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videojs-contrib-ads v5.1.5

A framework that provides common functionality needed by video advertisement libraries working with video.js.

videojs-contrib-ads Build Status

The videojs-contrib-ads plugin provides common functionality needed by video advertisement libraries working with video.js. It takes care of a number of concerns for you, reducing the code you have to write for your ad integration.

Lead Maintainer: Greg Smith https://github.com/incompl

Maintenance Status: Stabler Than Ever

Getting Started

In addition to the video.js library, you'll need two files from this project: videojs.ads.js and videojs.ads.css. After you build the project they are both in the dist directory.

For development, include the CSS in your HTML's <head> section with a <link> tag:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="videojs.ads.css">

Then, include the JavaScript file after video.js, but before your integration code:

<video id="video" src="movie.mp4" controls></video>
<script src="video.js"></script>
<script src="videojs.ads.js"></script>
<script>
videojs('video', {}, function() {
  var player = this;
  player.ads(); // initialize the ad framework
  // your custom ad integration code
});
</script>

CDN Link

You may also use the Javascript and CSS links from the following to get started: https://cdnjs.com/libraries/videojs-contrib-ads

With this basic structure in place, you're ready to develop an ad integration.

Important Note About Initialization

In order to function correctly, videojs-contrib-ads must be initialized immediately after video.js (in the same tick. This is for two reasons:

  • This plugin relies on loadstart events, and initializing the plugin late means the plugin may miss an initial loadstart.
  • For Redispatch to function it must be initialized before any other code that listens to media events.

The plugin will emit an error if it detects that it it missed a loadstart event. If this happens, it is likely that downstream failures will occur, so it's important to resolve this issue.

Developing an Integration

Once you call player.ads() to initialize the plugin, it provides six interaction points (four events and two methods) which you can use in your integration.

Here are the events that communicate information to your integration from the ads plugin:

  • contentupdate (EVENT) — Fires when a new content video has been assigned to the player, so your integration can update its ad inventory. NOTE: This will NOT fire while your ad integration is playing a linear Ad.
  • readyforpreroll (EVENT) — Fires when a content video is about to play for the first time, so your integration can indicate that it wants to play a preroll.

Note: A contentplayback event is sent but should not be used as it is being removed. The playing event has the same meaning and is far more reliable.

And here are the interaction points you use to send information to the ads plugin:

  • adsready (EVENT) — Trigger this event after to signal that your integration is ready to play ads.
  • adplaying (EVENT) - Trigger this event when an ads starts playing. If your integration triggers playing event when an ad begins, it will automatically be redispatched as adplaying.
  • adscanceled (EVENT) — Trigger this event after starting up the player or setting a new video to skip ads entirely. This event is optional; if you always plan on displaying ads, you don't need to worry about triggering it.
  • adserror (EVENT) - Trigger this event to indicate that an error in the ad integration has ocurred and any ad states should abort so that content can resume.
  • nopreroll (EVENT) - Trigger this event to indicate that there will be no preroll ad. Otherwise, the player will wait until a timeout occurs before playing content. This event is optional, but can improve user experience.
  • nopostroll (EVENT) - Trigger this event to indicate that there will be no postroll ad. Otherwise, contrib-ads will trigger an adtimeout event after content ends if there is no postroll.
  • ads-ad-started (EVENT) - Trigger this when each individual ad begins.
  • contentresumed (EVENT) - If your integration does not result in a "playing" event when resuming content after an ad, send this event to signal that content can resume. This was added to support stitched ads and is not normally necessary.
  • ads.startLinearAdMode() (METHOD) — Call this method to signal that your integration is about to play a linear ad. This method triggers adstart to be emitted by the player.
  • ads.endLinearAdMode() (METHOD) — Call this method to signal that your integration is finished playing linear ads, ready for content video to resume. This method triggers adend to be emitted by the player.
  • ads.skipLinearAdMode() (METHOD) — Call this method to signal that your integration has received an ad response but is not going to play a linear ad. This method triggers adskip to be emitted by the player.
  • ads.stitchedAds() (METHOD) — Get or set the stitchedAds setting.
  • ads.videoElementRecycled() (METHOD) - Returns true if ad playback is taking place in the content element.

In addition, video.js provides a number of events and APIs that might be useful to you. For example, the ended event signals that the content video has played to completion.

Public Methods

These are methods that can be called at runtime to inspect the ad plugin's state. You do not need to implement them yourself.

isInAdMode()

Returns true if player is in ad mode.

Ad mode definition:

If content playback is blocked by the ad plugin.

Examples of ad mode:
  • Waiting to find out if an ad is going to play while content would normally be playing.
  • Waiting for an ad to start playing while content would normally be playing.
  • A linear ad is playing
  • An ad has completed and content is about to resume, but content has not resumed yet.
Examples of not ad mode:
  • Content playback has not been requested
  • Content playback is paused
  • An asynchronous ad request is ongoing while content is playing
  • A non-linear ad is active

isContentResuming()

Returns true if content is resuming after an ad. This is part of ad mode.

isAdPlaying()

Returns true if a linear ad is playing. This is part of ad mode. This relies on startLinearAdMode and endLinearAdMode because that is the most authoritative way of determinining if an ad is playing.

Additional Events And Properties Your Integration May Want To Include

This project does not send these events, but these events are a convention used some some integrations that you may want to consider sending for consistency.

Events

  • ads-request: Fired when ad data is requested.
  • ads-load: Fired when ad data is available following an ad request.
  • ads-pod-started: Fired when a LINEAR ad pod has started.
  • ads-pod-ended: Fired when a LINEAR ad pod has completed.
  • ads-allpods-completed: Fired when all LINEAR ads are completed.
  • ads-ad-started: Fired when the ad starts playing.
  • ads-ad-ended: Fired when the ad completes playing.
  • ads-first-quartile: Fired when the ad playhead crosses first quartile.
  • ads-midpoint: Fired when the ad playhead crosses midpoint.
  • ads-third-quartile: Fired when the ad playhead crosses third quartile.
  • ads-pause: Fired when the ad is paused.
  • ads-play: Fired when the ad is resumed.
  • ads-mute: Fired when the ad volume has been muted.
  • ads-click: Fired when the ad is clicked.

Properties

player.ads.provider = {
  "type": `String`,
  "event": `Object`
}

player.ads.ad = {
  "type": `String`,
  "index": `Number`,
  "id": `String`,
  "duration": `Number`,
  "currentTime": `Function`
}

Macros

An optional feature that contrib-ads supports is ad macros. Ad macros are often used by ad integrations to support addition of run-time values into a server URL or configuration.

For example, an ad integration that supports this feature might accept an ad server URL like this:

'http://example.com/vmap.xml?id={player.id}'

In the ad integration, it would use the videojs-contrib-ads macro feature to process that URL like this:

serverUrl = player.ads.adMacroReplacement(serverUrl, true, additionalMacros);

This would result in a server URL like this:

'http://example.com/vmap.xml?id=12345'

where 12345 is the player ID.

adMacroReplacement takes 3 arguments:

  1. The string that has macros to be replaced.
  2. true if the macro values should be URI encoded when they are inserted, else false (default false)
  3. An optional object that defines additional macros, such as {'{five}': 5} (default {})

Static Macros

NameValue
{player.id}The player ID
{player.duration}The duration of current video*
{timestamp}Current epoch time
{document.referrer}Value of document.referrer
{window.location.href}Value of window.location.href
{random}A random number 0-1 trillion
{mediainfo.id}Pulled from mediainfo object
{mediainfo.name}Pulled from mediainfo object
{mediainfo.description}Pulled from mediainfo object
{mediainfo.tags}Pulled from mediainfo object
{mediainfo.reference_id}Pulled from mediainfo object
{mediainfo.duration}Pulled from mediainfo object
{mediainfo.ad_keys}Pulled from mediainfo object

* Returns 0 if video is not loaded. Be careful timing your ad request with this macro.

