Unlike a manual playlist-based system, Broadsign uses a rules-based approach. It allows the player to create its own playlist. A loop policy is a collection of rules used to tell the player how to create the playlist.
Each frame possesses its own playlist loop in which you can schedule ads. The loop policy defines boundaries and rules by which the frames used are to abide (for example, the maximum duration of an iteration of the playlist loop). Different frames can use the same loop policy.
Note: We provide details about advanced features and capabilities of playlists. See Playlist Generation.
You should base your loop policy on the average dwell time of the viewers at each location. These settings do not have to be exact. Each loop will be specific to your own network needs.
- An ATM may have a dwell time of one minute, on average, with each viewer. You could break down this one-minute loop into ten-second slots.
- A grocery store may have a dwell time of five minutes, on average, with each viewer. You could break down this five-minute loop into 45-second slots.
- A waiting room may have a dwell time of 30 minutes or longer. You could break down this 30-minute loop into three-to-five minute slots.
The basic idea is to get as much content to your viewers as possible, without them missing something in your loop. Also, you want to avoid repeating the same message and becoming annoying.
Another approach is to set up your loop policy to match how it is sold. For example, if your sales team sells by fractions of an hour or plays per hour, we recommend that you create an hour-long loop. It can make your life easier.
In deployments that use multiple frame layouts, it may be useful to have a separate loop policy for each frame. Your content strategy will decide how many loop policies you need.
For example, you could have the following frames:
- A main video zone: rotates every thirty seconds or so
- A ticker: repeats indefinitely
- A side bar: skips through short information spots that last five seconds
Each loop does not lock you in to its duration. Rather, the loop guides the software through what to expect. The loop's flexibility becomes more important if you’re expecting to run advertising on your network.
When the Broadsign Control Player generates a loop, it works out the duration of the content by first looking at the campaign slot length (see Campaign Properties - Duration Page), and secondly, at the bundle override duration (Bundle Properties - General Tab).
However, if the loop policy has a fixed duration defined (Duration Tab), both the campaign duration and the override bundle duration (if specified) are ignored and the fixed duration is used instead.
For example, let's consider three Display Units:
- DU 1 has a regular loop policy without any fixed slot duration
- DU 2 has a loop policy with a fixed slot duration of 7 seconds
- DU 3 has a loop policy with a fixed slot duration of 9 seconds
A single 10-second campaign targeted across all three DUs will play back for:
- 10 seconds on DU 1
- 7 seconds on DU 2
- 9 seconds on DU 3
A single 5-second campaign targeted across all three DUs will play back for:
- 5 seconds on DU 1
- 7 seconds on DU 2
- 9 seconds on DU 3
Although this type of variable duration is typically only used with images (as an image can be shown for a variable length of time), this logic will apply to all content, for example videos and HTML5.
If a video is shorter than the fixed slot duration, the video’s last frame will be held on-screen for the duration.
Truncated ad copy incidents are not reported if the loop policy’s slot duration is fixed.
If you select Loop Policies from the resource tabs on the left, then right-click anywhere in the work area, you will see this menu:
- Add Loop Policy – Opens the Add Loop Policy Wizard.
- Edit Loop Policy – Opens the Loop Policy Properties dialogue box.
- Deactivate Loop Policy – Deactivates any selected loop policies.
- Add Loop Policy Folder – Opens the Add Folder Wizard dialogue box.
- Edit Folder – Opens the Loop Policy Folder Properties dialog box.
For general information about adding, editing and deactivating resources, see Overview - Resources.
To add a loop policy, use one of the following methods:
- Go to the Network Setup ribbon, and then select the Loop icon.
- From the resource tabs on the left, select Loop Policies. Then, right-click anywhere in the work area. From the contextual menu, select Add Loop Policy.
By default, the Add Loop Policy Wizard contains the following pages:
- Welcome – Name the configuration.
- Policy Settings – Enter the maximum duration of the loop policy. The expected Loop Duration, or loop playing time, is the main characteristic that defines the Loop Policy. It describes the amount of ad space-time expected to be reserved in the loop. This information is also used by Broadsign Control Administrator to calculate expected repetitions. For instance, if a Loop Policy's Loop Duration was five minutes, then the number of expected repetitions for all ads scheduled within that loop would be twelve per hour.
