GB2472264A - Media Substitution System - Google Patents

Media Substitution System Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2472264A
GB2472264A GB0913389A GB0913389A GB2472264A GB 2472264 A GB2472264 A GB 2472264A GB 0913389 A GB0913389 A GB 0913389A GB 0913389 A GB0913389 A GB 0913389A GB 2472264 A GB2472264 A GB 2472264A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
media items
media
receiver
profile data
programme
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB0913389A
Other versions
GB0913389D0 (en
GB2472264B (en
Inventor
Jeffrey Russell Eales
Christopher John Patten
Herve Murret-Labarthe
Christopher David Caines
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Sky UK Ltd
Original Assignee
British Sky Broadcasting Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by British Sky Broadcasting Ltd filed Critical British Sky Broadcasting Ltd
Priority to GB0913389.3A priority Critical patent/GB2472264B/en
Publication of GB0913389D0 publication Critical patent/GB0913389D0/en
Priority to GBGB1003034.4A priority patent/GB201003034D0/en
Priority to GB1418716.5A priority patent/GB2516386B/en
Priority to GB1004738.9A priority patent/GB2473306B/en
Priority to GBGB1008787.2A priority patent/GB201008787D0/en
Priority to GB1503601.5A priority patent/GB2520453B/en
Priority to ES10773677.9T priority patent/ES2663281T3/en
Priority to PT17178793T priority patent/PT3244627T/en
Priority to SI201031654T priority patent/SI2460352T1/en
Priority to NZ617593A priority patent/NZ617593A/en
Priority to EP17178821.9A priority patent/EP3249918A1/en
Priority to GB201419887A priority patent/GB2516789B/en
Priority to CN201610030720.1A priority patent/CN105430428B/en
Priority to HUE10773677A priority patent/HUE037276T2/en
Priority to LTEP17178793.0T priority patent/LT3244627T/en
Priority to NZ598332A priority patent/NZ598332A/en
Priority to CA2769688A priority patent/CA2769688C/en
Priority to CN201610030889.7A priority patent/CN105681824A/en
Priority to EP10773677.9A priority patent/EP2460352B1/en
Priority to GB1419886.5A priority patent/GB2516788B/en
Priority to NZ716531A priority patent/NZ716531A/en
Priority to PT107736779T priority patent/PT2460352T/en
Priority to GB201501023A priority patent/GB2518792B/en
Priority to NO10773677A priority patent/NO2460352T3/no
Priority to CN201080043884.9A priority patent/CN102550036B/en
Priority to EP17178805.2A priority patent/EP3249915B1/en
Priority to MX2012001405A priority patent/MX2012001405A/en
Priority to SI201031823T priority patent/SI3244627T1/en
Priority to LTEP10773677.9T priority patent/LT2460352T/en
Priority to HUE17178793A priority patent/HUE041812T2/en
Priority to GB201419889A priority patent/GB2516790B/en
Priority to EP17178793.0A priority patent/EP3244627B1/en
Priority to GB1203328.8A priority patent/GB2484877B/en
Priority to PL10773677T priority patent/PL2460352T3/en
Priority to PL17178793T priority patent/PL3244627T3/en
Priority to BR122013019795-8A priority patent/BR122013019795A2/en
Priority to EP17178815.1A priority patent/EP3249917B1/en
Priority to AU2010277397A priority patent/AU2010277397B2/en
Priority to CN201610030890.XA priority patent/CN105488700B/en
Priority to PCT/GB2010/051274 priority patent/WO2011012909A2/en
Priority to ES17178793T priority patent/ES2703213T3/en
Priority to BR122013019793-1A priority patent/BR122013019793B1/en
Priority to DK17178793.0T priority patent/DK3244627T3/en
Priority to DK10773677.9T priority patent/DK2460352T3/en
Priority to EP17178813.6A priority patent/EP3249916B1/en
Priority to BR112012006884-9A priority patent/BR112012006884B1/en
Priority to US13/388,234 priority patent/US10149006B2/en
Priority to NZ704055A priority patent/NZ704055A/en
Publication of GB2472264A publication Critical patent/GB2472264A/en
Priority to IL217819A priority patent/IL217819A0/en
Publication of GB2472264B publication Critical patent/GB2472264B/en
Application granted granted Critical
Priority to IL240570A priority patent/IL240570A/en
Priority to IL242624A priority patent/IL242624A/en
Priority to IL242627A priority patent/IL242627A/en
Priority to IL242625A priority patent/IL242625A/en
Priority to IL242626A priority patent/IL242626A/en
Priority to US15/637,936 priority patent/US10667006B2/en
Priority to US15/638,019 priority patent/US10602217B2/en
Priority to US15/637,974 priority patent/US10798445B2/en
Priority to HRP20180449TT priority patent/HRP20180449T1/en
Priority to CY20181100315T priority patent/CY1120218T1/en
Priority to HK18106985.4A priority patent/HK1247762A1/en
Priority to HK18106986.3A priority patent/HK1247763A1/en
Priority to HRP20182117TT priority patent/HRP20182117T1/en
Priority to CY181101353T priority patent/CY1120986T1/en
Priority to US16/797,311 priority patent/US11006174B2/en
Priority to US17/018,607 priority patent/US11671652B2/en
Active legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network or synchronising decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/439Processing of audio elementary streams
    • HELECTRICITY
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    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/20Servers specifically adapted for the distribution of content, e.g. VOD servers; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/25Management operations performed by the server for facilitating the content distribution or administrating data related to end-users or client devices, e.g. end-user or client device authentication, learning user preferences for recommending movies
    • H04N21/258Client or end-user data management, e.g. managing client capabilities, user preferences or demographics, processing of multiple end-users preferences to derive collaborative data
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    • H04N21/25883Management of end-user data being end-user demographical data, e.g. age, family status or address
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING OR COUNTING
    • G06QINFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL OR SUPERVISORY PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL OR SUPERVISORY PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing; Price estimation or determination; Fundraising
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING OR COUNTING
    • G06QINFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL OR SUPERVISORY PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL OR SUPERVISORY PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing; Price estimation or determination; Fundraising
    • G06Q30/0241Advertisements
    • G06Q30/0251Targeted advertisements
    • G06Q30/0269Targeted advertisements based on user profile or attribute
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    • H04N21/234Processing of video elementary streams, e.g. splicing of video streams, manipulating MPEG-4 scene graphs
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    • H04N21/262Content or additional data distribution scheduling, e.g. sending additional data at off-peak times, updating software modules, calculating the carousel transmission frequency, delaying a video stream transmission, generating play-lists
    • H04N21/26208Content or additional data distribution scheduling, e.g. sending additional data at off-peak times, updating software modules, calculating the carousel transmission frequency, delaying a video stream transmission, generating play-lists the scheduling operation being performed under constraints
    • H04N21/26233Content or additional data distribution scheduling, e.g. sending additional data at off-peak times, updating software modules, calculating the carousel transmission frequency, delaying a video stream transmission, generating play-lists the scheduling operation being performed under constraints involving content or additional data duration or size, e.g. length of a movie, size of an executable file
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    • H04N21/262Content or additional data distribution scheduling, e.g. sending additional data at off-peak times, updating software modules, calculating the carousel transmission frequency, delaying a video stream transmission, generating play-lists
    • H04N21/26258Content or additional data distribution scheduling, e.g. sending additional data at off-peak times, updating software modules, calculating the carousel transmission frequency, delaying a video stream transmission, generating play-lists for generating a list of items to be played back in a given order, e.g. playlist, or scheduling item distribution according to such list
    • HELECTRICITY
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    • H04N21/25Management operations performed by the server for facilitating the content distribution or administrating data related to end-users or client devices, e.g. end-user or client device authentication, learning user preferences for recommending movies
    • H04N21/266Channel or content management, e.g. generation and management of keys and entitlement messages in a conditional access system, merging a VOD unicast channel into a multicast channel
    • H04N21/2668Creating a channel for a dedicated end-user group, e.g. insertion of targeted commercials based on end-user profiles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
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    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/41Structure of client; Structure of client peripherals
    • H04N21/414Specialised client platforms, e.g. receiver in car or embedded in a mobile appliance
    • H04N21/4147PVR [Personal Video Recorder]
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    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network or synchronising decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/4302Content synchronisation processes, e.g. decoder synchronisation
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    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network or synchronising decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/432Content retrieval operation from a local storage medium, e.g. hard-disk
