IBM Watson Media Dashboard Ad Manager Integration

IBM Watson Media Manager Dashboard
Ad Manager Integration

Start serving ads on your content quick and easy by connecting Google Ad Manager to your IBM Video Player. To sign up for your free Google Ad Manager account click here. In case you already have content on your Watson Media account, make sure to also apply for Google Ad Exchange for a one step built-in revenue stream.

 Once your Ad Manager account is ready just copy paste your 'Google Publisher Tag' onto your Watson Media Dashboard to start serving video ads right away.

 If you are new to Google Ad Manager, or have no experience with video advertising, you can read through this guide to give you a quick rundown on its features. If you do have experience working with Ad Manager we still recommend you browse through this material, as it enables ad targeting functionality.

 The guide consists of two parts,

  1. The first part provides a tour for those new to Ad Manager on how to create ads
  2. The second part is a 1-step guide on how to set these ads up in Watson Media

Part 1 Quick Guide to Google Ad Manager – setting ads up to be used with IBM

Google Ad Manager is one of the most popular and best known ad server software. Its main features are freely available through the Small Business edition and require only a Google Account for setting up.

 Due to its popularity among our clients, IBM chose to integrate Ad Manager through its Video Streaming  Dashboard as a free Plug-and-Play service, allowing our users to monetize their content with ads.

 If you are an advertising professional or have used DFP before it's recommended that you still read through the document as some sections contain setup requirements specific to this integration.

 If you are new to using Google Ad Manager, we will guide you through the setup process step by step.

Before you begin with the setup

 In case you do not yet have a Google Ad Manager account, you can apply for one here

 In case you already have content on your Watson Media account, make sure to also apply for Google Ad Exchange for a one step built-in revenue stream.

Once you have logged into Google Ad Manager, you will be able to create or set up ads – ether of your own or from advertisers – following this guide.

Please note that Google has an extensive Help section devoted to Ad Manager, which can provide assistance for features and issues you may encounter. Google Ad Manager is not an IBM product, nor is affiliated with IBM, thus any technical questions you may have regarding its use you should direct at Google customer service at

IBM Watson Media provides this guide to integrating the 3rd party software Google Ad Manager as-is, and can not guarantee that features of Google Ad Manager will remain the same or that they remain accessible to their users.

  • Generating Publisher Tags (ad tags) with Google Ad Manager (DFP) - Ad Unit and Line Item setup

To connect Google Ad Manager to IBM WM you will need to generate and copy/paste an Publisher Tag(s) also known as 'ad tags' to your Video Streaming Dashboard. These URLs will be the link between the two systems. Once in place, you will be able to use Google Ad Manager to decide what ads to run on your IBM Watson Media content, with no need to log into your Dashboard.

To get this Publisher Tag URL, you'll need to create an Ad Unit first in Google Ad Manager, which will be the identifier of the ad space you're selling spots on. If you already have an Ad Unit set up in Google Ad Manager, it is still strongly advised you read this section at least once and check your Ad Unit against the guide provided here.


Step 1.0 – Before you begin – Global settings in Google Ad Manager


There are a number of global settings in Google Ad Manager which will affect all ad delivery. This part will guide you through the setup that works most optimal with IBM’s Watson Media Video Streaming. Please make sure to choose the right setup for your business goals, especially in regards of serving advertisements in Europe and countries enforcing EU privacy laws (GDPR).

Please note you only have to do these settings once, as they will apply to all ads you set up subsequently.

In Google Ad Manager navigate to the Admin menu item on the left – and after clicking / expanding it, choose the menu item labeled Video. 

  • Video Fallback – Checking this box will enable Ad Manager to find an advertisement for your ad spot in multiple tries, should the first (or on occasions, first few) ads fail to deliver. This is especially useful for monetizing content with 3rd party programmatic ads, or setting up a sequence of sponsor ads during a break. It is highly recommended that you switch this option on by checking this box.
  • Skippable Video Skip Time – This is the time in seconds a user has to wait to be able to skip a video ad. If you have set the video ad to be skippable, there will be a countdown shown in place of the skip button until this timer is up. By default the skip time is 5 seconds, which we recommend using as it’s the most common delay interval.
  • Skippable Video View Time – This is the amount of time a view has to last before a user counts as having engaged with an ad. This setting has no relevance on ad delivery in Watson Media Video Streaming and will mostly only affect your Ad Manager reporting and possibly 3rd party ad delivery data. It’s recommended that you use the default value.
  • VAST versionPlease set this to VAST 3
  • VMAP version – Watson Media Video Streaming does not currently support the VMAP format, you can leave the default setup intact
  • Standard Video Duration – You can set the longest non-skippable video ad length you are willing to play from 3rd party vendors (if you are monetizing your content with programmatic ads). Setting this higher will allow for more ads to play, but can hinder the user experience (users who are forced to watch long video ads they can’t skip may leave). The recommended setting is between 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Skippable Video Duration – Similarly to the previous number, this sets the longest skippable video ad duration you are willing to sell on your ad space. As a reminder, these ads are equipped with a Skip button. If you are using programmatic ad sales on your videos, it is recommended to keep this duration higher, as it allows for better monetization of your content. A typical setting would be between 120-180 seconds.