According to the Outdoor Video Advertising Bureau (OVAB), it is of critical importance that your loop policy’s maximum duration matches your average audience’s dwell time. It may be tempting to create a long loop of content, but if your audience is only in front of the screen for a few minutes, they will not have an opportunity to see most of the loop, thereby reducing the effectiveness of your advertising. The Default Loop Slot Duration is used in conjunction with Loop Policy Schedules. It specifies the amount of time to book in the loop for each piece of filler content when default content is used.
To edit a loop policy, use one of the following methods:
- From the list panel, select a loop policy. Then, from the view bar, select Edit.
- From the list panel, double-click on a loop policy.
Loop policy properties contain the following sections:
In the General tab, you will find:
- the loop policy's unique ID#
- the name of the loop policy
- whether or not the loop policy is active
In the Duration tab, you can change the properties of your loop policy. The following properties are available:
- No time limit – Allows you to set a perpetual loop (good for feeds).
- Maximum loop duration
- Loop slot duration – The loop slot duration supports fractions of seconds.
- Loop slot duration type – Defines how the loop slot duration is used:
- Default – Specifies the amount of time to book in the loop for each piece of filler content when default content is used.
- Fixed – The loop slot duration is enforced for ALL ad copies: they will all be played for this duration. This can be used, for instance, in case of bylaws that enforce a specific duration of content slots. For more information on how fixed slot duration is processed, see Loop Policies and Fixed Slot Duration.
Note: Editing a loop policy will not affect existing slots.
In the Frames tab, you can see which frames are associated with the loop policy. You can also assign other frames to the policy and remove existing frames. See Frames.
A loop policy can contain filler schedules, which can be used to fill up unbooked space in the loop. Broadsign Control Player will use these filler schedules if a filler transformation strategy is used (see The Settings Section). Loop policy filler schedules can be added to a loop policy from the Fillers tab of the loop policy’s Schedules section in the properties dialog.
Note: Filler content is unable to respect triggers (synchronization), for example, Frame Synchronization. If you would like to synchronize filler content, use the same ad copies in a pre-emptible campaign, instead.
If the content contained in filler schedules has a correct duration set, either by virtue of it being video content whose duration can be automatically detected, or in the case of Web content, of having explicitly specified a duration in the ad copy’s Duration tab, then the filler strategy will try to optimally fill in the remaining time in the loop by using the content which best fits the duration.
The Loop Transformation tab allows you to specify how playlists belonging to your Loop Policy will be transformed after they are generated. Below is a table that maps the transformation strategies with the topics discussed in Playlist Generation.
By default, Loop Transformation on the Loop Policy is set in the following order:
- Loop Preprocessor
- Under-Saturation Loop Transformation
- Over-Saturation Loop Transformation
- Loop Slot Filler Transformation
- Condition Transformation
- Preemption Transformation
- Loop Segments Transformation
- Category Separator Transformation
|Loop Transformation Strategy||Playlist Generation Behaviour|
|Category Separator Transformation||Re-distributes the content in the loop such that no two pieces of content with the same category play consecutively. An example can be two car companies that have the "automotive" category set on their bundles.|
|Condition Transformation||Removes ad copies from the loop based on their conditions compared to which conditions are active.|
|Exclusive Loop Preprocessor||Removes all items from the Loop Playlist until they are fully downloaded. To be used in conjunction with Exclusive Loop Slot Filler Transformation to play back only filler content until the entire schedule is downloaded by the Player. This transform is placed above the Exclusive Loop Slot Filler Transformation in the transform list.|
|Exclusive Loop Slot Filler Transformation||When used in conjunction with Exclusive Loop Preprocessor, this transform will only play back only filler content until the full contents of the loop are downloaded by the Player. When used alone this transform will playback filler until one piece of scheduled content is downloaded and available for playback on the Player.|
|Loop Preprocessor||Used to decide the content pieces available for playback on the loop.|
|Loop Segments Transformation||Re-distributes the content in the loop to follow the sequence of category segments assigned to the content pieces. An example can be a loop with content that plays in Position 1, Position 2, Position 3, etc. A segment will make up a block of content that cannot be broken by category separation or any other transformation.|
|Loop Slot Filler Transformation||Inserts any loop policy filler schedule content into the loop.|
|Manual Adjustments Transformation||Inserts any loop policy filler schedule content into the loop.|
|Over-Saturation Loop Transformation||Inserts any content pieces into the loop that have been reserved using the over-saturation feature.|
|Preemption Transformation||Appends pre-emptible campaign slots to the loop is not already full. Takes precedence over filler.|
|Random Loop Slot Filler Transformation||This transformation selects a piece of content at random for playback from the default loop policy schedules. Any piece of content from any schedule in the loop can be inserted in the loop.|
|Under-Saturation Loop Transformation||Inserts any content pieces into the loop that have been reserved using the under-saturation feature.|
The Filler tab enables you to limit how much filler Broadsign adds to a loop policy. Recall the default behaviour: Broadsign will insert filler ad copies until the loop policy reaches its maximum duration.
