Loop Policies

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, e.g., 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 Advanced Tutorials – Playlist Generation.

The “Loop Policies” training video is part of the “Network Setup” playlist:

Loop Policies: Describes how to create and configure loop policies.

Loop Policies and Dwell Time

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.

For example:

    • 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.

Loop Policies and Sales Approach

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.

Loop Policies and Multiple Frame Layouts

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.

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:

Loop policies contextual 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 a folder” dialogue box.
    • Edit Folder: Opens the Loop Policy Folder Properties dialog box.
    • Import RCS Selector Program: Opens the Import RCS Selector Program Wizard. See Import RCS Selector below.

For general information about adding, editing and deactivating resources, see Resources – Overview.

To add a loop policy, use one of the following methods:

    • Go to the Network Setup ribbon, and then select the “Loop” icon.

Add a loop policy from the Network Setup ribbon

    • 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 the Broadsign Administrator to calculate expected repetitions. For instance, if a Loop Policy’s Loop Duration was five minutes, then the amount 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 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.

The Policy Settings page

Optionally, you can import your program schedules directly from RCS Selector, an industry leading software suite for managing radio station playlists. In order to do so, first export your RCS playlist from Selector in XML format. Then, invoke the Import From RCS Selector wizard from the Loop Policy’s contextual menu as follows:

Select Import RCS Selector Program from contextual menu

The first step of the wizard prompts you to enter a descriptive name for the program schedule. Secondly, you are prompted to select which loop policies to create the new program in. Only loop polices that have the Program transform will be displayed on this page. Lastly, select the RCS XML playlist file to import. The RCS-generated playlist looks like this:

The Broadsign Administrator uses the “” tags to determine the range of the schedule to create. Each “” tag is parsed, and the ID attribute is used to look up Ad Copies that have an External ID that matches that value. All songs in the RCS selector playlist must have corresponding Ad Copies uploaded in the Broadsign Administrator with matching external IDs, or else the import will fail. The Duration attribute (in seconds) is used to determine the length of the song. All other tag and attributes are ignored by the parser.

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.

Select Edit from the view bar

    • From the list panel, double-click on a loop policy.

The Schedules Section

The Schedules section of loop policy properties

The Fillers tab

A Loop Policy can contain filler schedules, which can be used to fill up unbooked space in the loop. The Broadsign Player will use these filler schedules if a filler transformation strategy is used. (see the Settings Section below). 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.

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 Flash, Image and Web content, of having explicitly specified a duration in the Ad Copy’s Duration tab, then the filler strategy will attempt to optimally fill in the remaining time in the loop by using the content which best fits the duration.

The Programs tab

Similarly to filler schedules, loop policies can also contain program schedules. Program schedules contain strictly ordered playlists of content that will be used to fill up unbooked space in with a specific sequence of content. Once the sequence of content has been exhausted, it will repeat indefinitely within the boundaries of its schedule. The Broadsign Player will use these program schedules if the program transformation strategy is used. (see the Settings Section below). Loop Policy program schedules can be added to a Loop Policy from the Programs tab of the Loop Policy’s Schedules section in the properties dialog.

Once a Program schedule has been added, you can edit the ordered list of program content by editing the schedule and going to the Program tab. There you can add Ad Copies to the program, specify the duration for which they should play and re-order them.

The Settings Section

The Settings section of loop policy properties

The Loop Transformation tab

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 the section on Playlist Generation.

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 determine 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 constitute a block of content that can not be broken by category separation 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.
Program Transformation Inserts any loop policy program schedule content into the loop.
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.

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
The Share of Loop tab

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.

First, configure share properties you want on the loop, then schedule campaigns as per usual. Assign the campaign to a share. 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 Advanced Tutorials – Share of Loop.

The Share of Loop tab

The Synchronization tab

The Synchronization tab allows users to configure a loop as either Master or Slave, for use with the triggers feature (see Frame Synchronization).

If a frame using a Master loop policy plays trigger content, any slave frames using the Slave loop policy will show the appropriate slave 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 Slave, you will have the option of defining it as a Backup Master. A Backup Master is a Slave that primarily operates in Slave mode; however, it can assume the Master’s role within 60 seconds should the Master become unavailable. A heartbeat protocol between Master and Backup Masters controls the communication. You can define an unlimited number of Backup Masters. The responsibility of assuming the Master’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 groups of players. The Synchronization Set is case-insensitive (i.e., the system reads lower- and upper-case letters as equivalent), though you must set it identically on all Slaves and Masters in the same group of synchronized players.

The Overbooking tab

The Overbooking tab lets you specify if the Broadsign 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 Campaigns – Overbooking.

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:

  1. From the view bar, select Explorer view.
  2. In the list panel, hover your pointer over the panel header.
  3. Right-click, and the column selector menu will appear.
  4. Select as many column options as you want.

After you have created a loop policy on your network, you can then move on to other basic steps: