Ad Blocking: What Can a Video Streaming Service Do About It?


Ad blocking is usually an issue for streaming services utilizing ads to monetize content. Viewers want to watch a video but don’t want to watch commercials during the playback as they interrupt it. Many consumers have a browser extension that blocks advertisements on a web page.

It becomes a problem for an OTT business as advertisements are the way they generate revenue. People watch content for free, while creators partner with advertisers to make money. When viewers utilize an ad blocker, they don’t watch ads, and a provider loses revenue. Let’s observe some options that can help you solve this problem.

What is an Ad Blocker and What Problems Does It Cause?

An ad blocker is an extension in a browser that removes commercials from the page or an application. Many browsers block advertisements by default, while others allow viewers to install the extension. It usually has a list of instructions that points out what not to show.

While viewers benefit from ad blocking because it speeds up loading and protects from accidental clicking on malicious ads, a business loses revenue. Ad blockers increase users’ security and privacy on the Internet by blocking ads with tracking codes.

For a business, the ad blocker means that a viewer doesn’t see an ad and doesn’t click on it. As a result, a company doesn’t receive its revenue.

What Can Help to Solve the Problem?

There are a few options:

#1 Server-side ad insertion

There are two methods of inserting ads into videos – CSAI (client-side ad insertion) and SSAI (server-side ad insertion). Client-side ad insertion means that the video player requests an ad when the video reaches a particular marker.

Dynamic server-side ad insertion is another method of inserting ads into videos, and it is better at fighting ad blockers. Ads are inserted on the server side, which means that they are stitched together with the video. As a result, the content and the ad are one uninterrupted stream. The ad blocker cannot detect the ad, and a viewer watches it.

#2 Subscriptions or a pay-per-view

Ads are essential for services that generate revenue by advertising. However, you can switch to an additional purchasing option for viewers: subscriptions or a pay-per-view basis.

Subscriptions are usually suitable for streaming services with a huge video library, such as NimiTV. They promise a steady revenue stream to providers. For users, a subscription is easy to cancel and cheaper than traditional television.

A pay-per-view is different from a subscription in terms that it charges a fee for every video on the platform. A user purchases access to one video, and the rest stay unavailable, requiring payment.

#3 Hybrid monetization

If you don’t want to remove ads completely, you can create a hybrid monetization approach: combine several models and offer the possibility to choose the suitable one.

For example, a subscription combined with ads is a popular revenue-generating approach today. Large companies added a lower-priced ad-based subscription to an existing higher-priced ad-free one. Now, viewers on a budget can still watch their favorite videos or remove ads by paying a higher fee.

Another way to combine ads and subscriptions is to offer two options: either users watch content with ads for free or purchase a subscription to remove commercials.

Drawing the Line

The ad blocker is an issue when your revenue depends on advertising. However, you can change the method videos are inserted into videos by adopting server-side ad insertion, add another monetization model, or come up with your own solution. 

video watermarking enables the service operator to embed a unique identifier for each user. The ID is then used to trace any unauthorized redistribution of premium content. This technique is a critical anti-piracy tool to protect UHD premium content and live events broadcasting since it is possible to identify the actual device that is “leaking” or restreaming the content. This anti-piracy strategy allows for real-time detection of the source of pirated content and real-time shutdown of the illegal redistribution,

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