Broadcast Beat Magazine 2017 IBC Show - Page 17

market simultaneously. High-value revenue opportunities often use geo- targeting. Ad insertion can particularly leverage location services. Local and national advertising campaigns can be dynamically inserted into con- tent based on users’ location data, helping con- tent providers attract local, national and world- wide advertisers based on their performance within different regions. Programmatic advertis- ing almost always leverages location information, in addition to other demographic data, to target relevant advertising on a large scale. GEO-TARGETING VERSUS GEO-BLOCKING Before continuing, let’s go over some terminol- ogy. “Geo-fencing” is the function of defining virtual borders upon which location decisions will be based. A geo-fence could, for example, be a set of cities which allow (“geo-targeting”) or pro- hibit (“geo-blocking”) access to content. What if you want to target the suburban areas of San Francisco? You can draw a map of the suburbs expressed in latitude and longitude positions. Geo-fencing could also be specific to the user themselves, such as when the user is at home or at work. “Geo-blocking” is the function of prohibiting access to content based on user location. This is critical for territory and rights management. For example, a sports broadcaster may have the rights to stream a game only within the same metro area as the OTA broadcast. Conversely, geo-blocking can be used to implement local blackout restrictions for sports and concerts, preventing streaming within the event’s host city unless all tickets have sold out. Broadcasters may also wish to implement geo-blocking based on their interpretations of royalty considerations. Geo-blocking is usually an enforced policy, where content is blocked at the access layer. For StreamGuys, that means the server makes an evaluation of the end-user’s location before allowing content to play back. While geo-blocking is used to prohibit access, in contrast, geo-targeting is used to allow access and increase relevance by providing specific, tar- geted content based on location. Beyond the tar- geted advertising applications mentioned earlier, geo-targeting is often used to deliver different versions of programming based on the location of the user. UNDER THE HOOD Geographic decisions are made by identifying where the end-user is, so the accuracy of geo- targeting or geo-blocking is determined by the available data. The location of end-users can be determined with or without their participation. Devices which provide location telemetry – such as smartphones, and almost all modern PCs and browsers – can be enabled to share end-user data. This is usually an opt-in capability, with the user prompted to allow location sharing. Once enabled, mobile devices typically send GPS lati- tude and longitude data, which is very accurate. Even devices which lack a proper GPS can send latitude and longitude coordinates; for example, the Google Chrome browser can provide highly accurate information from its database of WiFi access spots. What if the end-user declines to share their loca- tion? In the absence of latitude and longitude data, geographic decisions can be made based on the IP address of the user. The IP address is usu- ally available in the network session’s request for the content, and can be looked up in IP address databases from many providers to determine the corresponding location. IP-based location accu- racy is only as good as the database itself. Such info is usually very accurate at the country level, and reasonably accurate to the city level, but fairly inaccurate to the block and street address level. There can also be false identification for individuals who are behind networks which share IPs between users, like larger corporate networks and some mobile networks. PUTTING IT IN PRACTICE Broadcasters often use a mix of geo-blocking and geo-targeting. For example, if you need to prohibit access to content such as a soccer game from a specific country, you might also want the option of targeting alternative content to those users – either different programming, or at least a service message explaining the restriction. Broadcast Beat Magazine • • 17