The cycle of satisfied listeners and profitable publishers

Portrait of Mihai Ciurea Mihai Ciurea , CTO

Adaptive bitrate (ABR) goes hand-in-hand with dynamic ad insertion, making live streaming more fruitful for listeners, publishers, and advertisers alike.

For years now, listening to the news online has been one of the regular parts of my morning routine. It’s something I like to maintain even when I'm away. But, no great mystery, when I'm away in more remote areas, reception gets tricky, the live stream starts buffering endlessly, and the experience falls apart. And I miss the news I wanted to hear.

Adaptive bitrate streaming (ABR) solves the problem by enabling streams to adjust automatically based on a listener’s bandwidth. Listening at 320 kbps and suddenly hitting a pocket of limited bandwidth? The stream shifts to a lower bitrate and keeps playing. Back in a better pocket? The stream automatically reverts back to a higher quality. Either way, you still hear what you need to hear without missing a beat, and without having to proactively adjust anything.

Using integrated transcoding capabilities, DAS can generate multiple stream qualities that are audio synchronized to deliver a seamless transition. This guarantees identical audio content on all possible stream qualities.

ABR has been solving this problem in video for a long time now. While it exists in audio too, there’s more work to be done. Part of that work relates to how ABR, which is about more seamless audio delivery, relates to monetization, which is about keeping audio publishers’ businesses healthy so they can actually keep delivering.

Streaming delivery issues impact more than just a smooth listening experience. If the stream doesn’t deliver effectively, neither can ads, and that means a revenue hit to publishers. So when we built ABR capabilities into our streaming server, DAS (Dynamic Audio Server), we built it to work in concert with dynamic ad insertion (DAI).

Audio ads are also transcoded in all available formats and ready for any stream alternative, providing a seamless streaming experience even during DAI.

DAI, which allows for an ad to serve automatically when a show is streamed (as opposed to a “baked-in” ad), gives publishers more chances to serve a more relevant ad and earn higher revenue. But it requires seamless delivery first. 

We’re out to make the whole process – delivery, monetization, as well as the insights that follow –  simple and reliable for everyone. ABR, in conjunction with DAI, is just the latest example of how we’re fulfilling that mission. 

We’re starting to roll out ABR to partners now. Lot’s more info to come – in the meantime, give us a shout to learn more.

Photo by Cristofer Maximilian on Unsplash