Next, in Google Ad Manager navigate to the Admin menu item on the left – and after clicking / expanding it, choose the menu item labeled EU User Consent.

  • Personalized Ads – In general, personalized ads take advantage of tracking users anonymously across internet locations they visit, in order to be able to show them ads and offers that might interest them the most. While this can offer a better user experience for the viewer, and higher revenue when using programmatic ads for monetization, it does put legal responsibilities on you – handling personal data - especially in the EEA. The IBM Watson Media Video Streaming TOS and Privacy Policy is compliant with EU’s GDPR and the Watson Media web properties collect cookie consent from viewers who fall under the protection of the EU’s laws on privacy. However full compliance also means that under specific circumstances in the EEA you might be obligated to – upon request - remove personal data across the ad distribution chain, including from all 3rd parties involved (which are numerous in case Personalized Ads is enabled, starting with Google). If you are only going to serve content to viewers outside of the EEA, to regions where GDPR does not apply, it is recommended you use this setting. (For other cases please see the next point. )
  • Non-personalized AdsIf you are serving and monetizing content in the EU / EEA it is recommended you choose this setting, as it will limit data that Google and 3rd parties will collect from your users.


  • Don’t Limit Line Items – Choosing this option will lift default regional restrictions on ad delivery, and all Line Items will be eligible to run as advertisements for any view, including those originating in the EEA. ). If you are only going to serve content to viewers outside of the EEA, to regions where GDPR does not apply, it is recommended you use this setting. (For other cases please see the next point. )
  • Limit Line ItemsIf you are serving and monetizing content in the EU / EEA it is recommended you choose this setting, as it will require you to manually enable each line item for running in the EEA. Please note that if you do choose this option, all new Line Items will be by default limited to not deliver in the EEA, unless you adjust their targeting in your Line Item settings, in the Adjust Delivery section, under Limit EEA serving. (see 1.5)


 Step 1.1 - Creating an Ad Unit in Google Ad Manager


In Google Ad Manager navigate to Inventory Menu – Ad Units – Ad Units tab – New Ad Unit – Current Level. You will be able to create a new (or modify an old) Ad Unit here. Please see the guidelines on filling out the form below


  • Code – This is the special ID used in the Ad Tag. It can be up to 100 characters long. Important to note, it can’t be changed after saving the Ad Unit (We recommend using a short compound word relevant to the placement and avoid using any special characters)
    g. ibmliveprerolls
  • Name – This will be displayed in Google Ad Manager when listing Ad Units or assigning to a Placement (We recommend to use the same name as you will for the Placement, see next chapter)
    g. IBM Live Pre-rolls
  • Description – Notes for yourself on where the Unit will be used
    g. Pre-roll ads shown before Live streams on IBM Watson Video
  • Size – Video (VAST) Sizes – Use default size (640x480)
  • Target window/Reward – Settings are inherited from the Network settings
  • Placements – It's recommended that you skip this part for now. (Step 2 (1.1.2.) will be discussing creating Placements)
  • Ad Unit Frequency Cap – only add labeling rules if you want to apply creative-level frequency caps across specific inventories. If you don't know what this means you can skip this part.
  • Refresh – check No refresh when using with Video Streaming.
  • Click Save


Recommended Ad Unit setup – For every type of ad spot your advertisers might want to buy exclusively into, or those you would like to have unique performance reports on, create a separate Ad Unit (and Placement, see 1.2.) This will allow you to have an advertiser's ads be running only on their choice of Placement type without the need to modify your setup. A recommended setup is using 4 Ad Units with 4 unique Placements each, Live Pre-roll, VOD Pre-roll, Live Mid-roll, VOD Mid-roll'. Alternatively, you can go with only one Ad Unit and one Placement if you do not need separate targeting or performance reports.
Note - you will be able to target to specific content using the same Ad Units, you don't need a unique Ad Unit/Placement for every channel.


