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 profiles 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

Smarter delivery

Verizon Digital Media Services’ end-to-end platform, integrated with Smartplay, is purpose-built to deliver TV-like quality, individualized experiences to millions of simultaneous viewers on every screen. Our platform is powered by our next-generation Edgecast Content Delivery Network (CDN), featuring world-class routing algorithms that ensure powerful, reliable, lightning-fast performance for all your content needs. And with Smartplay, you have a real-time connection to each one of your viewers, individually. Their feedback allows our platform to make adjustments and further optimize their viewing experience.

Learn more about smarter delivery.

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Uplynk help center

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Learn more about Smartplay by Verizon.

Smartplay overview
Smartplay overview
Smartplay white paper
Smartplay white paper
OTT considerations for the future white paper
OTT considerations for the future white paper

In the news

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

nScreen interview
nScreen interview
Digital Vdeo article
Digital Vdeo article
InBroadcast article
InBroadcast article

Smarter advertising

Smartplay provides a real-time, one-to-one connection to your viewer’s device, enabling you to optimize monetization opportunities. Smartplay’s server-side ad insertion technology and industry-standard ad-decisioning system are used to deliver personalized ad experiences across live, linear and on-demand programming. By enforcing advertising business rules according to your monetization strategy, Smartplay enables smarter advertising to help you get the most value out of your online content.

Learn more about smarter advertising.

Smarter insights

Today’s advanced OTT services are powered by a complex architecture, featuring systems that generate a great deal of data. Some of this data is operational and critical, while others are business related. Only Verizon Digital Media Services’ end-to-end platform provides you with a one-stop solution that collects this data and gathers all the necessary insights you’ll need to make smarter decisions.

Learn more about smarter insights.

Smarter programming

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.

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.

Smarter discovery


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.

Smarter protection

Authorized protection

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

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.