Server-side Ad Insertion (SSAI)

Are you looking to improve the playback experience of video ads? If so, server-side ad insertion (SSAI) might be the solution you need. In this post, we will explore what SSAI is, how it works, its benefits and drawbacks, and much more.

What is Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI)?

Server-side ad insertion (SSAI) is a technique used to seamlessly insert video ads into streaming content without disrupting the user's viewing experience. This process involves stitching video ads into the content stream before it reaches the end-user's device. SSAI can be applied to both live and on-demand streaming content.

How Does SSAI Work?

SSAI works by intercepting the original content stream and inserting ads into it. The entire process takes place on the server-side, which means that the user's device is not involved in the ad insertion process. As a result, the playback experience is significantly improved, as there are no latency issues or buffering delays caused by ad loading.

What Are the Benefits of SSAI?

There are several benefits of using SSAI over traditional ad insertion methods:

  • Improved Playback Experience: SSAI eliminates buffering delays caused by ad loading, resulting in a seamless playback experience.
  • Increased Ad Revenue: Since SSAI ensures that all ads are delivered to viewers, advertisers can be confident that their ads will be seen.
  • Enhanced Security: By intercepting content streams and inserting ads on the server side, SSAI reduces the risk of unauthorized access to content or ads.
  • Better User Targeting: SSAI allows for dynamic ad targeting based on geographic location or other user-specific criteria.

What Are the Drawbacks of SSAI?

While there are many benefits to using SSAI, there are also some drawbacks to consider:

  • Limited Ad Personalization: Since all ads are inserted server-side, advertisers may not be able to personalize ads for individual viewers.
  • Increased Costs: SSAI requires additional server resources and infrastructure to operate, which can result in increased costs for content providers.
  • Technical Complexity: Implementing SSAI requires technical expertise and knowledge of server-side programming.

How Does SSAI Affect Latency?

One of the biggest advantages of SSAI is that it reduces latency in video playback. Since ads are stitched into the content stream before it reaches the viewer's device, there are no buffering delays caused by ad loading. This results in a seamless playback experience for the viewer.

Who Can Benefit from SSAI?

SSAI is ideal for any content provider looking to improve the playback experience of video ads. This includes broadcasters, media companies, and streaming services.


  1. "Server-Side Ad Insertion" by Alex Bornyakov (2020)
  2. "Streaming Systems: The What, Where, When, and How of Large-Scale Data Processing" by Tyler Akidau et al. (2018)
  3. "Video Streaming in the Internet" by Kaiqi Xiong et al. (2011)
  4. "Ad Serving Technology: Understand the Marketing Revelation That Commercialized the Internet" by Gregory Cristal (2014)
  5. "Advanced Video Communications over Wireless Networks" by Ce Zhu et al. (2016)
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