    • H04N21/4325Content retrieval operation from a local storage medium, e.g. hard-disk by playing back content from the storage medium
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
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    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network or synchronising decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/433Content storage operation, e.g. storage operation in response to a pause request, caching operations
    • H04N21/4331Caching operations, e.g. of an advertisement for later insertion during playback
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network or synchronising decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/44Processing of video elementary streams, e.g. splicing a video clip retrieved from local storage with an incoming video stream, rendering scenes according to MPEG-4 scene graphs
    • H04N21/44016Processing of video elementary streams, e.g. splicing a video clip retrieved from local storage with an incoming video stream, rendering scenes according to MPEG-4 scene graphs involving splicing one content stream with another content stream, e.g. for substituting a video clip
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    • H04N21/442Monitoring of processes or resources, e.g. detecting the failure of a recording device, monitoring the downstream bandwidth, the number of times a movie has been viewed, the storage space available from the internal hard disk
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    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network or synchronising decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/442Monitoring of processes or resources, e.g. detecting the failure of a recording device, monitoring the downstream bandwidth, the number of times a movie has been viewed, the storage space available from the internal hard disk
    • H04N21/44213Monitoring of end-user related data
    • H04N21/44222Analytics of user selections, e.g. selection of programs or purchase activity
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    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/47End-user applications
    • H04N21/475End-user interface for inputting end-user data, e.g. personal identification number [PIN], preference data
    • H04N21/4755End-user interface for inputting end-user data, e.g. personal identification number [PIN], preference data for defining user preferences, e.g. favourite actors or genre
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    • H04N21/80Generation or processing of content or additional data by content creator independently of the distribution process; Content per se
    • H04N21/81Monomedia components thereof
    • H04N21/812Monomedia components thereof involving advertisement data
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    • H04N21/80Generation or processing of content or additional data by content creator independently of the distribution process; Content per se
    • H04N21/85Assembly of content; Generation of multimedia applications
    • H04N21/854Content authoring
    • H04N21/8547Content authoring involving timestamps for synchronizing content
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
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    • H04N7/00Television systems
    • H04N7/16Analogue secrecy systems; Analogue subscription systems
    • H04N7/162Authorising the user terminal, e.g. by paying; Registering the use of a subscription channel, e.g. billing
    • H04N7/165Centralised control of user terminal ; Registering at central
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
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    • H04N7/00Television systems
    • H04N7/16Analogue secrecy systems; Analogue subscription systems
    • H04N7/173Analogue secrecy systems; Analogue subscription systems with two-way working, e.g. subscriber sending a programme selection signal
    • H04N7/17345Control of the passage of the selected programme

Abstract

In a substitutional media system, one of a set of media items is selected at a programme receiver (for example a personal video recorder (PVR)) for output within a predefined programming slot, based on profile data available at the receiver. Sets of the media items are scheduled to slots according to one or more constraints pertaining to attributes of the media items. The attributes pertaining to each media item within a set are aggregated and scheduling is performed on the basis of one or more constraints applied to the aggregated attributes of each set. In this way, the complexity of scheduling based on the individual attributes of each of the media items within each subset is avoided. The profile information may be derived from a profile database containing information relating to said receivers/users. The profile may contain preferences and or demographics of the receiver/ user.

Description

Field of the Invention
[0001] The present invention relates to a programme distribution system with local media
S Background of the Invention
[0002] Media substitution systems involve the selection of a media item for output by a receiver during a predefined slot in a schedule either at time of broadcast or when playing back recorded or video-on-demand (VOD) programming, such as from a Personal Video Recorder (PVR). Such systems may be used for substitutional advertising, for example, where an advertisement (a commercial in US English) is selected for output based on a predefined user profile, without specific selection of the advertisement by the user. Tn a broadcast example, the user experience is similar to watching a broadcast with an advertising break, but the advertisements are tailored to the user profile by means of a selection made at the broadcast receiver. A default media item may be included in the broadcast channel during the slot, for output by receivers in which media insertion is not enabled or receivers not targeted by the substitution.
[0003] Attempts have been made to standardise aspects of media substitution. For example, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers standard SCTE 130-1 2008 defines a framework of XML interface standards for communication between different components of a substitutional advertising platform. The Advanced Advertising 1.0 specification was announced by Canoe Ventures LLC on 30 March 2009.
[0004] However, the practical implementation of a media substitution system raises many challenges. One problem is the complexity of scheduling media items that are subject to constraints, for example relating to other media items to be scheduled or to scheduled programmes, particularly when output proximate or adjacent to each other. Constraints in current linear (i.e. non-substitutional) advertisement scheduling systems already involve a considerable level of complexity. For example, the applicant's Landmark 2 system requires a dedicated state of the art computer system to perform the constraint satisfaction necessary to manage advertisement scheduling in over 200 channels. A corresponding substitutional system would involve an unmanageable level of complexity if constraints were to be satisfied between all possible substitutional options.
[0005] In a centralised broadcast system, such as a satellite broadcast system, regional variations in the media items must be handled by means of substitution, rather than by transmitting regional variations only from the corresponding regional headends.
[0006] Another problem with media substitution involves determination of which media items have been output at the receiver. Currently, such information is obtained from survey data from a relatively small number of users, although more accurate information could be provided over a return link. However, the receiver may not have a return link available, or it may be desirable to avoid using the return link, for example where the return channel is over a dial-up modem connectable to the user's main telephone line.
Users may also be averse to systems which report specific user behaviour to a remote site.
[0007] Another problem involves the method of selecting the substitutional media items to be output by the receiver, according to the user profile. Tt would be desirable for the selection criteria to be as flexible as possible, but this would involve storing a large quantity of profile data at the receiver. Furthermore, the broadcast receiver may not be capable of applying complex selection rules to determine which media item to output.
[0008] The above problems are not confined to broadcast systems, since video on demand (VOD) and push video on demand systems (PVOD) may include substitutional content with a requested programme; see for example the applicant's patent publication WO 2008/078093 Al, concerning the linking of secondary assets, such as advertisements, with a primary asset, such as a requested programme.
Statement of the Invention
10009] According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a media substitution system in which one of a set of media items is selected at a programme receiver for output within a predefined slot, based on profile data available at the receiver.
Sets of the media items are scheduled to slots according to constraints relating to one or more attributes of subsets of the media items. The attributes pertaining to each of the subsets are aggregated and scheduling of the set is performed on the basis of the aggregated attributes of the subsets. In this way, the complexity of scheduling based on the individual attributes of subsets of the media items is avoided.
[0010] Media items may be selected for inclusion together in the same set on the basis of similarity of their individual attributes. In this way, the application of unnecessary constraints, that would not apply to scheduling of media items on an individual basis, is avoided. Conversely, media items may be selected for inclusion together in the same set on the basis of having widely differing individual attributes, on the basis that constraints based on the attributes of other sets of media items may be more easily satisfied against widely differing attributes of the current set.