    • Step 1.2 - Create a Placement


Placements organize Ad Units into ad-targeting labels. For the purpose of integrating to the Video Streaming Dashboard, it's recommended to create at least one Placement unique to each Ad Unit. Afterwards you can create Placements that combine Ad Units to make ad targeting easier, e.g. if you have separate Ad Units for Live and VOD, also for Pre-rolls and Mid-rolls, you can add Placements that group these together, such as 'Mid-rolls', 'LIVE' or 'All IBM WM Placements'.


In order to create a Placement to be used with your Ad Units follow these steps.

In Google Ad Manager navigate to Placements, and click the New Placement button. (Going to be used at Line Items for Targeting)

  • Name – For ease of use, you can provide the same as the Ad Unit name
  • Description – Notes for yourself, which will be visible during setting up ad campaigns, and choosing where they should run.
  • Pick the matching Ad Unit (created in 1.1.1.) from the Assigned Inventory List (The one with the same name)
  • Click Save

  • Step 1.3 – Create Key Values for Targeting ads to Specific Channel IDs

    (for targeting ads to Channel IDs)


This is an Important step if you would like to target ads to specific channels on your IBM Watson Media account. With this you will be able to use the same Ad Unit and Ad Placement across multiple IBM Watson Media channels, and optionally specify which Channel ID certain ads should or shouldn't run on. This will work in combination with the Ad Units/Placements you created earlier, saving a lot of time and administration when managing ads.


In Google Ad Manager navigate to Inventory menu – Key values, choose New key

  • Name – “ibmvid” (this is not an example, please use this exact string)
  • Display Name – This will be shown when using for targeting. It's recommended to name it IBM WM Channel ID or similar.
  • Values type – choose this option – 'Users will enter targeting values when creating line items or checking inventory'


  • Step 1.4 - Generate Publisher Tags (ad tags)


Publisher tags are the URLs you'll need to copy and paste from Google Ad Manager into the IBM Watson Media Video Streaming Dashboard. This is the step that allows the connection between your video player and your ad inventory in Ad Manager.


In Google Ad Manager navigate to Inventory Tab – Ad Units – Ad Units tab, select the created Ad Unit, then click the Generate Tags button (top right)

  • Under Select Tag Type choose Google Publisher Tag for VideoContinue
  • Under Select Tag Options choose the following options
  • Enable for live trafficcheck
  • Player SDK typeGoogle IMA SDK - Then click Continue
  • Under Additional Tag Parameters
  • Page Level TargetingPlease omit when generating tags, only parameters added through Video Streaming will be used. You can define these on the IBM WM VS Dashboard for each channel, using Custom META tags.
  • Inventory unit sizesUse default 640x480
  • Description URLOmit when generating tags, it will be populated by IBM
  • Companion sizesOmit when using with Video Streaming account, companion banners are currently not supported.
  • Minimum ad duration – in milliseconds, optional, omit to allow highest fill rate
  • Maximum ad duration – in milliseconds, optional, omit to allow highest fill rate
  • Disable Ad Fallback – recommended to omit, using it will disable ad waterfall / failover (if you disable Ad Fallback, when multiple ads match your targeting criteria and the first one fails, no more attempts will be made and no ad will play)
  • Content targeting – Optional, Video Streaming will be passing Channel ID through the custom key 'ibmvid'. Please make sure to add ibmvid as a free-value custom key value to use it to target to content id. ( see step 1.3. )
  • Child-directed – by default the settings is 'No'
  • Limit to non-personalized ads – if you don't supply information default will be 'No'. If you are delivering ads to viewers into the EEA (where GDPR applies) it is recommended to use a tag that by default uses non-personalized ads.
  • Click Continue

  • Tag Results
  • Highlight and copy the URL, you have now generated a Publisher Tag
  • Please paste this URL into the corresponding text field in the IBM WM Video Streaming  Dashboard when creating a new ad (see part 2.)


Note – your tag will connect IBM Video Streaming to Google Ad Manager, but in order for the video player to actually start displaying ads, you will need to set up ads to run. See additional help on this from chapter 1.5.


