SSAI vs CSAI: Understanding the Difference

As the use of online advertising continues to grow, we are seeing new technologies that their main goal is to improve the ad experience for viewers and advertisers. In this article we will focus two of the most common ad insertion technologies, CSAI (or Client-Side Ad Insertion) and SSAI (or Server-Side Ad Insertion).

CSAI and SSAI both has similar purpose, to display the ad to the client, Let’s take a closer look.

What is CSAI?
CSAI is a way to load the ad to the player from the client side . Choosing this way has benefits like:
1. Cost – Cheaper cost compared to SSAI.
2. Popularity – Right now It’s the most common and used Ad-Insertion way, making it very reliable.

However, This procedure can cause problems such as:
1. Delay – Since the ad/ads need to be picked and loaded until they are displayed.
2. Quality – In cases where the client’s connection is slow or unstable, this can lead to long loading times, or the ad being displayed in poor quality.
3. Lower Fill Rates – due to ad blockers services, CSAI ads are not always able to play, therefore a lower Fill Rate return.

What is SSAI?
In contrast, SSAI (or Server-Side Ad Insertion) is a way to merge an ad and a video as a single stream to provide simultaneous streaming to the client, all from the server side .
The benefits of using such way are:
1. Smoother viewing experience – since the ad already is combined with the video content, this means that there are no delays in loading the ad.
2. Enhanced Targeting – SSAI enables more specific targeting of ads, as the ad server has access to a wider range of data and can make more informed decisions about which ads to serve.
3. Improved Analytics – SSAI provides better visibility into ad performance, as the ad server can track and measure the effectiveness of the ads in real-time, providing valuable insights into ad performance.
4. Easier Implementation – SSAI is often easier to implement, as it does not require any changes to be made to the video player or the client’s device (like sometimes with CSAI).
5. Better Quality Control – SSAI provides better quality control over the ad content, as the ads are served from a centralized ad server, rather than from multiple sources as with CSAI. This makes it easier to monitor and manage the quality of the ads being served, reducing the risk of low-quality or inappropriate ads being shown to viewers.
6. Better Fill Rates – As previously said, the ad server has access to a wider range of data about the viewer, including demographic information, viewing history, and device type, enabling it to make more informed decisions about which ads to serve. This results in a higher fill rate, as the right ads are shown to the right viewers.

SSAI does have a few disadvantages, such as:
1. Bot Traffic – Bots can mimic human ad views, leading to false impression numbers and click-through rates. Bots can be used to inflate metrics and generate false revenue.
2. Increased Server Costs – Because SSAI requires more processing power and resources on the server-side, it can be more expensive to implement than client-side ad insertion.

Overall, SSAI offers much more advantages over CSAI but it also important to mention using such method is more expensive to implement.

With Added, using both SSAI and CSAI is simple! Added offers an easy to implement system for a seamless integration, whilst being partnered with the best fraud detection tools on the market, all that with being an Ad Server too (not only a SSP), the Publisher gets given full control for boosting his campaigns and generating maximum revenue!