[0011] Each of the media items has an associated segment definition, defining an associated set or range of receiver profile data values, which may be expressed as one or more rules and/or data. The receiver selects which media item to output based on a comparison between the segment definition and the profile data. Media items are selected for inclusion in an aggregate set such that the segment data of the media items within the aggregate set do not overlap. In this way, each receiver will select no more than one media item for output from each aggregate set. Hence, selection of the media items output by a specific receiver is deterministic and does not require reporting of those specific items.
The aspect of deterministic selection at the receiver, based on predetermined receiver profile data and non-overlapping segments, is considered to be independently inventive.
[0012] The receiver profile data may be varied by transmitting variable receiver profile data items to the receiver. The receiver profile data items may pertain to the segment definitions of a specific set of media items. In this way, segments can be defined flexibly, and may vary for each set of media items. The receiver profile data necessary to select a media item from a specific aggregate set may be communicated to the receiver, optionally in combination with segment definitions for determining the application of each segment to the profile data of the receiver. The receiver profile data may be derived from a profile database containing information relating to receivers andlor their associated users. Tn this way, the need to communicate large quantities of profile data to a receiver may be avoided; instead, the necessary profile data are communicated to the receiver only as they are needed. The profile data items may be customised to a specific set of media items, in which case the selection rule may be a simple matching rule, and which does not require complex processing by the receiver. Alternatively or additionally, a common set of profile data items may be reused between different sets of media items and their associated segment definitions, thereby avoiding the need to frequently communicate new profile data items.
Brief Description of the Drawings
100131 There now follows, by way of example only, a detailed description of embodiments of the present invention, with reference to the figures identified below.
Figure 1 is a schematic diagram of the main components of a media substitution system in an embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 2 is a flowchart of the steps involved in the operation of the media Figure 3 is a flowchart of steps performed by the receiver in determining which media items to acquire.
Figure 4a is an entity relationship diagram for the attributes of a non-aggregated campaign.
Figure 4b is an entity relationship diagram for the attributes of an aggregated Figure 5 is a diagram of a substitutional slot containing a single advertiser multiple copy campaign, in an embodiment of the invention.
Figure 6 is a diagram of a substitutional slot containing three multiple advertiser single copy campaigns, in an embodiment of the invention.
Figure 7 is a diagram illustrating the scheduling of an aggregate substitutional campaign into a slot, in an embodiment of the invention.
Detailed Description of the Embodiments
1100141 Figure 1 shows schematically the main components of a media substitution system in an embodiment of the present invention, in which the programmes are video broadcast programmes and the substitutional media items comprise advertising video clips.
[0015] A sample broadcast receiver 1 comprises a personal video recorder (PVR) arranged to receive broadcast channels from a headend 2 over a broadcast link, and to output at least one of the received broadcast channels to a video display 3. The receiver 1 stores profile data 5 identifying preferences and/or demographics of one or more users or subscribers associated with the receiver 1. The receiver 1 also stores media content 4, comprising substitutional media items and associated metadata. The media items may be received over the broadcast link or another communications network link, in advance of their scheduled broadcast time.
[0016] A media insertion function 6 detects the occurrence of a substitutional slot in a currently received broadcast programme, and may select a substitutional media item for output to the video display during the substitutional slot, in place of the linear media content on the broadcast channel, based on the profile data. The linear media content will be output by broadcast receivers for which substitution is not enabled, either because the receiver is not capable of media substitution or because media substitution is inhibited.
The linear media content will also be output by receivers for which substitution is enabled, but the profile data does not match the segments of any of the substitutional media items for that substitutional slot.
10017] Optionally, the PVR may record viewing data 7 indicating the broadcast programmes and/or media items output for display by the receiver 1, for reporting purposes.
[0018] Descriptions of the media content 4 necessary for the receivers 1 are compiled by a central scheduling function 8, which determines the scheduling of the media content 4.
The media content 4 is output to a media broadcast function 9 for broadcast to the receivers 1 in advance of the scheduled times of the media content. The scheduling function 8 also outputs linear media items for insertion in a broadcast programme schedule executed by a programme broadcast function 10.
[0019] All the substitutional media items for a substitutional slot should be broadcast before the occurrence of the substitutional slot in the broadcast schedule. Tn some circumstances, each item should be broadcast multiple times to maximize the chance that all items are received by most of the receivers 1, in case some of the receivers are occasionally switched off or unable to receive broadcasts. However, it is not essential that all substitutional options be received by all receivers, since the linear content broadcast during the slot may be output if the required substitutional option is unavailable.
[0020] The profile data 5 stored on the receiver 1 may be generated by a profile management function 11, and sent to the receiver 1 by a profile data transmission function 12 at the head end 2. The scheduling function 8 may receive the viewing data 7 from the receivers 1, and may be responsive to the viewing data 7 when scheduling substitutional and/or linear media items.
100211 Figure 2 represents the steps performed in a method of scheduling, delivering and displaying one or more substitutional advertising campaigns, in an embodiment of the invention. Each substitutional advertising campaign may comprise one or more media items, sometimes referred to as copy' or copy items', each media item being associated with a viewer profile segment defined by segment data and/or one or more segment rules associated with that item. For example, an advertising campaign for a range of cars may comprise a set of media items, each comprising an advertisement for a particular car in the range, designed to appeal to a segment of the market defined by the associated segment data and/or rule.
[0022] In the present embodiment the profile data 5 of each broadcast receiver 1 comprises a set of profile data items stored locally at the receiver. Each receiver 1 also has a unique identity, such as a subscriber card number (Subscriber TD) stored on a smart card accessible by the receiver 1. The profile management system 11 accesses a database of subscriber details 12 associated with the unique subscriber identities, including subscriber details provided when subscribing to the broadcast service, subscriber preferences provided via the receiver 1 or other communications link, and/or third party data which the subscriber has allowed to be used for this purpose. Hence, the database 12 stores a wealth of profile data items, which may be used to define profile data and/or campaign segments. However, it would not be practicable for each broadcast receiver 1 to replicate all of its associated data items in the profile database 12, so as to be able to make a comparison with the segment data of any particular campaign. Moreover, a predefined, fixed set of profile data items may require excessive processing by the receiver to identify whether the receiver 1 belongs to a particular segment. For example, a predefined profile data item may comprise a truncated postcode (used for example to determine a channel set -e.g. a bouquet or sub-bouquet -which the receiver 1 is enabled to receive), while a segment may be defined by a much larger region. To determine whether the truncated postcode corresponds to a particular region, the receiver 1 would need to obtain a list of truncated postcodes corresponding to each region, and compare its truncated postcode with the list of the postcodes.
[0023] Instead, in a profile generation step Si, profile data items are generated from the profile database 12 for use in one or more specific campaigns. For example, a campaign may include different media items for viewers in the North and South of England, so a campaign-specific profile data item may indicate whether a given subscriber is located in the North or South of England. The profile management function 11 interrogates the profile database 12 and determines a campaign-specific profile datum for each subscriber ID intended to receive the corresponding campaign. In this way, the profile data items stored on the profile database 12 may be used flexibly to define the segments for a specific campaign, without requiring a large quantity of profile data to be broadcast to or stored at the receiver 1.
[0024] The profile data may comprise a discrete set of profile data for each campaign, and/or general profile data that is not specific to a particular campaign. For example, the general profile data may comprise data likely to be of general use in defining segments, such as gender, age range, location, socio-economic group etc. This general profile data need only be updated occasionally, while campaign-specific data should be updated as new campaigns are introduced.