Generated Publisher Tag Example:[placeholder]&env=vp&impl=s&correlator=&tfcd=0&npa=0&gdfp_req=1&output=vast&sz=640x480&unviewed_position_start=1


  • Step 1.5 - Creating ads – the Order and Line Item

    (campaign and ad)


In Google Ad Manager navigate to Delivery MenuOrders

Note that every Line Item (individual ad) is sorted under an Order (ad campaign)

In case you do not have an Ad Order set up yet, you will need to create one.

Click New Order

  • Name – This will be the display name for the Order in Ad Manager.
  • Advertiser – This field is mostly for reporting and administrative purposes. Choose the correct advertiser from the list, or create a new label as needed.
  • Trafficker – An administrative / user access setting, it will be your Ad Manager user by default, you do not need to edit it unless you have a multi-layered Ad Operations team.
  • Labels – Optional, for administrative and reporting purposes you can tag your Orders with labels.


Next step, navigate in Google Ad Manager to the delivery menuOrders – (Select the Order you created in the previous step) – click New Line Item


  • Name – The Display name in Ad Manager for the Ad.
  • Inventory sizeschoose the Video VAST option, 640x480
  • Labels - Optional, for administrative and reporting purposes you can tag your Line Items with labels
  • Allow same advertiser exception – Not used for IBM WM Video Ads
  • Comments – Optional, comments will be visible only in Ad Manager
  • Max duration – optional, leave it as 0 in case you don't know how long the ad clips will be or if they can vary. (Most ads are between 5 to set for 30 seconds) – This data is only used for forecasting inventory

You can learn more about these features in Google Ad Manager Help

  • Under Settings:
    • Type: This list will offer a lot of options. You can learn more about them in Google Ad Manager Help. For a quick guide please refer to the below list
      • Standard – You can set the relative priority of ads running on the same inventory manually by entering a number (16 – the lowest, 1 – the highest priority). It is a very straightforward option you can use with any kind of ad you wish to run.
      • Price Priority – CPM Optimized – Ads will get priority over one another based on how much they can potentially earn you in 1,000 runs (CPM means earnings per 1,000 displays). Use this in case you are optimizing for yield management, such as AdX or other networks
      • House – lowest priority, ads will fill in the free ad spaces.
    • Start time – The ad will only begin running on your videos once the start time and date is met. You can also set it to 'immediate'. You can time campaign launch dates with this feature.
    • End time – Ads will stop being sent to the video player once the Line Item has reached its set 'end time'. Depending on the type of ad you chose, you may be required to set an End time.


  • Type specific settings (these only apply if you chose the corresponding ad type)
    • Price Priority
      • Limit: The amount of impressions for a set period.
    • Standard
      • Quantity: The number of total impressions the Ad can run.
    • Sponsorship/House
      • Goal: the percentage the Ad should get of the total (or in case of house ads, remaining) available ad space.
    • Rate – set for CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) – Default

  • Adjust Delivery – Optional choices advertisers may request you to set for their campaigns, which can alter the running frequency and pace of their ads.
    • Deliver Impression
      • Frontloaded – Campaign will deliver more ads in the first half of its run time, and less in the second.
      • Evenly – Tries to deliver impression equally over the course of the campaign
      • As fast as possible – delivers the ad whenever it matches criteria.
    • Display Companion – Watson Media Video Streaming currently does not support companion banners. Please set this to Optional.
    • Rotate Creative Sets – It is recommended to use the choice Optimized.
    • Frequency – You can set how many times the Ad can show for a viewer in set minutes/hours/days/weeks/months or during the whole campaign.
    • Limit EEA serving - If you have the necessary user consent for meeting your duties under Google’s EU User Consent Policy – Choose Don’t Limit serving. This option can be used with Watson Media.

  • Add Targetingyou can (and most of the time should) limit ad delivery based on circumstances on the viewer's end. These include options to check what content the viewers are watching, where they are watching from, what device they use to view the videos, and so on.