This feature, when enabled, allows you to specify the number of unique filler ad copies used.
- Apply limit to filler based on total unique ad copies – If selected, Broadsign will override the default behaviour of limiting filler content by maximum duration of the loop. The number of unique ad copies you specify becomes the limit.
- Maximum number of unique ad copies (filler included) – 1-9999.
If enabled, the unique ad copies feature appears in the loop snapshot report. See Loop Snapshot Report.
The Share of Loop tab enables you to configure the share of loop feature.
Share of loop provides networks the flexibility to allow different types of content to get the air time they need, without micromanagement.
Note: Share of Loop will not be able to account for conditional bundles when evaluation of active conditions is done just before playback. You can mitigate this limitation by setting bsp.transform_condition.evaluate_at_play to "0" in your player configuration, which causes conditions to be evaluated during loop generation.
Share of loop allows players to automatically maintain the ratio of one kind of content to another. For example, if half of a loop must be advertising content and the other half editorial, share of loop causes the player to automatically adjust playback frequency to maintain this 50-50 balance, even when content length changes.
You can specify shares of a loop using percentages or milliseconds in the Unit column.
For some commonly used loop lengths, percentages are inadequate. For example, consider a loop that is 60 seconds (60000 ms) long. If you want exactly 10 seconds (10000 ms) in a share, you cannot express that as a percentage. 16.66% of 60 seconds is equivalent to just 9.996 seconds (9996 ms), while 16.67% is 10.002 seconds (10002 ms). Similarly, two-thirds of a minute is easily expressed in milliseconds, but not in percentages.
Users of Broadsign Direct will appreciate the precision offered by shares of loop in milliseconds. Since Broadsign Direct only “sees” primary shares, secondary shares in Broadsign Control are commonly used to “block” a specific number of slots per loop so that they cannot be booked in Broadsign Direct. For example, for a loop of 60 seconds, specifying a secondary share of 10 seconds preserves this time for content booked outside of Broadsign Direct.
To configure a Share of Loop:
- Configure share properties you want on the loop.
- Schedule campaigns as per usual.
- Assign the campaign to a share.
The Unit column drop-down menu allows you to define in which unit to allocate time to a loop. You have the choice between Percentage (this is the default value) or Milliseconds. The choice is applied in the Primary, Share, and Total columns. A share in milliseconds could be used, for instance, when including preemptible ad copies. You could then allocate time more accurately to account for your preemptible content.
The player will intelligently increase and decrease playback of each group to meet share goals (regardless of last-minute scheduling changes).
For a step-by-step share of loop tutorial, see Share of Loop.
The Synchronization tab allows users to configure a loop as either Leader or Follower, for use with the triggers feature (see Frame Synchronization).
If a frame using a Leader loop policy plays trigger content, any Follower frames using the Follower loop policy will show the right Follower content. The triggered content interrupts whatever content was playing in that frame. For more information, see Frame Synchronization.
If a loop policy is set to Follower, you will have the option of defining it as a Backup Leader. A Backup Leader is a Follower that primarily operates in Follower mode; however, it can assume the Leader’s role within 60 seconds should the Leader become unavailable. A heartbeat protocol between Leader and Backup Leaders controls the communication. You can define an unlimited number of Backup Leaders. The responsibility of assuming the Leader’s role goes to the Player with the highest ID.