Dynamic Macro: mediainfo.custom_fields.*

A macro such as {mediainfo.custom_fields.foobar} allows the user to access the value of any property in mediainfo.custom_fields.

Dynamic Macro: pageVariable.*

A macro such as {pageVariable.foobar} allows the user access the value of any property on the window object. Only certain value types are allowed, per this table:

TypeWhat happens
StringUsed without any change
NumberConverted to string automatically
BooleanConverted to string automatically
NullReturns the string "null"
UndefinedLogs warning and returns empty string
OtherLogs warning and returns empty string

Cue Metadata Tracks

An optional feature that allows the manipulation of metadata tracks, specifically in the case of working with advertising cue points.

For example, an ad integration may want to make an ad request when a cuepoint change has been observed. To do this, an ad integration would need to do something like this:

player.ads.cueTextTracks.processMetadataTracks(player, processMetadataTrack)

where processMetadataTrack could be something like this:

function processMetadataTrack(player, track) {
  track.addEventListener('cuechange', function() {
    var cues = this.cues;
    var processCue = function() {
      // Make an ad request
      ...
    };
    var cancelAds = function() {
      // Optional method to dynamically cancel ads
      // This will depend on the ad implementation
      ...
    };

    player.ads.cueTextTracks.processAdTrack(player, cues, processCue, cancelAds);
  });
}

For more information on the utility methods that are available, see cueTextTracks.js.

setMetadataTrackMode

A track is 'enabled' if the track.mode is set to hidden or showing. Otherwise, a track is disabled and is not updated. It is important to note that some tracks may be disabled as a workaround of not being able to remove them, and so should not be re-enabled. Ad integrations should be careful about setting the mode of tracks in these cases and shadow setMetadataTrackMode to determine which tracks are safe to change. For example, if all tracks should be hidden:

player.ads.cueTextTracks.setMetadataTrackMode = function(track) {
  // Hide the tracks so they are enabled and get updated
  // but are not shown in the UI
  track.mode = 'hidden';
}

Single Preroll Example

Here's an outline of what a basic ad integration might look like. It only plays a single preroll ad before each content video, but does demonstrate the interaction points offered by the ads plugin.

This is not actually a runnable example, as it needs more information as specified in the code comments.

videojs('video', {}, function() {

  var player = this;
  player.ads(); // initialize the ad framework

  // request ads whenever there's new video content
  player.on('contentupdate', function(){
    // fetch ad inventory asynchronously, then ...
    player.trigger('adsready');
  });

  player.on('readyforpreroll', function() {
    player.ads.startLinearAdMode();
    // play your linear ad content
    player.src('http://url/to/your/ad.content');

    // when all your linear ads have finished… do not confuse this with `ended`
    player.one('adended', function() {
      player.ads.endLinearAdMode();
    });
  });

});

Your actual integration will be significantly more complex. To implement midroll ads, you'd want to listen to timeupdate events to monitor the progress of the content video's playback.

For a more involved example that plays both prerolls and midrolls, see the example directory in this project.

State Diagram

To manage communication between your ad integration and the video.js player, the ads plugin goes through a number of states. Here's a state diagram which shows the states of the ads plugin and how it transitions between them:

Plugin Options

The ad framework can be configured with custom settings by providing a settings object at initialization:

player.ads({
  timeout: 3000
});

The current set of options are described in detail below.

timeout

Type: number Default Value: 5000

The maximum amount of time to wait for an ad implementation to initialize before playback, in milliseconds. If the viewer has requested playback and the ad implementation does not fire adsready before this timeout expires, the content video will begin playback. It's still possible for an ad implementation to play ads after this waiting period has finished but video playback will already be in progress.

