Image via IdeaNova Technologies

All images: IdeaNova Technologies

IdeaNova Technologies is consistently updating its InPlay in-flight entertainment player software with new features, the latest of which is dynamic and programmatic advertising.

IdeaNova Technologies has integrated the AirSAS advertising server from Inflight Media Digital (IMD) into its InPlay Player 6 product, which allows for the monetization of video content across both seatback and wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems.

The two companies were introduced to each other at the 2019 APEX EXPO, and when one of IdeaNova’s clients asked about InPlay’s advertising capabilities earlier this year, they decided to reconnect with IMD and move forward with the integration of their respective solutions.

Image via IdeaNova Technologies

Both pre-roll and mid-roll ad insertions are available through the AirSAS platform according to campaign management rules set and approved by the airlines. The ads themselves can be traded programmatically via the connection between AirSAS and IMD’s in-flight advertising private marketplace, AirPMP.

Using the new ad playback feature in InPlay Player 6, airlines and IFE providers are able to view markers showing where the ads will be. There is also ad skip functionality, which allows passengers to skip ads after a mandatory viewing time has expired. “The ad’s length, location and amount of mandatory vs. skippable content is configurable via a simple mechanism that can be updated remotely,” explained Juraj Siska, IdeaNova’s CEO.

The enabling of streaming airline IFE content together with dynamic ads on personal electronic devices has been a challenge. It’s something Siska said IdeaNova explored three years ago, but the company had to abandon the idea as they couldn’t create a uniform experience across all platforms. “There are many types of electronic devices that vary based on their operating system, form factor, locale, etc. The ability to enable playback of any content, including ad content, needs to account for all of these things,” he said.

Image via IdeaNova Technologies

“Playback of ad content must be reported on and it must allow user interaction (click to action, for example), which adds to the aforementioned video streaming challenges,” Siska continued. Using the AirSAS ad server, IdeaNova can supply airlines, IFE providers and advertisers with the number of impressions, ad skips, length of ad watched (in quartiles), clicks and errors per flight. The information becomes available once an aircraft has landed and has a 3G or 4G on-ground connection.

The integrated solution is compliant with the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Digital Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) specification for servings ads to digital video players. IdeaNova continues to be part of ongoing discussions within APEX’s Ad Delivery Working Group about standardizing specific targeting elements within VAST responses – the communications delivered between in-flight ad servers and video players – across the IFE industry, but didn’t want to wait any longer before bringing its solution to market.

IdeaNova believes that enabling dynamic advertising on personal electronic devices is necessary as the impact of COVID-19 makes seatback in-flight entertainment difficult to maintain financially and less attractive to passengers from a health and safety perspective.