Using an advertising service vendor

Updated: October 4, 2007

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

Advertising service vendors are companies that provide advertisements to Web sites, including streaming media advertisements. If you choose to use an advertising service vendor, you must specify the URL of the advertising service vendor's server at the point in the playlist where you want the ad to appear.

Additionally, many content producers use content delivery networks (CDNs) to distribute their content to users rather than using their own servers to stream the content. CDNs are content providers that own Web servers and networks. They host content from content producers and distribute it to users. CDNs often have existing relationships with advertising service vendors to obtain advertising content that they can then incorporate into the Web sites they manage to generate revenue. If you decide to use a CDN to distribute advertising content, you will either need to give the CDN the ability to modify your playlist or obtain the relevant advertising vendor information from the CDN before you post your content to their network.

Regardless of whether you are distributing the content from your server or using a CDN, Windows Media Services can stream advertisements from an advertising service vendor using the following methods:

  • Static ads. In this situation, the advertisements are the same for all users, and the content distributor is in control of the advertising content. For example, if a content creator produces a sports video that received funding from several sportswear manufacturers, the content creator can specify that ads from those companies should be streamed to users who request the video. The distributor receives the advertising content from an advertising service vendor and places the ads in a wrapper playlist to be played before and after the sports video stream.

  • Dynamic playlists. In this situation, the advertisements change based on the user, and the advertising service vendor creates a playlist file that includes the requested content and the appropriate advertisements. For example, if a user is reading an article about animal behavior on a news Web site, and then he clicks a link to watch a video of an interview with a noted authority in the field, the playlist containing the interview can also include ads that are associated with pets. The information for creating the customized playlist can be provided to the advertising service vendor in either a query string or as a cookie.