Once the ad plugin starts waiting for the adsready event, one of these things will happen:

  • integration ready within the timeout — this is the best case, preroll(s) will play without the user seeing any content video first.
  • integration ready, but after timeout has expired — preroll(s) still play, but the user will see a bit of content video.
  • integration never becomes ready — content video starts playing after timeout.

This timeout is necessary to ensure a good viewer experience in cases where the ad implementation suffers an unexpected or irreparable error and never fires an adsready event. Without this timeout, the ads plugin would wait forever, and neither the content video nor ads would ever play.

If the ad implementation takes a long time to initialize and this timeout is too short, then the content video will beging playing before the first preroll opportunity. This has the jarring effect that the viewer would see a little content before the preroll cuts in.

During development, we found that five seconds seemed to be long enough to accommodate slow initialization in most cases, but still short enough that failures to initialize didn't look like failures of the player or content video.

prerollTimeout

Type: number Default Value: 100

The maximum amount of time to wait for an ad implementation to initiate a preroll, in milliseconds. If readyforpreroll has been fired and the ad implementation does not call startLinearAdMode() before prerollTimeout expires, the content video will begin playback. prerollTimeout is cumulative with the standard timeout parameter.

Once the ad plugin fires readyforpreroll, one of these things will happen:

  • startLinearAdMode() called within the timeout — preroll(s) will play without the user seeing any content video first.
  • skipLinearAdMode() is called within the timeout because there are no linear ads in the response or you already know you won't be making a preroll request - content video plays without preroll(s).
  • startLinearAdMode() is never called — content video plays without preroll(s).
  • startLinearAdMode() is called, but after the prerollTimeout expired — bad user experience; content video plays a bit, then preroll(s) cut in.

The prerollTimeout should be as short as possible so that the viewer does not have to wait unnecessarily if no preroll is scheduled for a video. Make this longer if your ad integration needs a long time to decide whether it has preroll inventory to play or not. Ideally, your ad integration should already know if it wants to play a preroll before the readyforpreroll event. In this case, skipLinearAdMode() should be called to resume content quickly.

postrollTimeout

Type: number Default Value: 100

The maximum amount of time to wait for an ad implementation to initiate a postroll, in milliseconds. If contentended has been fired and the ad implementation does not call startLinearAdMode() before postrollTimeout expires, the content video will end playback.

Once the ad plugin fires contentended, one of these things will happen:

  • startLinearAdMode() called within the timeout — postroll(s) will play without the user seeing any content video first.
  • skipLinearAdMode() is called within the timeout - content video stops.
  • startLinearAdMode() is never called — content video stops.
  • startLinearAdMode() is called, but after the postrollTimeout expired — content video stops

The postrollTimeout should be as short as possible so that the viewer does not have to wait unnecessarily if no postroll is scheduled for a video. Make this longer if your ad integration needs a long time to decide whether it has postroll inventory to play or not. Ideally, your ad integration should already know if it wants to play a postroll before the contentended event.

stitchedAds

Type: boolean Default Value: false

Set this to true if you are using ads stitched into the content video. This is necessary for ad events to be sent correctly.

debug

Type: boolean Default Value: false

If debug is set to true, the ads plugin will output additional information about its current state during playback. This can be handy for diagnosing issues or unexpected behavior in an ad integration.

Plugin Events

The plugin triggers a number of custom events on the player during its operation. As an ad provider, you can listen for them to trigger behavior in your implementation. They may also be useful for other plugins to track advertisement playback.

adstart

The player has entered linear ad playback mode. This event is fired directly as a consequence of calling startLinearAdMode(). This event only indicates that an ad break has begun; the start and end of individual ads must be signalled through some other mechanism.

adend

The player has returned from linear ad playback mode. This event is fired directly as a consequence of calling startLinearAdMode(). Note that multiple ads may have played back between adstart and adend.

adskip

The player is skipping a linear ad opportunity and content-playback should resume immediately. This event is fired directly as a consequence of calling skipLinearAdMode(). It can indicate that an ad response was made but returned no linear ad content or that no ad call is going to be made at either the preroll or postroll timeout opportunities.

adtimeout

A timeout managed by the plugin has expired and regular video content has begun to play. Ad integrations have a fixed amount of time to inform the plugin of their intent during playback. If the ad integration is blocked by network conditions or an error, this event will fire and regular playback resumes rather than stalling the player indefinitely.

