Integrating Programmatic Advertising into Your Live Stream

Programmatic Advertising into Live Stream

Unlock the monetization potential of live streaming in our guide to programmatic advertising. Explore the benefits it provides to live stream creators, steps for integrating it into your content plan, and strategies for maximizing revenue and engagement.

In this Article:

What is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising is an automated system that serves different ads to internet users according to what they are more likely to respond to. It allows advertisers to increase conversion rates by targeting their audience’s content preferences, search history, and other factors – all in the time it takes for a webpage to load.

How programmatic advertising works

To start a programmatic advertising campaign, an advertiser must access a demand-side platform (DSP), while digital publishers (i.e., live streamers) must access a supply-side platform (SSP). These platforms use ad exchanges to buy and sell the ad space that publishers offer to advertisers.

Programmatic advertising types

There are four ways to buy and sell ad space in programmatic advertising. They are: 

  • Real-time Bidding: A free-for-all auction in which advertisers bid for ad inventory in real-time (while a live stream is loading) and the highest bid amount wins. The bid is typically set at the advertiser’s preferred CPM (CPM; “mille” refers to one thousand ad impressions).
  • Private Marketplace: A marketplace where publishers can control how many advertisers they want to bid on their ad space.
  • Preferred Deals: Premium ad spaces offered to only a few advertisers at a fixed price. Advertisers have a chance to preview the inventory before they decide to buy it. 
  • Programmatic Guaranteed: The publisher then agrees to sell a fixed number of impressions to the buyer for a fixed price. Buyers can preview placements and choose which ones they want to buy.

The Role of Programmatic Advertising in Live Streaming

Programmatic advertising plays two primary roles in live streaming: enhancing viewer engagement and monetizing your content.

Enhancing viewer engagement

Viewers who are enjoying your live stream will see programmatic ads that are targeted directly to their tastes. This adds a layer of consumer value which will enhance their engagement with your content.

Programmatic Advertising Benefits for Live Streamers

Let’s explore the four main benefits of programmatic advertising for live streamers.

Increased Revenue

As we mentioned above, programmatic advertising is a viable monetization strategy that you can use to profit from content creation. You can use it alongside subscriptions, donations, and sponsorships for a diversified revenue approach.

Audience Targeting

The audience targeting aspect of programmatic advertising means that your viewers will see ads that appeal to their preferences. This will help you maintain engagement during your ad breaks.

Efficiency and Automation

Programmatic advertising uses automation tools like Zapier to increase efficiency and ad campaign effectiveness, with minimal input from the live stream creator.

Real-Time Insights

The real-time speed of programmatic advertising also means real-time insights, which you can leverage to adapt your ad inventory strategy and maximize your revenue.

How to Choose the Right Programmatic Advertising Partner

In the world of ad monetization, publishers often face challenges, such as complexity of adtech, fluctuating ad revenues, and lack of optimization technology. Since live streaming involves real-time content delivery, the chosen partner must be adept at handling the unique challenges and opportunities this format presents. 

Understand your audience and its needs

Choose a partner with advanced audience targeting capabilities that leverage viewer data to deliver personalized ads, enhancing viewer engagement and ad effectiveness.

Ensure the partner’s platform can execute real-time bidding with minimal delay to seamlessly integrate ads into live streams without disrupting the viewer experience.

Also, look for partners capable of dynamic ad insertion (DAI) that allows for real-time ad placement into live streaming content, making ads relevant and timely.

Integrating Programmatic Advertising into Your Live Stream

Now let’s discuss how to integrate programmatic advertising into your live stream.

Preparing your live stream for programmatic ads

To prepare your live stream for programmatic ads, focus on technical requirements and creating ad-friendly content.

Technical requirements and setup

To help prevent ads from stuttering and causing delays, your live stream should have the best quality available on your internet connection. Optimize your live stream by adjusting the bitrate, optimizing your encoder settings and storage space, and choosing great equipment. 

