Analytics 2.0

Today's content delivery services must contend with a playback environment comprised of hundreds of disparate platforms many of which require different players, plugins or apps. Currently, most content delivery networks use legacy Analytics to collect client statistics using specific plugins that must be enabled within the media player or browser. The plugins track and report these client events to Analytical platforms like Google Analytics.

Development of Analytics plugins for all these different platforms is both costly and cumbersome to implement. Furthermore, many media player platforms such as Roku Box and others do not provide extensions for plugin integration.

Unicast's complex analytics process

Legacy CDN’s are not very efficient at processing the feedback data that is needed to meet the demands of today’s Analytics systems. Unicast networks require the use of cookie plugins to keep track of every playback session.

Anonymous persistent session ID’s like those created by Flash are used to determine unique viewers and to establish delivery addresses when a connection is made to a browser that does not accept cookies. To add to this complex system legacy Unicast also requires an entire array of Analytics servers to process the plethora of Messaging feedback that are sent from every end user device (e.g. computers cell phones tablets).

SMARTview: Elegant analytics

Viewcast’s SMARTcast system also supports Analytics but without the need to use cookies or plugins. Additionally a single SMARTmaster server performs the work of the entire array of Analytics servers that are required by legacy Unicast networks. This is possible because a SMARTcast has the scaling properties (one-to-many) associated with Multipoint Internet protocols (e.g. IP Multicast IP Anycast) coupled with feedback properties of Unicast.

Viewcast believes Analytics should be recordable from all platforms including the newer digital media players like Chromecast, Sling Media, Amazon Fire, Twitch, and game consoles like PlayStation that connect to a home network and stream content to televisions. To accomplish this Viewcast has developed a system that alleviates the need for an Analytics plugin to be integrated into the player of each type of playback device.

Viewcast’s solution was to insert its SMART protocol into edge servers to avoid the need to use client-side plugins, which are difficult to manage and are not supported by many contemporary players like Apple TV, Android, and other devices. The system Viewcast designed has the capability to dynamically capture all relevant player information contained on the SMARTendnode edge servers in near real-time. This information is recorded and reported in a format that is similar to other legacy Analytics engines but does so using SMARTcast protocols. Unlike Unicast, SMARTview supports the reporting of Analytics from virtually all media players and gaming devices such as those listed above.

SMARTview analytics Engine

  • Unparalleled - New sources of revenue: 
    • Direct to consumer bottom line profit. SMARTcast's efficiencies enable profitable streaming of linear channels with overlay advertising alone. This crossing of (graphed) ad-revenue vs. cost-of-streaming has been considered to be the holy grail of Internet television.  
    • Targeted (addressable) advertising - SMART's bidirectionality allows for reporting of localized ad-plays. Targeted spots generate more revenue while increasing available ad space. This geometric creates opportunities for broadcasters and infrastructure providers. Also, recordings of SMARTcasts include the SMART ad play encoding markers, so the recordings can can generate additional revenue because they can request play advertising insertion as well. Targeted advertising can be individually targeted on Consumer Premises Equipment (CPE) which means reduced head-end expense.  

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