Runtime Settings

Once the plugin is initialized, there are a couple properties you can access to inspect the plugin's state and modify its behavior.

contentSrc

In order to detect changes to the content video, videojs-contrib-ads monitors the src attribute of the player. If you need to make a change to the src attribute during content playback that should not be interpreted as loading a new video, you can update this property with the new source you will be loading:

// you might want to switch from a low bitrate version of a video to a
// higher quality one at the user's request without forcing them to
// re-watch all the ad breaks they've already viewed

// first, you'd update contentSrc on the ads plugin to the URL of the
// higher bitrate rendition:
player.ads.contentSrc = 'movie-high.mp4';

// then, modify the src attribute as usual
player.src('movie-high.mp4');

disableNextSnapshotRestore

Prevents videojs-contrib-ads from restoring the previous video source

If you need to change the video source during ad playback, you can use disableNextSnapshotRestore to prevent videojs-contrib-ads to restore to the previous video source.

if (player.ads.state  === 'ad-playback') {
    player.ads.disableNextSnapshotRestore = true;
    player.src('another-video.mp4');
}

Redispatch

This project includes a feature called redispatch which will monitor all media events and modify them with the goal of making the usage of ads transparent. For example, when an ad is playing, a playing event would be sent as an adplaying event. Code that listens to the playing event will not see playing events that result from an advertisement playing.

In order for redispatch to work correctly, any ad plugin built using contrib-ads must be initialized as soon as possible, before any other plugins that attach event listeners.

Different platforms, browsers, devices, etc. send different media events at different times. Redispatch does not guarentee a specific sequence of events, but instead ensures that certain expectations are met. The next section describes those expectations.

The Law of the Land: Redispatch Event Behavior

play events
playing events
  • Playing events may occur when content plays.
  • If there is a preroll, there is no playing event before the preroll.
  • If there is a preroll, there is at least one playing event after the preroll.
ended events
  • If there is no postroll, there is a single ended event when content ends.
  • If there is a postroll, there is no ended event before the postroll.
  • If there is a postroll, there is a single ended event after the postroll.
loadstart events
  • There is always a loadstart event after content starts loading.
  • There is always a loadstart when the source changes.
  • There is never a loadstart due to an ad loading.
Other events
  • As a general rule, usual events are not sent if the plugin is in ad mode.

Migration Guides

Building

The ads plugin is designed to be built with npm.

If you don't already have npm, then download and install Node.js (which comes with npm).

With NPM ready, you can download the ads plugin's build-time dependencies and then build the ads plugin. Open a terminal to the directory where you've cloned this repository, then:

$ npm install
$ npm run build

We will run a suite of unit tests and code formatting checks, then create a dist/ directory. Inside you'll find the minified ads plugin file videojs.ads.min.js, the unminified videojs.ads.js, and the CSS videojs.ads.css.

Release History

A short list of features, fixes and changes for each release is available in CHANGELOG.md.

Roadmap

Unplanned Major Version Update

  • Pause content video if there is a programmatic call to play (prefixed as adplay) while an ad is playing in an ad container (rather than content video element). Prefixing doesn't prevent the videojs behavior, so this would prevent the content from playing behind the ad. Right now, ad integrations I am aware of are doing this on their own, so this would require a migration to move the behavior into this project.
  • contentended has a confusing name: real ended events are later sent, and that is when content should be considered ended. The content prefix is used for events when content is resuming after an ad. A better name would be readyforpostroll. That would make it clearer to implementations that the correct response would be to either play a postroll or send the nopostroll event.

License

See LICENSE-APACHE2.

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