Smartplay by Verizon, our 1 to 1 session management technology

Get smarter about your viewers to deliver personalized experiences

What is Smartplay or 1 to 1 session management?

Smartplay uniquely opens a direct channel of communication between the viewer and the OTT system on a viewer-by-viewer basis. The viewer provides information about who they are, where they are, what they’re watching, what device they’re on, and much more. In turn, the OTT system can adjust in real-time what content (or ad) is displayed while ensuring the quality of the stream is second to none. This ability to create a 1 to 1 session is technology differentiator of Verizon Digital Media Services’ platform.

How does Smartplay work?

Our platform creates an individual session every time a viewer presses play. After an initial exchange of information, our cloud-based session manager makes decisions roughly every five seconds while constantly re-writing the video manifest (i.e., playlist) to control the flow and quality of content, down to the individual viewer and device. It also collects real-time stats and advanced content analytics, which our platform processes on the fly to optimize decisions and further personalize viewing experiences.

How is Smartplay unique in the Verizon Digital Media Services’ platform?

Faced with the technical challenges of making millions of decisions every few seconds, other video platforms may offer personalization, but at a much higher level like device type or market region (e.g., Designated Market Area or DMA, zip code). Our end-to-end platform is purpose built to deliver TV-like quality and personalized experiences on every device, at scale. By scale, we mean more than just delivering seamless experiences worldwide. We mean streaming tens of millions of concurrent streams and tens of thousands of session starts per second. Every viewer gets a personalized experience, simultaneously. We leverage the power of the cloud to instantly provision session managers, whether you have hundreds or millions of viewers. This two-way flow of information between each viewer and your service allows you to make smarter business and technical decisions across an array of functionality.

1. The app or player sends viewer and performance data to our platform as the viewer progresses through your content.

2. Real-time stats and advanced content analytics are collected and processed on the fly to optimize decisions and further personalize viewing experiences.

3. Our cloud-based session manager constantly talks to the device, the video platform and advertising system to uniquely optimize the flow and quality of content back to each viewer and device.

Our platform’s 1 to 1 session management capability solves multiple challenges faced by content providers today.

Having the insights to deliver value to your viewers

You need insights into how and what your viewers are watching online otherwise you’re flying blind and applying a one-size-fits all, ineffective approach to every viewer. You need straightforward analytics and reporting to help you decide what content and ads will appeal to your viewers.

Customizing and personalizing experiences for every viewer

Viewers will no longer put up with impersonal online experiences. You need a way to build individual viewer personas that capture viewing history, account profile details and other valuable data. You need to offer a more engaging, personalized experience for every viewer.

Optimizing your online revenue streams

Using the traditional TV advertising rule book just doesn’t work in OTT. In order to attract the highest-bidding advertisers, you need to know who your audience is and how to reach them. You need to be able to match the right viewers with the right ad and ensure that ads are presented in TV-like quality.

Feature highlights

Session manager

Pressing play triggers the session manager to create the manifest that chooses the optimal video quality adaptive bitrate (ABR) stream from our platform. Decisions about quality can be made at the individual stream level, at the CDN edge node, or even at the CDN level when a multi-CDN approach is employed.

Worldwide network reach and scale

Deliver flawless video streams and enjoy unlimited reach with our reliable, lightning-fast content delivery network, Edgecast Content Delivery Network, which is integrated into our end-to-end platform, featuring expanded international PoPs (points of presence) in Latin America and India.

Server-side ad insertion technology

Provides a better viewer experience with fully dynamic, targeted ads during live and on-demand streaming. Since server-side ad insertion technology stitches the ad into the stream rather than a third-party ad server, it effectively avoids ad blockers.

Personalized programming

Observes and learns viewers’ habits and preferences so that you can create a highly personalized online channel by selecting multiple video program titles and stitching them into playback URL for every individual viewer.

In-depth analytics

Combine and aggregate viewing statistics across all viewers to create insights on content popularity (time of day, content duration, genre), regional preferences, device popularity and more.

Exporting session logs

Discover more about your viewers on an individual level. Open APIs allow data from our platform to be combined with your CRM (customer relationship management), billing and account information.

Regional blackouts

Enforces content rights based on program availability. The blackout manager communicates with the manifest to replace content that is restricted in certain markets.

Authorized protection

Protects your content from unauthorized viewing by matching each viewer’s session to a unique authentication key.

Content Management System (CMS)

Enforces content rights based on program availability. The blackout manager communicates with the manifest to replace content that is restricted in certain markets.

Players and SDKs

We offer lightweight players and client libraries that can be quickly added to your apps and websites. Once integrated, they handle all of the complex communication between our session manager and your viewers.


Made up of a directory of video chunks, the manifest is also known as the playlist. It works in conjunction with the video blackout manager to customize each viewer’s session based on content availability and network quality. The manifest also works with the Ad Decision System (ADS) and our server-side ad insertion technology to decide when and how to request and deliver an ad.


The Slicer is our platform’s encoder that ingests and conditions videos and ads for seamless online delivery.

Learn more about Smartplay by Verizon.

Learn more about smarter delivery.

Learn more about smarter advertising.

In the news

Jason Friedlander of Verizon Digital Media Services discusses how Smartplay delivers smarter, personalized experiences to every viewer.

Learn more about 1 to 1 session management.

More from
Verizon Digital Media Services

Feature benefits

Deliver personalized content

Personalize content and ad experiences according to individual preferences and viewing habits. Personalized experiences mean more viewing and more loyal customers.

Drive higher revenue

Smartplay, combined with our server-side ad insertion technology, delivers a true TV-like experience. No more rebuffering, quality shifts and interruptions between content and ads. Better experiences with high-quality, relevant ads result in higher ad completion rates. A highly engaged audience means you can attract more advertisers and higher CPMs.

Optimize delivery for higher quality of experience

Dynamically adjust delivery across disparate formats and multiple, unpredictable networks to ensure quality of delivery to every connected device, everywhere.

Protect your premium content

Defends your content from unauthorized viewing as each viewer’s session is matched to a unique authentication key required for playback.

Smartplay, our 1 to 1 session management, gives broadcasters and content publishers real-time control of viewer experiences regardless of scale.

  • TV-quality programming reaches your subscribers, no matter which connected device they love to watch on.
  • With Smartplay, our end-to-end platform knows when to replace content to ensure the viewer never sees a blank screen or slate.
  • Our Smartplay insights feeds into our server-side ad insertion technology to serve only the best-matched ads and to maximize commercial break placements by attracting the highest-paying advertisers.