Automatic Playlist Generator
Ian Maison avatar
Written by Ian Maison
Updated over a week ago

If you’re managing a large network based on delivering adverts and paid-for content across your players then you’ll appreciate the importance of being able to manage your content and playlists in an efficient way - the Auto-Playlist Generator is designed to support this.

This article explains the different elements that comprise the Auto-Playlist Generator and includes a quick guide to assist you in generating your Auto-Playlist.


What does it do?

The Auto-Playlist Generator is a feature that enhances the existing playlist creator by providing you with the ability to:

  • Define the total duration of a playlist

  • Programmatically create playlists based on rules

In order to configure the Auto-Playlist Generator you will need to define three elements:

  • The length of your content loop

  • The total time to give to each Campaign

  • The media assets for each campaign, and duration for these assets.

Signagelive will use this information to calculate how many times that campaign should feature in a playlist, and calculate how much of that playlist is allocated to advertisers. With that information, Signagelive will create a playlist automatically ensuring that:

  • Campaign content is evenly distributed throughout the content loop by default.

  • Adjacent assets are not from the same Campaign.

  • It’s possible to configure the playlist so that campaigns from competing/objectionable brands are not adjacent to one another.

  • When adding ‘Filler Content’ no two adjacent assets are the same.

Once the Auto-Playlist Generation is complete, you are able to manually review the playlist and make adjustments to the order.

Please Note

To ensure that assets from competing campaigns are not next to one another in your playlist, separation categories will need to be used. See the Campaign section below.

Playlist Plan

The Playlist Plan is the top level object that specifies a set of rules that can be used to generate new playlists. The same Playlist Plan can be used to generate any number of playlists.

All playlist Plans must have:

  • A recognisable name

  • The loop duration, which is the total length of the playlist to be generated

  • A default slot length, which is the default duration of each piece of media that is scheduled to play in the generated playlist

A Playlist Plan will have one or more Priority Groups, with each Priority Group containing one or more Campaigns. Each Campaign can have any number of Campaign Media Assets to play.

Campaign Media Assets from the configured Campaigns are used to fill all available slots in the generated playlist based on the ordering and configuration of Priority Groups and Campaigns.

Filler content can also be defined for a Playlist Plan that can be used to fill out any remaining slots after all Priority Groups and Campaigns have been booked.

Priority Groups

A Priority Group contains the campaigns that are needed to run and will be populated by the content in priority order. For instance, if you have multiple Priority Groups then Priority Group 1 will have all of its content scheduled before anything is scheduled from Priority Group 2. The assets will be added to the playlist according to the schedule mode set on the group.

A Priority Group can be scheduled into the playlist in 3 different modes:

  • Largest First - The assets will be scheduled into the playlist starting with the assets with the highest number of instances first. They will be scheduled to provide an even distribution throughout the playlist loop.

  • Round Robin - Assets will be scheduled in the order the campaigns are stored in the Priority Group. Slots in the playlist will be populated in order.

  • Filler* - The assets will be scheduled as per the Round Robin mode, but there will be no limit set on the number of occurrences of each asset, and they will only be used to ensure the Playlist Loop is full. There will be no scheduling applied to these assets, so they should be safe to play at any time.

*Filler content is safe content that will play when there is no other valid content for that slot. You can have Filler content at the campaign level, and also the playlist plan level.

Please Note

Filler content is not required. Instead, you can choose to overbook a campaign so that campaign content is drawn into the playlist instead

Campaign

A Campaign represents a booking made by an Advertiser. These are booked for specific durations, and will contain 1 or more media assets that need to be scheduled for that booking.

Your Campaign(s) can be assigned a separation category, which will be used when scheduling to ensure that it is not adjacent to similar/objectionable content. I.e. Car adverts from separate manufacturers won’t play one after the other. Your separation categories can be applied to your Campaigns under Settings.

You can also apply scheduling conditions against your content so that certain assets in the campaign are only valid for a specific period of time e.g. different assets leading up to an event of some kind. Please note that if you include validity there should either be Campaign Filler added or Playlist Plan filler added so that the slot always has a media asset to play

There are two different ways to insert the assets into your playlist:

  • Play the next Asset: Each time the Campaign is inserted into the Playlist the next asset will be added to the Playlist.

  • Random: Each time the Campaign is inserted a random asset will be added to the Playlist. This asset will be randomly selected from the list of assets for the Campaign.

Please Note

If the asset has Validity, then a Nested Playlist will be created with the asset and a safe piece of filler content to take its place if the Validity conditions are not met.

Generating your Playlist

The Playlist Generation algorithm will take each Priority Group in order, and schedule the content into the playlist depending on the scheduling mode specified on the Priority Group.

Once created, you can change the generated order of assets, or you can open the Playlist in the Playlist Creator to manually edit the assets.

Please Note

You can have Validity/Recurrence on an asset, and Signagelive will decide whether the asset will display, or if an item needs to be selected from your Priority Group.

Please Note

If 50% or more of the slots are allocated to a campaign then we cannot guarantee that the same campaign, or competing campaigns, are not next to each other in the playlist.

Step Through Guide

  1. Open the Auto-Playlist Generator

  2. Name your Playlist

  3. Set the duration of your content loop.

  4. Create your Priority Group(s)

  5. Add your Filler Content (this will be added to free space in your generated playlist)

  6. Move to the Campaign Creation page.

  7. Name your campaign and set the booked duration.

  8. Now you can add the Assets (Upload Asset or Add from Library) into your Campaign, and also select the play mode of the assets from Next or Random (if the assets have validity, then it is possible to show Filler content in the event your Campaign asset is not scheduled to show)

  9. Once complete, you can now generate your Playlist.

  10. This will bring you to a new page where you can manually edit the order of the assets (where there is validity on assets then a Nested Playlist is created, you can clink into the link to view the content of these.)

  11. When you are satisfied with the Auto-Generated Playlist, you can click Save, and publish it to your chosen Player(s).

How can I find out more?

You can always search for answers with the Signagelive Help Centre, but rest assured we have a dedicated Support Team that are ready to assist you with any questions you may have. We are always here to help as best we can, so just contact us for any help you require.

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