AWS for M&E Blog

Monetizing VOD assets using ad marker insertion

AWS Elemental MediaConvert lets you specify ad insertion points in your outputs. This capability is incredibly useful if your input video doesn’t contain ad markers (SCTE-35 markers) but you still need to monetize (or even black out) your content.

A tutorial is available (as part of a larger AWS VOD workshop) on GitHub to demonstrate how to use the ad marker insertion feature in MediaConvert with Event Signaling and Management (ESAM) XML documents. This tutorial uses a sample video file that does not contain any ad markers, but does have a slate for 15 seconds at the beginning (pre-roll), followed by 60 seconds of content, followed by another slate for 15 seconds (mid-roll), and finally a slate for 15 seconds at the end (post-roll). The ad markers inserted correspond to the existing slates in this video file.

For the ad insertion portion of the tutorial, we take advantage of the manifest conditioning feature in MediaConvert that can be enabled, in addition to the signal conditioning. The HLS manifest from MediaConvert output will have CUE-IN/OUT tags corresponding to the ad markers in the stream. AWS Elemental MediaTailor will, in turn, use the HLS manifest decorations to determine when and where to insert ads coming from an Ad Decision Server (ADS) using Video Ad Serving Template (VAST).

The tutorial assumes familiarity with ESAM and doesn’t cover how to create your own ESAM XML documents. Sample documents are provided, however, for you to use. For more information on ESAM, please read the specification here.