[0025] Also in the profile generation step Si, campaign metadata are compiled, compnsing: * For each campaign, a campaign ID and a list of segments * For each segment, a segmentation rule and a media item identifier * For each copy identifier, location information indicating where in the broadcast stream the media item is located [0026] In steps S2 and S3, the updated profile data items and the campaign metadata are acquired by the receivers 1 in advance of the substitutional slots to which the campaign metadata relate. Note that the order in which steps S2 and S3 are performed is not important. The updated profile data and campaign metadata may be transmitted periodically on one or more channels separate from programming channels and hidden from users of the receiver 1, and to which each receiver 1 may tune periodically, such as once a week. The profile data items may be portioned into blocks according to subscriber ID, so that the receiver 1 need only receive the block relevant to its subscriber ID, thus reducing the time for which the receiver 1 need be tuned to the hidden channel.
[0027] At step S2, each receiver 1 acquires its corresponding updated profile data items and updates its locally stored profile data accordingly. The campaign specific profile data may be broadcast in encrypted form such that only the receiver 1 having the associated subscriber TD may decode the corresponding campaign-specific profile data item(s), for example using a key stored on the smart card.
[0028] At step S3, each receiver 1 acquires and stores the campaign metadata, and builds a substitutional copy list for itself by the following process, as shown in Figure 3. For each campaign (step Ri), the receiver 1 considers each segment in turn (R2), parses the associated segmentation rule, and attempts to match the segmentation rule with its stored profile data (R3). if a match is found, then the media item identifier for that segment is recorded in the substitutional copy list (R4) and the receiver 1 moves to the next campaign (R6); otherwise, the receiver 1 considers the next segment (R5). Since the receiver 1 can only output one substitutional media item at most per substitutional slot, it is not necessary to consider other segments in a campaign once a match is found.
[0029] The segmentation rule and profile data may be defined in many different ways. In one embodiment, campaign-specific profile data may simply indicate into which segment the associated receiver 1 has been categorised. The segmentation rule then merely requires the receiver 1 to match its previously indicated segment with one of the segments in the campaign metadata. n another embodiment, each segmentation rule may be expressed as a combination of different profile data items, which may not be campaign-specific, for
example:
IF (GENDER = Male) and (REGION= Borders or Scotland) then SEGMENT1 IF (GENDER = Female) and (REGION= Borders or Scotland) then SEGMENT2 and so on.
[0030] Alternatively, the profile data could be dispensed with altogether and the campaign metadata could explicitly identify the receivers belonging to each segment. In that case, profiling is performed internally at the profile management function 11.
[0031] In a media content delivery step S4, each receiver 1 acquires the media items identified in the substitutional copy list. The media items may be stored in a partition of a local hard disc, for example. If an identified media item is already stored locally, it may be removed from the substitutional copy list and need not be acquired.
[00321 In an alternative embodiment, each receiver 1 may acquire and store all of the media items for a campaign, and may select one of the media items for output based on a later comparison of the associated profile data with the segment definitions for that campaign. This alternative is more wasteful of local storage, but allows the order of steps S2 and S3 to be reversed.
100331 Tn a scheduling step S4, the scheduling function schedules the substitutional campaign into the broadcast schedule, as described in detail below. n outline, this step generates a substitutional schedule indicating which substitutional campaigns can be shown in which substitutional slot in a broadcast schedule. Each substitutional slot is defined by a splice point indicating the frame-specific timing of the start and/or end of the substitutional slot in a particular broadcast channel.
[0034] At this stage, automation events are booked into the broadcast schedule as metadata in the substitutional slot to enable the encoders of the programme broadcast function 10 to generate the splice point messages and perform any stream conditioning necessary to aid splicing at the receivers 1. Additional automation events may be booked into the broadcast schedule at or before the start of each programme break containing substitutional slots to allow the substitution options to be communicated to the receivers 1.
[0035] At a play out step S5, a booked automation event (or alternatively an event generated by the automation function generated using a substitutional slot look-ahead) causes the programme broadcast function 10 to broadcast, in a trigger track associated with a broadcast channel, a substitutional break schedule comprising a list of campaign IDs for each substitutional slot. The receivers 1 tuned to that channel receive and process the substitutional break schedule in order to determine for each substitutional slot whether to insert one of the locally stored media items in place of a linear media item included in the broadcast channel. Optionally, each media item may comprise a plurality of versions (e.g. standard or high definition) of the same content, and the receiver 1 may select one of the versions for output, for example based on an output mode (e.g. standard or high definition). Media items are cued by the receiver 1 for output at the defined splice points in the broadcast channel. The automation function next generates a splice point trigger at the point indicated by the substitutional slot which is then relayed to the encoder and used to signal the receiver and condition the output stream for splicing. The splice points may be defined as splice events within the broadcast channel, using for example the SCTE 35 standard. When the receiver 1 receives the splice event, it outputs the locally stored media item corresponding to the campaign ID in the substitutional break schedule, if available, in place of the live broadcast stream. At the end of the substitutional slot(s), indicated by the duration of the splice event or by a further splice event, the output of the receiver 1 reverts to the live broadcast stream.
[0036] In an update step S6, the receiver 1 may delete stored media items which are no longer required, for example which no longer match the stored profile data after the latter is updated, or for which the associated campaign has expired. The receiver 1 may also delete campaign-specific profile data items and/or campaign metadata associated with an expired campaign. Alternatively, previous versions of at least profile data and campaign metadata may be stored at the receiver 1 for reporting or diagnostic purposes.
[0037] The receiver 1 may update a counter associated with a specific campaign if a media item associated with that campaign has been output. The receiver may update a counter associated with respective individual media items, when that media item is output.
The receiver 1 may transmit the viewing data 7 associated with a particular campaign to the profile management function 11, where the database 12 may be updated with the viewing data 7.
Campaign Attributes [00381 Tn both substitutional and linear scheduling, a particular campaign may have some or all of the following attributes: Demographic -The target audience of the campaign Campaign targets Centre break ratio -the proportion of advertising media items to be shown in a break within a broadcast programme, rather than between broadcast programmes Position in break Top-tail -the number or proportion of slots at the start and end of a break (considered more desirable than the middle of the break) Target ratings Strike weight -a measure of how the frequency of display of the campaign varies over time Universe -the number of individuals in the demographic being targeted by the campaign Clash Code -a category code used to implement restrictions imposed by regulators as to how advertisements may be placed together in a schedule (e.g. alcohol and car-related advertisements are not to be shown in the same break).
One or more reporting categories -code for the product type(s) being advertised; these do not restrict scheduling but are used for reporting purposes.
[0039] The programming schedule itself may include the following attributes: Restriction codes (by time) -e.g. codes that indicate time restrictions for certain types of advertisement, such as a watershed Cast List -the list of cast members appearing in a broadcast programme [0040] In addition, an individual copy (i.e. media) item for a particular campaign has its own set of attributes or metadata: Duration -i.e. the display length of the advertisement Clock number -a unique identifier for the media item Restriction codes -a media item for a campaign has a set of restriction codes, which may be defined only after the booking stage. The codes define properties of the content of the media item which may restrict the scheduling of the media item, such as the type of product or service being advertised, the minimum age of viewer or the watershed after which the media item may be shown.
Cast list -the list of cast members appearing in the media item. Regulations may stipulate that there should be no overlap between cast members in an advertisement break and cast members on the preceding and/or following programme, so that cast list attributes should be specified for each advertising media item.
[0041] Figure 4a shows the main entity relationships between the attributes and the campaign and campaign copy (i.e. media items), in a non-aggregated campaign. The clash code has a one-to-one relationship with the campaign as a whole, while the campaign target and reporting category have many-to-one relationships with the campaign as a whole. The campaign may have a one-to-one relationship with a product category, through which the relationship with the clash code and reporting category is acquired.