A Synchronization Set segregates multiple distinct groups of synchronized players on the same subnet. Ideally, each group of synchronized players should operate on a different subnet to control UDP broadcast traffic. However, if this is not possible, you can configure the Synchronization Set to create virtual boundaries between player groups.
Synchronization Set names are case-insensitive, but they must be set identically on all Followers and Leaders within the same synchronized player group.
Note: Players in different synchronization sets will not respond to triggers from another synchronization set. When using this feature, we suggest each player on the network be of the same version to ensure expected playback.
When the Use Display Unit grouping criteria check box is checked, the Loop Policy automatically gets its synchronization set name or ID from the display unit configuration as described in The Settings Section. See the Screen Groups tutorial for an example of how to use Display Unit grouping criteria.
The Overbooking tab lets you specify if the Broadsign Control Player can overbook the Loop Policy. The default setting is: This Loop Policy allows overbooking.
If you deselect the box, the Player is unable to overbook the Policy. For more information, see Overbooking Protection.
The Content Restrictions tab allows you to enforce a list of allowed content types. Allowed Content will affect content both scheduling in Broadsign Control and the content returned by Broadsign Reach. For more details, see Content Scheduling Restriction.
All content types are allowed by default. When Enable Content Restrictions is checked, only allowed content types can be scheduled and played. By default, the allowed list is empty, so no content is allowed.
To add a content type to the allowed list, select and move content type from the Available Content Types section to the Allowed Content Types section. To remove allowed content type, move it back to the Available Content Types section.
Note: You do not need to specify the
x-serv-ssp (Broadsign Reach),
x-creator (Broadsign Creator/Broadsign Publish), and external ad copies in the allowed list.
The following content types are available:
- Images: jpg, jpeg, gif, bmp, png
- Video: avi, divx, flv, img4d, m2t, m2v, mkv, mov, mp4, mpeg, mpg, mpv, trp, ts, vob, webm, wmv, x3dmv
- HTML: htm, html, x-html-package
- Audio: aif, cda, m3u, m4a, mp2, mp3, ogg, pls, vorbis, wav, wma
- Other: zip (Native Application), x-ticker
Note: When the loop has a Broadsign Reach slot, bid requests are sent only for the permitted media / MIME types.
You can add a content type that is not listed by typing its extension in the Add Custom field, and then clicking the Add Custom button.
There are three ways to assign a loop policy to a display unit:
- By editing the Loop Policy properties in the General section, then the Frames tab (see Frames Tab).
- During the Add Display Unit Wizard in the Loop Policy page (see Add Display Units).
- By editing the Display Unit properties in the Day Parts section, then the Day Parts tab. You must edit an existing Day Part, then edit a frame and add the loop policy to the frame in the Policy tab (see Assigned Loop Policy).
In the list panel of explorer view, each resource has a column selector menu. With this menu, you can configure the list panel to display information you want.
To access a resource's column selector menu:
- From the view bar, select Explorer view.
- In the list panel, hover your pointer over the panel header.
- Right-click, and the column selector menu will appear.
Select as many column options as you want.
- Id – Indicates the unique ID number of the resource. See Overview - Resources.
- Active – Indicates whether the resource is in an "active" or "inactive" state. See Overview - Resources.
- Folder Id – Indicates the unique ID number of the resource folder.
- Domain Id – Indicates the unique ID number of the domain. See The General Section.
- Maximum Duration – The loop's maximum duration (HH:MM:SS).
- Default Loop Slot Duration – The duration of the default loop slot (HH:MM:SS).
- Loop Transformation Strategies – Lists the loop transformation strategies applied to this loop policy. See Loop Transformation Tab.
- Synchronization Type
- 1=No Sync
- 4=Follower & Backup Leader
- Overbookable – Indicates whether the loop policy is overbookable. See Overbooking Tab or Overbooking Protection.
- Synchronization set – The synchronization set to which the loop policy is assigned.
- Primary Inventory Share – If you have configured share of loop, this column indicates the primary availability share. See Share of Loop.
- Loop Share Configuration – If you have configured share of loop, this column indicates the loop share configuration. See Share of Loop.
- Attributes – If you have a fixed slot duration, this column indicates that it has been enabled. See Loop Policies and Fixed Slot Duration.