April 20, 2022

Linear-like control enables media companies to sell premium inventory direct to advertisers ― raising eCPMs and fill rates ― and keep more ad revenue, while reducing total cost of ownership

DENVER, April 20, 2022 – Imagine Communications today announced the addition of SureFire™ video ad server to its suite of monetization solutions, addressing decade-old gaps in the cost, yield, and quality of advertising on digital video streams. The game-changing product will be shown for the first time at the 2022 NAB Show (24–27 April, Las Vegas Convention Center, booth C2122).

SureFire provides the linear-like control and brand protection needed to directly sell inventory on OTT platforms, enabling media companies to sell and fulfil campaigns across their entire audience. It also enables media companies to lower overall costs by eliminating silos, while increasing margins and keeping more ad revenue via direct sales ― eliminating intermediaries that take a percentage of revenue.

The result is more revenue, higher eCPM prices and improved fill rates, as well as a great advertiser and viewer experience.

“Digital video advertising is growing rapidly, by as much as 50% according to some sources,” says Brad Herman, senior vice president, product, at Imagine Communications. “But we don’t think that the monetization is as effective or safe as it has been for linear TV.”

While multiplatform content delivery is fast becoming ubiquitous, quick digital deployments have led many media companies to deploy separate ad management systems for OTT and traditional linear, which is expensive, inefficient and often results in a poor experience for both viewers and advertisers. SureFire, combined with Imagine’s unified monetization solution, consolidates cross-platform workflows, enabling media companies to increase revenue opportunities, reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), and deliver a consistent, quality experience for streaming OTT and VOD.

Viewers and advertisers desire a quality, linear-like advertising experience across all video platforms and devices; however, brand rules, such as frequency or competitive separation, are often not enforced on OTT platforms. SureFire enables common, broadcast advertising rules across OTT and traditional linear, providing a unified premium ad experience for viewers wherever they consume content.

SureFire operates as a managed cloud service on Amazon Web Services (AWS), so it has flexibility and scale to meet the needs of any media company. Auto-scaling enables SureFire to support millions of ad requests per second, with sub-100ms response times even under heavy load. It uses the advertising industry-standard VAST and VMAP protocols to communicate dynamic ad insertion instructions with AWS Elemental MediaTailor.

Using open APIs, SureFire has been pre-integrated with Imagine’s Landmark™ Sales ad management platform, providing media companies a smooth path to unified monetization of OTT and linear TV. SureFire is also fully compatible with the recently announced Imagine Aviator™ cloud-native, unified origination and monetization platform, providing broadcast-quality ad decisions to monetize OTT and FAST channels created by Aviator.

“All the projections for advertising suggest that linear television revenues are relatively flat,” Herman adds. “In order to thrive, media companies must find a way of capturing the premium values of linear television and applying it to their digital advertising — maintaining brand values and aggregating audiences across all platforms. SureFire is designed to deliver against these needs.”

The first customer deployments of SureFire are expected in the summer of 2022.

During the 2022 NAB Show, Brad Herman will host “The Importance of Creating a Linear-Like Advertising Experience for Connected TV” (Sunday, April 24, 1:00-1:30 p.m. PT, Capitalize Inspiration Zone), a panel discussion on the challenges in addressable OTT cloud monetization and best practices to support premium advertising.

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portatif of Steve Reynolds


Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is President of Imagine Communications, a global leader in multiscreen video and ad management solutions that broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on to support their mission-critical operations.

Steve brings 25 years of technology leadership in the video industry to Imagine Communications. He has served as the CTO at Imagine Communications and Harris Broadcast, Senior Vice President of Premises Technology at Comcast, Senior Vice President of Technology at OpenTV, and CTO at Intellocity USA.

Steve earned a MS in Computer Engineering from Widener University and BS in Computer Science from West Chester University. As the Chairman of the AIMS Alliance and a member of SMPTE and SCTE, he has participated in numerous standards-making bodies in the cable and digital video industries. Steve also holds over 40 patents relating to digital video, content security, interactive television and digital devices.