Individual copy items have a many-to-one relationship with the campaign as a whole; in other words, each campaign may have one or more associated copy items. Cast Members, Restriction Codes and Presentation Codes each have a many-to-one relationship with an individual copy item.
[0042] Hence, it can be seen that a campaign comprises a set of media items, with some attributes (campaign target, clash code, reporting category) associated with the set as a whole, while other attributes (cast member, restriction code, presentation code) are associated with individual media items (or subsets of media items) within the set.
[0043] Different substitutional variants may be used, based on the number of campaigns and copy variants of those campaigns scheduled in a slot in a programme schedule. Each slot contains a linear media item that is included within the broadcast channel, for output by receivers for which substitution is not enabled, or for which the profile data is not addressed by any of the segments.
[0044] Figure 5 shows a first variant, referred to as Single Advertiser Multiple Copy (SAMC), in which the slot S is scheduled to contain a linear media item L and multiple substitutional media items from a single campaign C. The segment data Segi, Seg2, Seg3 for each substitutional media item defines the segment addressed by that item.
[0045] Figure 6 shows a second variant, referred to as Multiple Advertiser Single Copy (MASC), in which the slot S is scheduled to contain a linear media item L and multiple substitutional media items, each media item being from a different campaign Cl, C2, C3.
The segment data SegA, SegB, SegC for each media item defines a segment addressed by that item, but the segments from different campaigns may be defined in terms of different profile data items or segment rules; this raises the possibility that the segments may overlap, so that some receivers cannot determine which copy to output, based on a comparison with their profile data.
[0046] In a further variant, referred to as Multiple Advertiser Multiple Copy (MAMC), the slot is scheduled to contain substitutional copy from multiple campaigns, with more than one of the media items belonging to the same campaign, and addressed to different segments. Hence, MAMC is a hybrid between SAMC and MASC.
Scheduling [0047] Scheduling may need to be performed in two stages: 1. Booking -placement of campaigns within a broadcast schedule that is known in advance. Booking may be performed sequentially, as campaigns are made available for scheduling.
2. Pre-transmission checking -checking immediately before broadcast that the scheduled campaign media items meet the required constraints with reference to the final version of the schedule immediately prior to transmission.
Pre-transmission checking is necessary as an additional step to booking, because the broadcast programmes may have changed from the advance broadcast schedule. For example, the broadcast timing may have changed due to overruns or newsflashes, or the programme content may have changed, or may be known to include material such as news items that may clash with particular content in a media item.
[0048] The scheduling of advertisement campaigns, based on the attributes or metadata listed above, is a combination of two formal classes of mathematical and computational problem, namely constraint satisfaction and optimization. Booking involves constraint satisfaction based on attributes of the schedule and of campaigns within a break, and optimization based on the campaign targets of the different campaigns. Pre-transmission checking involves constraint satisfaction based on attributes of the programming schedule and the media items booked within a specific break.
[0049] Examples of these constraints include: Booking constraints * The duration of the slot within the break should meet or exceed the duration of the media item * The clash codes for the campaign should not clash with the time-based restriction codes for the schedule * The clash codes for the campaign should not clash with other clash codes for other campaigns contained within the break Booking optimisations * The booking of a slot should make efficient use of the demographic inventory within the schedule; in other words, the predicted demographic profile of viewers of a slot within the schedule should match as closely as possible target demographic of campaigns booked with that slot.
* The booking of the slot should contribute to campaign targets such as ratings and campaign delivery ratios (centre-end break, position in break, strike weight etc.) Pre-transmission checking constraints * The media item should not contain any cast members in common with adjacent (preceding or following) programmes * The restriction codes applied to the media item should be compatible with the contents of the programming, the break, and the time of day [0050] In linear scheduling, the above constraint satisfaction and optimization problems require substantial computational resources, particularly in the case where time-critical re-scheduling is needed during the pre-transmission check.
[0051] Substitutional advertising introduces multiple alternative media items, potentially from multiple different campaigns, within the same substitutional slot within a break.
Substitutional advertising gives rise to additional complications, as follows: Additional booking constraints * The duration of the slot within the break should meet or exceed the duration of each media item scheduled to that slot.
* The durations of the substitutional media items within a slot should all be the same (or at least add up to the same duration; for example, two or more shorter media items may be booked sequentially within a slot provided that the total duration of the sequential media items is equal to the duration of the slot.
* Clash code checks against the schedule should be applied across all the substitutional variants of the substitutional slot.
* Clash code checks between media items within the break should be applied across all the substitutional variants of the substitutional slots. This can potentially include all the variants of additional substitutional slots within the break.
Additional booking optimisations * The bookings of all the substitutional media items within a substitutional slot should make efficient use of the demographic inventory within the schedule.
* The booking of all the substitutional media items within a substitutional slot should contribute to their respective campaign targets such as ratings and campaign delivery ratios (centre-end break, position in break, strike weight etc).
Additional pre-transmission constraints * No substitutional media items may have cast members in common with the preceding programming.
* The restriction codes applied to all of the substitutional variants should be compatible with the contents of the programming, the break, and the time of day, taking into consideration that there may be more than one substitutional slot within a break.
[0052] These additional requirements have the effect of increasing significantly the number of calculations that need to be performed to ensure that the scheduled contents of a break are compliant with the relevant constraints and optimisations. These calculations need to be performed every time a booking is performed, and also as part of pre-transmission checking.
[0053] Consider an example of a break containing 5 slots, two of which are substitutional slots. The first substitutional slot contains a SAMC campaign with 3 substitutional options. The second substitutional slot contains three MASC campaigns along with the linear campaign. This gives the following break makeup: * 5 slots in the break * 8 campaigns in the break * 11 media items in the break * 20 copy variants of the break [0054] During booking, only campaign compliance is considered, which gives rise to a processing uplift of 5/8 or 60%. During pre-transmission checking, copy compliance should also be performed. If compliance is performed as if all the media items are shown together, this gives rise to a processing uplift of 6/Sths or 120%. However this simplification introduces the limitation that campaigns with the same clash code cannot share the same substitutional slot even thought the effect the clash codes are meant to prevent (e.g. two campaigns with the same clash code being shown in the same break) could never occur. A more correct approach would be to consider all the copy variants in turn which, even without optimization, would increase processing by 20 times in the
above example.
Aggregation [0055] In one embodiment of the invention, at least some of the above problems are overcome by a process in which the complexity of the substitutional model is reduced substantially to that of the conventional linear model. The present inventors have observed that the attributes belonging to a single campaign and its associated copy items, and the relationships this campaign and copy items have with programming and other copy items within a break are broadly similar regardless of whether a single campaignlcopy item combination or an aggregate of many campaigns and many copy items are considered.
Referring to the entity-relationship diagram of Figure 4b, if the Campaign entity is replaced with an Aggregate campaign and the Campaign copy item with multiple Campaign copy items, then the only change that would need to occur is that the relationship between Campaigns and Clash code would change from "one to one" to "one to many". All other relationships would remain the same. This shows that an aggregation scheme may allow substitutional advertising to be scheduled in a similar manner to standard linear advertising.
[0056] In an aggregation scheme, multiple substitutional media items are treated as a single aggregate for the purposes of booking into a linear schedule. In other words, attributes that are specific to individual media items, or to a subset of the media items, are aggregated together and the aggregated attributes are treated as having a many-to-one relationship with a single aggregated Campaigns entity, referred to as an aggregate campaign. The aggregate campaign is then booked into the schedule by applying the constraints and/or optimisations to the aggregated attributes.
[0057] The aggregation scheme will now be explained in more detail, with reference to Figure 7. An aggregate campaign A is composed of a single linear media item L and a single "pod" P which in turn contains one or more substitutional media items belonging to different campaigns Cl, C2, C3. The media items are selected so that the user segments SegA, SegB, SegC of media items within a pod do not overlap; this means that a given specific user profile will fall within one of the user segments, at most.