  • By default, ads are set 'Run of Network' – meaning they will be displayed on every video you manage through Ad managerThis setting should be removed when using a more limited / custom targeting.
  • Inventory – Placement – Select the Placement(s) you created for your IBM Watson Media inventory for the ad to run (or not run) on. (See 1.2.)
  • Key value –(OPTIONAL) If you want to limit the ad to only run on a specific stream, add the key 'ibmvid' (if you do not have it as an option, see 1.3) If you do not add ibmvid the ads will run on every channel you use the same Tag for. Once added, make sure to also set the value as the Channel ID*. *(The Channel ID is the unique identification number of your content. You can find it in two ways, one is to log on the Watson Media Video Streaming Dashboard, choose the channel in question, the URL will display the ID e.g. ID in this example is 00000000. The other method is to click the Share icon in the Player and copy the Channel ID from its source URL e.g. Once set, the Line Item will not run on any other channel except those you allowed it for. You can specify multiple IDs as well, or use this key to exclude channels from targeting instead.
  • Geography – Include/Exclude the list of locations where the Ad should/shouldn’t run.
  • Devices – Include/Exclude the list of browsers/devices where the Ad should/shouldn’t run.
  • In case you are creating a new Line Item, you are recommended to proceed to adding a Creative.
  • Click the button 'Save and…' and choose 'Upload creatives' at the bottom of the form. 


  • Step 1.6 - Adding Creative to the Line Item


Creatives are information on the actual ads (the video clips, or a 3rd party Ad Tag that has the location of these clips) which will be displayed in your IBM WM Player. Here you will let Ad Manager know where to access these clips.


  • If you have just finished setting up your Line Item (not yet saved, see 1.5) click the button 'Save and…' and choose 'Upload creatives'

Otherwise in Google Ad Manager navigate to DeliveryLine Items – choose the Line Item you want to add Creatives to, and click 'Add creatives' (new if you don't have already completed the Creative addition process)


  • Select a creative set type
    • Video – 1stparty served (Choose this in case you have a video file uploaded to the internet which you want to play as an Ad)
    • Redirect – 3rdparty served (Choose this if your advertiser provided you with an Ad Tag, a URL that will connect to their ad server to download information on ads)


For the choice 'Video' – where you have a video clip used as an ad


  • Name – A display name for the Creative, visible only in Ad Manager. It's recommended to keep close to the Line Item name for ease of administration
  • Click-through URLlanding page URL – this is where viewers are taken when they interact with the advertisement (in a new browser tab or window)
  • HostingDFP-hosted (upload your video clip below)

Externally hosted (Copy/paste the URL for the video clip to use)
Make sure to only use secure-hosted videos (https://)

  • Duration (seconds) – Optional, Ad Manager will auto-detect it
  • Skippable VideoRecommended, will add a SKIP button to the ad after 5 seconds of playback. Users expect to see this button for ads over 5-15s
  • Labels – for administrative, reporting purposes you can tag your Creatives
  • Custom parameters – it's recommended you omit this part
  • SSL CompatibleOnly use URLs (for hosted video clips) on secure hosts (https). Ad Manager will also detect if the asset is or isn't on a secure server. Note, if your video is not secure, your viewers will see a warning or an error message!
  • If you opt for Ad Manager to host the clip, don't forget to add it
  • Click Save


For the choice 'Redirect' – where you use a 3rd party ad tag


  • Redirect type – choose 'Video'
  • Name - A display name for the Creative, visible only in Ad Manager. It's recommended to keep close to the Line Item name for ease of administration
  • VAST tag URL – Paste the 3rd party provided Ad tag here
  • Duration (seconds) – does not get detected automatically in this case, should be added manually – If you don't know the typical length, use 30 to 60s
  • Skippable tracking – only check for skippable Ad reporting purposes
  • Labels – for administrative, reporting purposes you can tag your Creatives
  • Third-party tracking URLs – Optionally your advertiser might support these, though using a 3rd party VAST tag usually eliminates the need of tracking URLs
  • SSL compatibleOnly use 3rd party ad tag URLs that are secure (https). Ad Manager will also detect if the asset is or isn't on a secure server. Note, if the ad tag is not secure, your viewers will see a warning or an error message!
  • Custom fields - Optional

  • Step 1.7 Modifying Line Items


Note for changing settings on a Line Item later on – you will need to first Pause the line item, apply changes, save the line item, then resume. Otherwise your changes won't be saved.

  • Step 1.8 Test Your Publisher Tag


You should use Google Video Suit Inspector to test your Publisher Tag


Paste the Publisher Tag into the text field, set the Input type to VAST tag and click TEST AD


Important note - Not seeing any ads may be due to targeting limitations you set (e.g. Geographic location or IBM WM content ID targeting – see 1.7.), the timing of the campaigns (start and end dates – see 1.7.) or limitations set on the Advertiser's end in case of a 3rd party Ad Tag (see 1.8.). However, if you confirmed there are no limitations to the ads you set and still don't see one, check if you are using the correct Publisher Tag.