How to create ad-friendly content

Make your live stream ad friendly by choosing what time mid-roll ads will run throughout your stream and by staging your video in a way that display ads won’t cover up important content.

Choosing the right programmatic ad formats

Speaking of display ads, this is one of the programmatic ad formats you need to know about. The ones you use long-term will depend on which ones your viewers respond to best.

Display ads vs Video ads

Display ads appear beside or on top of live stream content. Video ads play before or during your live stream (these are called pre-roll and mid-roll ads, respectively).

Innovative ad formats for live streaming

Some innovative ad formats that you can try for live streaming include: 

  • Shoppable ads
  • Dynamic overlays
  • Click-to-contact
  • Click to microsite
  • Skippable ads

Optimizing ad placement

Over time, you can optimize your ad placement by tracking which spaces accrue the most clicks and impressions. This is essential to integrating programmatic advertising in a beneficial way.

How to Maximize Revenue and Engagement

The key to profiting from programmatic advertising is knowing how to maximize your revenue and engagement.

Strategies for increasing ad revenue

Here are some strategies for increasing ad revenue. 

  • Work on increasing your organic viewership. This will increase ad impressions as well as make your ad space more desirable.
  • Choose a content niche with a high number of advertisers looking for ad inventory.
  • Don’t limit yourself to one SSP or marketplace. Diversify.

How to measure the performance

Measure programmatic advertising’s performance on your channel by checking how much of your revenue is coming from that monetization method.

Exploring Cross-Platform Opportunities

You can also increase revenue from programmatic advertising by exploring cross-platform opportunities.

Integrating with Social Media

Use social media to promote or even host your live streams. 

Multi-Platform Advertising Strategies

Try these strategies to ensure multi-platform advertising success.

  • Keep your branding and messaging consistent, regardless of where you’re posting or what you’re promoting. 
  • Choose platforms that your viewership is likely to use. 
  • Less is more. Rather than spreading yourself thin, choose just two or three platforms to advertise on.


Programmatic advertising is a legitimate strategy for live stream creators to increase their revenue alongside more traditional streams like donations and subscriptions. Use it to yield profit while simultaneously enhancing your relationship with your viewers.


1- What is programmatic advertising and how does it work?

Programmatic advertising is an automated method of buying and selling digital ads based on factors such as audience targeting criteria. Advertisers bid on ad space on websites, live streams, and other digital content, but whether or not their ads are served is also dependent on whether a user meets their audience targeting criteria.

2- How can I integrate programmatic advertising into my live stream without disrupting the viewer experience?

Plan your content around ad breaks in your live stream, so that your viewers won’t miss out on any content. You can also run skippable ads, as well as display ads which appear next to your live stream rather than on top of it.

3- What are the best practices for choosing ad formats and placements?

Experiment with different ad formats and placements and track key metrics like clicks and impressions to see which ones your viewers respond to the best. The latter are the ones you should use long-term.

4- How can I measure the success of my programmatic ads?

Measure the success of your programmatic ads by tracking changes to your viewership, engagement, and revenue. Increases in all these metrics indicate success.

5- What are the common challenges in integrating programmatic advertising and how can I overcome them?

Common challenges include finding the best ad formats and ad placements, as well as finding advertisers to bid on your ad space. Experimentation will help you discover the former, whereas choosing a high-demand advertising niche and expanding to multiple SSPs will help you find willing advertisers.

OneStream Live is a cloud-based live streaming solution to create, schedule, and multistream professional-looking live streams across 45+ social media platforms and the web simultaneously. For content-related queries and feedback, write to us at [email protected]. You’re also welcome to Write for Us!

Picture of Alise Zaiceva
Alise Zaiceva
Alise is a content marketing manager at Setupad. Having worked in the adtech industry for more than three years, Alise has developed a strong attention to detail and research, as well as a passion for technology. Her work with content is aimed at helping publishers scale their businesses through powerful digital marketing strategies. Alise believes in the supremacy of holistic website optimization for incremental revenue gains.


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