[0058] Attributes of the constituent media items of the aggregate campaign A (including booking constraints and campaign targets) are aggregated together and the aggregate campaign is scheduled using the aggregate set of attributes as if they were a single set of attributes for a single campaign. In a similar manner, an aggregate campaign A comprises individual media items for each of the campaigns in the aggregate. The schedule includes a set of aggregate slots, into which aggregate campaigns may be scheduled.
[0059] Pods P are formed by grouping compatible substitutional campaigns Cl, C2, C3 together. Substitutional campaign compatibility is assessed according to the following factors: * Campaign segment overlap * Target demographic * Campaign duration * Media item length [0060] Each pod P is assigned a unique identifier. Note that the same substitutional campaign can be associated with more than one pod P. [0061] Each pod P is grouped with a linear campaign L to form an aggregate campaign A. Each aggregate campaign A is also assigned a unique identifier. Note that the same pod P may be grouped with more than one linear campaign L, to form a corresponding plurality of aggregate campaigns A. [0062] Campaign targets of the constituent items of the aggregate campaign may be aggregated into a single set of campaign targets which become the campaign targets of that aggregate campaign A. Alternatively, campaigns may be selected for inclusion together in a pod P on the basis of compatible campaign targets.
[0063] Aggregating attributes may give rise to a constraint being applied unnecessarily, such that the aggregate campaigns cannot be scheduled in a break. For example: * Aggregate campaign Al is booked first into a slot in a break, and has a car clash code; * Aggregate campaign A2 also contains a car clash code and is required to be booked into another slot in the same break.
[0064] Based on this information alone, campaign A2 cannot be booked into the break, because a booking constraint prevents two media items having the same clash code being shown in the same break. However, additional information is available about the decomposition of the aggregate campaigns in question: * Campaign Al selects a campaign Cl for a car from a first manufacturer if the subscriber is in the London region * Campaign A2 select a campaign C2 for a car from a second manufacturer if the subscriber is in the Border region [0065] Hence, if the segments of campaigns Al and A2 are taken into account, it is apparent that campaign Al and campaign A2 cannot both select a car advertisement for a given subscriber, since the segments of the two car campaigns do not overlap: a subscriber cannot be both in London and the Border region.
[0066] As a solution to this problem, in the case of a clash rule being invoked between two aggregate campaigns, the aggregation function may communicate to the scheduling function whether the clash is reconcilable e.g. because the segments between the two campaigns do not overlap where there is a clash rule invoked. This communication may either occur in real-time or the booking could be allowed and marked as having a warning status and an asynchronous process may query the aggregation function for all bookings with a warning status and prevent booking where the aggregation function indicates that the clash is irreconcilable.
[0067] The use of aggregate campaigns, each having the aggregated attributes of the multiple substitutional campaigns contained therein, addresses the additional booking and pre-transmission checking constraints of a substitutional system, without requiring significant changes to a linear scheduling system, and with only a modest increase in processing complexity. This holds true regardless of the number of segments and substitutional options contained within a pod P. Fractional Slot Durations [0068] The scheduling of fractional media items having a duration that is a fraction (such as one half) of that of a substitutional slot creates additional constraints in that one fractional media item should be matched with one or more other fractional media items and scheduled sequentially so as to make up the duration of one substitutional slot. Tn one solution, fractional media items are concatenated together to form a concatenated media item having the aggregated attributes of the constituent media items, and the concatenated media item is then treated as a single media item with the aggregated attributes for the purpose of scheduling.
[0069J In another solution, the fractional media items are scheduled into an aggregate campaign, and the substitutional schedule broadcast to the receiver indicates that the fractional media items are to shown sequentially rather than as alternatives. For example, the schedule may indicate the following substitutional options: 2. substitutional campaigns 1111 and 2222 in sequence In this solution, concatenation of the fractional media items need not be performed prior to scheduling, but the need to schedule fractional media items in sequence creates additional constraints that should be resolved by the booking system.
[0070] In the embodiment described above, it is assumed that once a campaign or aggregate campaign is scheduled to a slot, any of the substitutional options may be selected by one or more receivers, since the scheduling constraints have been satisfied. In an alternative embodiment, one or more substitutional options with a campaign or aggregate campaign may be selectively disabled at or just before the time of broadcast, for example by means of modification of the substitutional schedule. This selective disablement may be used to control the frequency with which each substitutional option is displayed. The substitutional options to be disabled may be varied during a campaign, so that the delivery of certain substitutional options may be balanced with the need for rescheduling.
[0071] This technique could be applied to a linear scheduling scheme, in which a scheduled campaign defines an inventory of possible media items for a slot, and the linear item for that slot is selected from the inventory of possible items.
[0072] If the same substitutional campaign (including an aggregate campaign) is scheduled in multiple substitutional slots, with the same associated campaign metadata and profile data, a specific receiver 1 will deterministically select the same substitutional option each time the campaign is scheduled. In some cases, it may be desirable to vary the substitutional option for a specific receiver each time a campaign is scheduled.
[0073] In one embodiment, each media item may comprise a sequence of clips, with one clip of the sequence being selected in turn for output by the receiver every time the associated media item is selected for output. This embodiment is particularly advantageous for delivery of media items having a total length that is greater than that of a substitutional slot, and enables delivery of a series without the need to schedule each clip of the series in a different, sequential campaign.
Recording & Playback 10074] The above embodiments have been described mainly with reference to live viewing of broadcast programming, with insertion of substitutional media items into the displayed live broadcast stream. In one embodiment where the received broadcast stream is recorded locally by the receiver 1, such as a PVR, the inserted substitutional items may be recorded within the recording of the received broadcast stream, so that the displayed content on playback is identical to that seen when watching the live broadcast stream with any inserted substitutional media items. This embodiment is advantageous in that the user may see on playback exactly the same content as was seen when viewing the broadcast stream live. It should be noted, however, that the above embodiments do not require the broadcast stream to be viewed live; instead, the stream could be recorded for later viewing, with substitutional media items being inserted into the recording.
[0075] In an alternative embodiment, the recording may include data identifying the splice points and substitutional schedule, and media substitution may be performed on playback, provided the necessary campaign metadata, profile data and substitutional items are still available at the receiver; these items may be saved for the duration that the associated recording is maintained at the receiver 1. This approach is more flexible, since any updates to the profile data, campaign metadata and/or substitutional items may be taken into account when selecting a substitutional item for playback. However, the user experience is different from conventional recording, in which the user expects to see on playback the same content that was previously viewed live.
[0076] Similar approaches may be applied to a PVOD (Push Video on Demand) system, in which broadcast programmes are recorded automatically without specific selection by the user, as described for example in WO-A-06/125971.
Reporting [0077] It is also important to determine, or at least reliably estimate, the ratings of each campaign, in other words how many times the campaign has actually been displayed, and optionally, to how many viewers of the target demographic profile of the campaign. In a conventional linear advertising model, survey evidence is used to estimate the viewing figures for each channel at a particular time, and the ratings for a particular campaign are derived from those figures. In a substitutional advertising model, additional information is needed to apportion those figures to each of the substitutional options within a slot S, particularly if one substitutional slot contains options from different campaigns.