Before contacting IBM support with any problems regarding ad delivery, always make sure to test your tag and check Google Ad Manager help to resolve the issue.



Step 1.9 Ads.txt

– important for embedded players


Some advertisers might prevent ads from being displayed on unverified domains. Such systems or companies might require you to include a verification code in an ads.txt file hosted on the domain that embeds your stream. If your stream is embedded on than you will have to have a file located at that contains this verification line.


You may found a guide about ads.txt here:


Part 2 Guide to IBM Watson Media Video Streaming Ad Integration



Consult this guide on how to add a Google Publisher Tag from Google Ad Manager (formerly DFP) to your Video Streaming content. This enables you to set up and control video ads in the Watson Video Player both for Live streams and VOD.


See chapter I. on how to create a Google Publisher Tag and set up ad inventory in Google Ad Manager. It is also recommended you do this if you already have experience with Ad manager and have a Publisher Tag ready, some of the features of the integration will not be available otherwise.


2.1. Set up your Ad – Watson Media Ad Manager integration dashboard tool


On your IBM Watson Media Video Streaming Dashboard navigate to Channels, choose the channel where you wish to integrate ads, and choose the Ad Integration menu item


  • On the right-side of the page click Add your first ad tag (or +Add ad tag on top right if you already have tags set up)


Step 2.2. Adding a new ad tag


  • Ad tag URL – paste the Google Publisher Tag generated in Google Ad Manager here. See chapter I. (1.4.)
  • Title – Display name of the ad setup, visible on your Video Streaming Dashboard only. It's recommended to use a descriptive title.
  • Where should the ads be displayed?
    • Live broadcast or VOD – Choose what content type the integration is for
    • 'Live' is Live Streaming channel, 'VOD' are all the videos under it
  • When should the ads be displayed?
    • Pre-roll or Mid-roll – Choose what ad position the integration should run
    • Pre-roll – runs before the content starts
    • Mid-roll – runs during the content in set intervals or on your manual cue
      • Ad will be displayed every… –duration in minutes between ad breaks (timer starts when players load) – 5 minutes by default
      • Choose 'Manual' to trigger ad breaks on Live streams manually, at the click of a button. You can learn more about this feature in 2.4.
    • What custom meta fields should be sent to Google Ad Manager as Custom Parameters? – You can request Video Streaming to send Custom Metadata to Ad Manager with each ad request. The Meta fields and values to be sent can be set up under the main menu Integration & Apps – Custom Metadata (see 2.5.)

  • Click Save


Note - in case you are about to record an Ad Tag for content you already have ad integration for, you will be prompted to select which Ad Tag to use there. For multiple conflicting points you will be presented with multiple options.

Note – New Ad Tag setups you save may take up to 10 minutes to propagate.


This completes the Ad Integration of your channels.

Step 2.3. Maintenance - Managing your Ad Integration


You can delete-, add new-, and edit certain aspects of an already set Ad Tags.


Check the box next to the Ad(s) on the left side

  • Click Delete to remove the Ad Integration
  • Click Pause to disable the Ad Tag. While paused, no ads will be run on the content the Ad was set up for. You can resume the ads any time. Note, changes may up to 10 minutes to propagate.
  • Click Resume to re-enable the Ad Tag. Note, changes may up to 10 minutes to propagate.
  • Click 'Edit' on the right to change certain aspects of your Ad setup. Please note you can only edit one Ad Tag at a time.
    • Editable fields
    • Title
    • Custom Metadata
    • Interval for non-manual Mid-rolls
  • For any other changes you are required to delete / add a new Ad Tag

Step 2.4. Advanced - Mid-rolls and Manual ad breaks

Two types of Mid-rolls can be set in IBM WM Video Streaming

  • Timed intervals – Ads will be requested from Ad Manager at a set frequency (e.g. every 5 minutes). Timer starts from when the Watson Media Player is loaded, thus is unique to each viewer. Available for both Live and VOD.
  • Manually initiated (Live only) – For Live streams choosing Manual intervals will enable a custom tool to launch an ad break on your side. The tool will become available once the 'Manual' Mid-roll Ad Tag has been saved.


