VOD streams for VAST quartile events or user interaction tracking.

Ad Exchange monetization Not supported Supported
Clickable ads Not supported Supported

The IMA SDK is able to make DAI ads clickable for HTML5, iOS, and Android.

Companion ads Not supported Supported

The IMA SDK is able to support companion ads for HTML5 only.

Player controls

(countdown, subtitles, bookmarking, snapback, scrubbing, cue point information)

Not supported Supported

mid-roll and post-rolls

Not supported Supported


Supported Supported
Live or linear stream

ad breaks

Supported Supported

Enable SSB features on a DAI stream

Live linear


All DAI live linear streams are always accessible using an SSB HTTP URL.

Video on demand


VOD streams can only be accessed with an SSB if:

  • The Ad Manager content source specifically enables SSB
  • The Ad Manager content source is not configured to support mid-rolls

To find VOD SSB setting in Ad Manager:

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Video and then Content sources, and open a source.
  3. Server-side tracking, in the "Settings for dynamic ad insertion" section, is either enabled or disabled.
You cannot alter a content source to change the server-side tracking enablement after the content source is created.

Access an SSB stream

Live linear


SSB stream URL for live linear streams contains the asset key:<assetKey>/master.m3u8

Video on demand


SSB stream URL for video on demand streams contains the content ID and video ID:<contentId>/vid/<vid>/master.m3u8

Override a default ad tag

Default video ad tags generated from your Ad Manager network can be overridden by passing additional parameters (for example, ad units, key/values, or the tag for child-directed content) by the player or app in the event that you do not want to use the same tag and/or make your targeting more granular.

Learn more about how to supply targeting parameters in your stream URL, including information about which ad tag parameters can be overridden.

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