10078] Since the segments of each of the campaigns within a pod P do not overlap, the selection of the campaign to be output for each slot by the receiver 1 is deterministic, given the profile data stored in each receiver 1. It is therefore possible to determine or at least estimate the rating of each campaign, without detecting which campaigns have been output by a particular receiver 1. Instead, all that is necessary is to determine or estimate the number of receivers 1 tuned to each broadcast channel, and the profile data of those receivers. In one example, viewing data 7 comprising data sets of the form [Subscriber ID], [Channel], [Time of Day] is sufficient; this data may be collected by the profile management function 11 and combined with information from the aggregation function to determine which campaigns would have been output by each receiver. This viewing data may be reported through return channels from the receivers 1, or obtained from survey evidence. In this way, the amount of data to be collected is minimised, and the accuracy of reporting improved.
Alternative Embodiments [0079] The above embodiment is described with reference to a broadcast system, such as a satellite, cable or Internet broadcast system. Aspects of the invention are also applicable to a video on demand (VOD) or push video on demand (PVOD) system, in which a programme is received and/or displayed on demand, and includes one or more substitutional slots as part of the programme. The substitutional system may be applied to the substitutional system in a similar way to the broadcast system described above.
[0080] The above embodiment is described with reference to substitutional advertising, but aspects of the invention are not dependent on the content or commercial nature of advertising. Substitutional systems as described above are applicable to other media types having other constraint and/or optimisation rules. For example, aspects of the invention are applicable to the distribution of programmes with substitutional segments, for example to allow display of alternative content depending on profile data at the receiver. In that case, there may be constraint rules which restrict which combination of segments can be output. In another example, aspects of the invention are applicable to public service or system announcements targeted at particular user profiles.
[0081] The above embodiment discloses a video broadcast system in which broadcast programmes and substitutional media content comprise video, and associated audio where applicable. However, aspects of the invention are applicable to audio-only content, such as digital radio broadcasts, or a mixture of video and audio-only content; for example, the broadcast programmes may be video programmes, and the substitutional media content may comprise audio-only content that is output over a still picture generated locally at the receiver.
[0082J The above embodiment discloses a time-divided system in which the insertable media items are output during breaks within or between programmes. However, the slots for insertable media items may be concurrent in time with programmes; for example, substitutional content may be superimposed on the display of a programme, or be added to or replace the audio output, for example for dubbing.
[00831 Alternative embodiments may be envisaged, which nevertheless fall within the scope of the following claims.

Claims (42)

  1. Claims 1. A method of scheduling a set of media items to a selected one of a plurality of slots, such that a programme receiver is enabled to select up to one of the set for output in said selected slot, wherein a plurality of subsets of the set of media items have respective attributes, and scheduling of the set of media items is subject to one or more constraints applicable to the attributes, the method comprising aggregating the attributes of the subsets of media items to form an aggregated set of attributes, and scheduling the set of media items by applying said one or more constraints to the aggregated set of attributes.
  2. 2. The method of claim 1, wherein at least one of the constraints is based on a comparison between an attribute of a first said media item to be scheduled in a first said programming slot and an attribute of a second said media item to be scheduled in a second said programming slot associated with said first programme slot.
  3. 3. The method of claim 1 or 2, wherein said first and second slots are proximate or adjacent.
  4. 4. The method of any preceding claim, wherein at least one of said constraints is based on a comparison between an attribute of a first said media item to be scheduled in a first said programming slot and an attribute of a programme associated with said first programme slot.
  5. 5. The method of claim 4, wherein said first programme slot is proximate, adjacent or concurrent with said programme.
  6. 6. The method of any preceding claim, wherein at least one of said constraints is based on a comparison between the duration of one of said media items and the duration of one of said slots.
  7. 7. The method of claim 6, wherein at least some of the media items have a fractional duration of one of said slots, wherein at least one of said constraints is based on a comparison between the fractional durations of said media items.
  8. 8. The method of any preceding claim, wherein said set of media items is selected from a plurality of media items, based on a comparison of attributes for each of the media items.
  9. 9. The method of any preceding claim, wherein one or more of the set of media items is subject to an optimisation requirement, the method including aggregating the optimisation requirements of the media items within the set, and scheduling the set of media items based on the aggregated optimisation requirements.
  10. 10. The method of any preceding claim, wherein each of the media items has an associated segment definition enabling the receiver to select for output a media item from the set of media items, based on a comparison between profile data associated with the receiver and the segment definitions of the media items, the method including determining the segment definitions such that the receiver is prevented from selecting more than one of the media items based on said comparison.
  11. 11. The method of claim 10, including transmitting said profile data to the receiver in advance of the selection of the media item for output by the receiver.
  12. 12. The method of claim 11, wherein the profile data is associated with said set of media items.
  13. 13. The method of claim 11 or 12, wherein the profile data is derived from a database of profile data associated with a plurality of said receivers.
  14. 14. The method of any one of claims 10 to 13, including transmitting the segment definitions to the receiver in advance of the selection of the media item for output by the receiver.
  15. 15. The method of any one of claims 10 to 14, wherein the segment definitions comprise segment rules and/or segment data.
  16. 16. The method of any one of claims 10 to 15, wherein said profile data, segment definitions and/or media items are transmitted on one or more channels separate from channels on which programmes are transmitted.
  17. 17. The method of any preceding claim, including selectively disabling one or more of said media items, such that the disabled one or more media items are not available for selection by the programme receiver.
  18. 18. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the receiver is arranged to output a default media item for said selected programming slot if none of said set of media items is selected for output by the receiver.
  19. 19. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the selected programming slot is a time slot in a broadcast channel.
  20. 20. The method of any one of claims 1 to 18, wherein the selected slot is a time slot in a pre-recorded programme.
  21. 21. A method of transmitting a set of media items to programme receivers each having associated predetermined profile data, each of the media items having an associated segment definition, such that each of the programme receivers is enabled to select from the set of media items for output based on a comparison between the profile data associated with the receiver and the segment definitions of the media items, wherein the profile data is variable and is transmitted to the receivers in advance of the selection from the media items for output by the receivers.
  22. 22. The method of claim 21, wherein the programme receivers each select up to one of the media items for local storage, and subsequently output said locally stored media item, if available.
  23. 23. A method of transmitting a set of media items to a plurality of programme receivers having associated predetermined profile data, each of the media items having an associated segment definition, such that each of the programme receivers is enabled to select up to one of the media items for output based on a comparison between the profile data associated with the receiver and the segment definitions of the media items, wherein the segment definitions are non-overlapping such that the selection of the media items by the receivers is predetermined by the segment definitions and the associated profile data.
  24. 24. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the media items are broadcast to the programme receiver.
  25. 25. A method of selecting a media item for output in a programme slot at a programme receiver, the method comprising receiving variable profile data associated with the programme receiver, receiving segment definitions corresponding to a set of media items, and selecting up to one of the set of media items based on a comparison between the profile data and the segment definitions.
  26. 26. A method of selecting a media item for output in a programme slot at a programme receiver, the method comprising receiving segment definitions corresponding to a set of media items, and selecting up to one of the set of media items based on a comparison between the segment definitions and profile data associated with the receiver, wherein the selection is predetermined by the segment definitions and the associated profile data.
  27. 27. The method of claim 25 or 26, including acquiring a selected one of the media items for storage prior to output in the programme slot.
  28. 28. The method of any one of claims 25 to 27, wherein the selected media item comprises a plurality of media versions, and the receiver selects one of the media versions for output.
  29. 29. The method of claim 28, wherein the receiver selects one of the media versions for output, based on an output mode of the receiver.
  30. 30. The method of any one of claims 25 to 27, wherein the selected media item comprises a series of media episodes, and the receiver selects each of the media episodes for output in turn.
  31. 31. The method of any one of claims 25 to 30, wherein the programme slot is defined in programming recorded at the receiver, and the media item is output on playback of the recorded programming.
  32. 32. A computer program product comprising program code means arranged to perform the method of any preceding claim.
  33. 33. Apparatus arranged to perform the method of any one of claims 1 to 31.