To Enable the Mid-roll tool, set up an ad tag for the required channel as follows

  • Where should ads be displayed? – Live broadcast
  • When should ads be displayed? – Mid-roll (during video)
  • Ad will be displayed every… - Manually initiated


2.4.1. Method to launch a commercial break using the Mid-roll tool


  • Navigate on the Dashboard to the channel you are broadcasting on – it's very important you choose the correct channel – click Info page


  • After a successful ad setup the tool should appear saying ‘On-demand Mid-roll tool’ at the top of the Info page.


  • Clicking this link will pop up a separate browser window with the Mid-roll tool.


  • Mid-roll tool controls
    • Number of ads – A roll-down showing numbers 1 through 6.

The number sets how many ads will be requested from Ad Manager in a sequence. Setting the number to 2 will mean two ads being requested one after the other. The same ad tag will be used for all requests made. See 2.4.2. for information how to set up breaks with specific order of commercials and non-repeating ads.

  • Click Play ads to launch the commercial Note, you can't cancel an ad break, nor can you issue another break while one runs.

 2.4.2 Programming Ad Sequences during Manual Ad Breaks

The same ad tag will be used for all requests made during an ad-break. In case you prefer to run different ads in each slot during a break, or ads in a specific sequence, please make sure to set up the ad priorities and frequency caps in Google Ad Manager in accordance (see below).

Recommended for specific ad sequences – You can set frequency caps for each Google Ad Manager Line Item to a time period that's as long as your commercial breaks (e.g. 5 minutes). This will allow each ad targeted to the commercial breaks to play only once per ad break, but possibly play again by the time the next break comes. You can also use standard-type Line Items with set Priorities to create an order in which ads should run (highest priority ad will run first, second highest will run second, and neither will run twice within the same break, as they have a set frequency cap)


Additional notes


  • There is a slight delay of about 1 to 3s from initiating the commercial break on the Broadcaster side and the actual display of advertisements in the WM Player.
  • For those viewers who were not targeted with an advertisement during the break the Live stream will remain visible, the content is not blacked out. The ad plays over the stream and it does not pause the video feed.
  • For those viewers who did receive an ad, the content during the ad break is covered out and is not visible. Using the tool thus is ideal during natural breaks in the content that viewers can miss.
  • Neither side can cancel the ads once triggered, and ads can't be called onto already playing ads. Once launched, the ads will play in full.



  • Step 2.5 Advanced - Custom Metadata sent to Ad Manager


You can set up IBM WM Video Streaming to send additional information on your content to Google Ad Manager via Custom Parameters. Each ad request will send this data if you choose Custom Metadata fields when saving the Publisher Tag on the IBM WM Video Streaming Dashboard.


The Custom Metadata fields (IBM) will be sent to Ad Manager as Custom Parameters (Google).


In order to capture the data in Ad Manager

  • either name Custom Metadata fields on your IBM WM Video Streaming Dashboard the same as your already set up Keys in Google Ad Manager,
  • or create these Keys in Ad Manager with the same name as you used to name Custom Metadata fields in Video Streaming.
  • If the two names are identical, their values will be sent successfully.


You can create Custom Metadata Fields – and set their values per channel or VODs – on your Video Streaming Dashboard.

Navigate to the Integrations & Apps menu – choose Custom metadata – click Channel Data


To Add a new Custom Metadata field, click Add custom field.


The fields you set will be the same for all channels in your Watson Media account, but you can set their values for each channel individually.


  • For Ad Integration purposes - Choose Channel Data
  • Field Name – this is the actual name of the parameter, which you should match to the Key name in Google Ad Manager. It should be the exact same string.
  • Display Name – (optional) – You can also use a second name to make the field more easily identifiable. This will be visible only in IBM WM VS.
  • Type – you can set the type of value you want the field to have. 'string' is recommended for most cases such as passing content category names or keywords / tags / labels.
  • Description – (optional) – Additional display-only explanation on what the field stands for, visible only in IBM WM VS.

Once your account Is set up with Custom Metadata Fields, you can define the values of these fields for each channel. These values will be passed with each Ad tag if you choose to include them in your Ad Tag setup (see 2.2.)


In your IBM Video Streaming Dashboard navigate to Channels – choose the channel you wish to set the field values for – click Info at the top of the Channel Menu

  • On the right scroll down to 'Custom fields' and provide the values you want the channel to communicate to Google Ad manager.
  • Click Save


The information will be sent to Ad Manager with each ad request in the custom parameters section of the tag (cust_params=) in the format of key value pairs, where the key names are the custom fields (the field name, the grey string above the text fields) and their values as the value set for each channel on the Dashboard.


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