Akamai Partners with SonyLIV and Enables Dynamic Ad Insertion for Live Cricket
Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the world’s largest and most trusted cloud delivery platform, today announced that SonyLIV, the premium Video on Demand (VOD) service by Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), providing multi-screen engagement to users on all devices, leveraged Akamai's Dynamic Ad Insertion capabilities during the India-South Africa cricket series held over January and February 2018.
SonyLIV was the official and exclusive mobile and internet broadcaster for the India Tour of South Africa series and delivered it to millions of users seamlessly across a variety of devices. Digital advertisers gained the most through the course of the series, with Akamai’s Dynamic Ad Insertion delivering targeted advertisements during the live stream. With this partnership SonyLIV achieved a near 100% ad fill rate without compromising on the viewing experience for users.
Pitch Madison’s Advertising Report for 20181 projects advertising spend on digital platforms is to reach Rs.11,629 crores in 2018, representing a 19.5% increase over the Rs.9,303 crores spent in 2017. In 2017, the spend on mobile was 78% (Rs.7,256 crores) of the total digital outlay. Video represented 35% (Rs.3,300 crores) of the total spend. This indicates a strong reflection of growing consumer trends in the country. A report2 by MoMagic Technologies found that 40% of Indians prefer to watch advertisement videos on their mobile phones over other media. Additionally, as per IDC3, India is the fastest growing smartphone market globally with a total of 124 million units shipped in 2017.
Powered by advertising technology expert Yospace, Akamai’s Dynamic Ad Insertion is designed to help content providers offer greater monetization opportunities through online advertising, while maintaining a TV-like experience for viewers at scale. Server-side ad insertion, in which advertisements are stitched into content from the server-side, is intended to offer numerous benefits to advertisers, content providers and consumers, including:
- Reliability and limitless scale for linear broadcast-size television audiences
- Increased device reach with faster time to market
- Improved viewing experiences and resiliency to ad blocking
- Enhanced operational visibility through analytics
Sidharth Pisharoti, Regional Vice President, Media, Asia Pacific and Japan, Akamai Technologies said, “SonyLIV has a vast library of original content. However, in India, few entertainment options have the capability to attract mass audiences like cricket. While the challenge on the one hand is to keep audiences engaged with a TV-like experience, the equally hard part is ensuring that advertisers see value in leveraging digital platforms to drive views and consequently, revenue through advertisements. With Akamai’s capabilities, we were able to successfully deliver what audiences and advertisers wanted over the course of the India-South Africa series.”
Uday Sodhi, EVP and Business Head, Digital Business, Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) added “The India Tour of South Africa series was a huge success for SonyLIV and our audiences had a seamless experience throughout. We partnered with Akamai and leveraged their technology and added it to our already existing capabilities. The series was a huge hit with all the brands we associated with.”
With video poised to be the largest driver of internet traffic in the country by 20214, opportunities for publishers and advertisers in this space are only set to grow.
SonyLIV is the first premium Video on demand (VOD) service by Sony Pictures Networks’ (SPN) providing multi-screen engagement for users on all devices. Launched in January 2013, it enables users to discover 20 years of rich content from the network channels of Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd. It also provides a rich array of movies, strong line-up of events across all sports, shows, music, product reviews.
With over 40 million app downloads so far, SonyLIV is the first amongst its competition to provide original exclusive premium content. As a true pioneer in its space, SonyLIV launched India’s first-ever original show exclusively for the online platform earlier this year. With #LoveBytes, it became the country’s first digital video-on- demand (VOD) platform to introduce an innovation of this nature. SonyLIV also launched YOLO - You Only Live Once, the first-ever regional language web-series on an OTT platform in India and LIV FIT the first-ever health and wellness segment on an OTT platform in the country. In October 2016, SonyLIV also introduced LIV Kids as its premium content especially designed for children. The digital platform is a home to over 4000 hours of food content making it the one stop destination for food lovers.
Streaming the biggest football tournament of 2017 – U-17 FIFA World Cup India 2017 and making SonyLIV the most preferred online destination for football fans.
Akamai powers and protects life online. Leading companies worldwide choose Akamai to build, deliver, and secure their digital experiences — helping billions of people live, work, and play every day. With the world’s most distributed compute platform — from cloud to edge — we make it easy for customers to develop and run applications, while we keep experiences closer to users and threats farther away. Learn more about Akamai’s security, compute, and delivery solutions at akamai.com and akamai.com/blog, or follow Akamai Technologies on Twitter and LinkedIn.