  34. 34. A substitutional media system comprising: a. a media item transmitter for transmitting a plurality of sets of media items to a plurality of media receivers; b. a scheduler for scheduling each of said sets of media items to a corresponding one of a plurality of programming slots, subject to one or more constraints based on attributes of corresponding subsets of the set of media items; and c. said plurality of media receivers, each being arranged to select up to one media items from each of said sets for output in the corresponding scheduled programming slot; wherein the scheduler is arranged to aggregate the attributes of each of the media items within each set of media items, and to schedule the sets to said programming slot based on the constraints applied to the aggregated attributes of each said set.
  35. 35. A substitutional media system comprising: a. a media item transmitter for transmitting a plurality of sets of media items to a plurality of media receivers, each of the media items having an associated segment definition; b. said plurality of media receivers, each having associated variable profile data and being arranged to select up to one media items from each of said sets for output in the corresponding scheduled programming slot based on a comparison between the profile data associated with the receiver and the segment definitions of the media items; and c. a profile data transmitter arranged to transmit said variable profile data to said media receivers.
  36. 36. A substitutional media system comprising: a. a media item transmitter for transmitting a plurality of sets of media items to a plurality of media receivers, each of the media items having an associated segment definition; b. said plurality of media receivers, each having associated variable profile data and being arranged to select up to one media items from each of said sets for output in the corresponding scheduled programming slot based on a comparison between the profile data associated with the receiver and the segment definitions of the media items wherein selection is predetermined by the segment definitions and the associated profile data.
  37. 37. The system of any one of claims 34 to 36, wherein the media item transmitter is a broadcast transmitter.
  38. 38. The system of any one of claims 34 to 37, further including a programme transmitter for transmitting programmes to said receivers, the programming slots being defined with reference to said transmitted programmes.
  39. 39. The system of claim 38, wherein the programme transmitter is a programme broadcast transmitter.
  40. 40. A method as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
  41. 41. A system as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
  42. 42. A receiver as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
GB0913389.3A 2009-07-31 2009-07-31 Media substitution system Active GB2472264B (en)

Priority Applications (65)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0913389.3A GB2472264B (en) 2009-07-31 2009-07-31 Media substitution system
GBGB1003034.4A GB201003034D0 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-02-23 Media substitution system
GB1418716.5A GB2516386B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-03-22 Media substitution system
GB1004738.9A GB2473306B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-03-22 Media substitution system
GBGB1008787.2A GB201008787D0 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-05-26 Media Substitution system
PL17178793T PL3244627T3 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
CN201610030890.XA CN105488700B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
PT17178793T PT3244627T (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
SI201031654T SI2460352T1 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
NZ617593A NZ617593A (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
AU2010277397A AU2010277397B2 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB201419887A GB2516789B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
CN201610030720.1A CN105430428B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
HUE10773677A HUE037276T2 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
LTEP17178793.0T LT3244627T (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
NZ598332A NZ598332A (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
CA2769688A CA2769688C (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
CN201610030889.7A CN105681824A (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
ES10773677.9T ES2663281T3 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB1419886.5A GB2516788B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
NZ716531A NZ716531A (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
PT107736779T PT2460352T (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB201501023A GB2518792B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
NO10773677A NO2460352T3 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02
CN201080043884.9A CN102550036B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 media insertion system
EP17178805.2A EP3249915B1 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
MX2012001405A MX2012001405A (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system.
SI201031823T SI3244627T1 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
LTEP10773677.9T LT2460352T (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
HUE17178793A HUE041812T2 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
PCT/GB2010/051274 WO2011012909A2 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
EP17178793.0A EP3244627B1 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB1203328.8A GB2484877B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
PL10773677T PL2460352T3 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB1503601.5A GB2520453B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
BR122013019795-8A BR122013019795A2 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 MEDIA INSERTION SYSTEM
EP17178815.1A EP3249917B1 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
EP17178821.9A EP3249918A1 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
EP10773677.9A EP2460352B1 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB201419889A GB2516790B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
ES17178793T ES2703213T3 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
BR122013019793-1A BR122013019793B1 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 MEDIA INSERTION METHOD
DK17178793.0T DK3244627T3 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
DK10773677.9T DK2460352T3 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
EP17178813.6A EP3249916B1 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
BR112012006884-9A BR112012006884B1 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 method of selecting a plurality of media items
US13/388,234 US10149006B2 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
NZ704055A NZ704055A (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
IL217819A IL217819A0 (en) 2009-07-31 2012-01-29 Media insertion system
IL240570A IL240570A (en) 2009-07-31 2015-08-13 Media insertion system
IL242624A IL242624A (en) 2009-07-31 2015-11-16 Media insertion system
IL242627A IL242627A (en) 2009-07-31 2015-11-16 Media insertion system
IL242625A IL242625A (en) 2009-07-31 2015-11-16 Media insertion system
IL242626A IL242626A (en) 2009-07-31 2015-11-16 Media insertion system
US15/638,019 US10602217B2 (en) 2009-07-31 2017-06-29 Media splicing
US15/637,974 US10798445B2 (en) 2009-07-31 2017-06-29 Linear media selection
US15/637,936 US10667006B2 (en) 2009-07-31 2017-06-29 Substitution on playback
HRP20180449TT HRP20180449T1 (en) 2009-07-31 2018-03-16 Media insertion system
CY20181100315T CY1120218T1 (en) 2009-07-31 2018-03-19 MEDIA IMPORT SYSTEM
HK18106986.3A HK1247763A1 (en) 2009-07-31 2018-05-29 Media insertion system
HK18106985.4A HK1247762A1 (en) 2009-07-31 2018-05-29 Media insertion system
HRP20182117TT HRP20182117T1 (en) 2009-07-31 2018-12-13 Media insertion system
CY181101353T CY1120986T1 (en) 2009-07-31 2018-12-18 MEANS INTRODUCTION SYSTEM
US16/797,311 US11006174B2 (en) 2009-07-31 2020-02-21 Media insertion system
US17/018,607 US11671652B2 (en) 2009-07-31 2020-09-11 Linear media selection

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GB0913389D0 GB0913389D0 (en) 2009-09-16
GB2472264A true GB2472264A (en) 2011-02-02
GB2472264B GB2472264B (en) 2014-12-17

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GB0913389.3A Active GB2472264B (en) 2009-07-31 2009-07-31 Media substitution system
GBGB1003034.4A Ceased GB201003034D0 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-02-23 Media substitution system
GB1004738.9A Active GB2473306B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-03-22 Media substitution system
GB1418716.5A Active GB2516386B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-03-22 Media substitution system
GBGB1008787.2A Ceased GB201008787D0 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-05-26 Media Substitution system
GB201501023A Active GB2518792B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB1203328.8A Active GB2484877B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB201419889A Active GB2516790B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB1503601.5A Active GB2520453B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB1419886.5A Active GB2516788B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB201419887A Active GB2516789B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system

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GBGB1003034.4A Ceased GB201003034D0 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-02-23 Media substitution system
GB1004738.9A Active GB2473306B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-03-22 Media substitution system
GB1418716.5A Active GB2516386B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-03-22 Media substitution system
GBGB1008787.2A Ceased GB201008787D0 (en) 2009-07-31 2010-05-26 Media Substitution system
GB201501023A Active GB2518792B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB1203328.8A Active GB2484877B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB201419889A Active GB2516790B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB1503601.5A Active GB2520453B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB1419886.5A Active GB2516788B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system
GB201419887A Active GB2516789B (en) 2009-07-31 2010-08-02 Media insertion system

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EP (6) EP3244627B1 (en)
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AU (1) AU2010277397B2 (en)
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CA (1) CA2769688C (en)
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