AdMaster Knowledge base: Your Resource Hub 

AdMaster's operation is quite simple for you. You manage your traffic conveniently through your web browser. When you upload your spots and set your desired schedule, our system securely uploads them on our cloud server. From there, our powerful scheduling algorithm takes over, creating optimized schedules that consider various parameters to ensure a balanced listening/viewing experience. A lightweight desktop app installed on your broadcast PC periodically downloads the spots and traffic playlists from our server, where the main playout software takes them over (to either merge them with the main playlist, or execute them as events). The video illustration of the process is available on our Video Tutorials page

The Video Tutorial that demonstrates the procedure on creating a free AdMaster Cloud account is available on our Video Tutorials page.

Begin your free 60-day trial by providing your basic information and checking your email for account activation instructions. After activation, log in to the system and follow our Getting Started guide, which should take approximately 2 to 10 minutes, or longer for more complex commercial break setups. Don't worry; you can always adjust these settings later.

Here's what you'll do during the account creation process:

1) General Settings: Start by customizing your general settings, such as language, theme, font size, date and time format, and more.
2) Add Stations: Next, add one or more stations to your account. Simply provide the station name, select the station's time zone, and choose the traffic playlist format for AdMaster to create. Each station can have its unique playlist format (if you're using different playout software). By default, your stations will have two commercial breaks per hour, every day, with no duration limitations, intro/outro jingles, or top-ups. You can modify these settings later by following the 'Commercial Break Settings' link.
3) Share Access: In Step 3, invite other users to share access to your account by sending them invitations. Once they create their accounts, you can assign their roles and specify their permissions. For instance, you can grant access to specific stations or restrict certain features like invoicing.
4) Desktop Client Installation: Lastly, in Step 4, download the desktop client installation file. This app will automatically download traffic playlists and spots, preparing them for your primary playout system. Learn more in the next section.

AdMaster's desktop client app is your bridge between the cloud-based platform and your broadcast PC. This lightweight application ensures seamless integration with your playout software, by downloading the spots and traffic playlists, and making them ready to be used by the playout software. Here's how to get started:

Step 1: Download the Desktop Client App

After creating your AdMaster account and completing the initial setup, you'll be prompted to download the desktop client installation file. This file is essential for the smooth flow of traffic playlists and spots to your main playout software.

Step 2: Installation

Once the download is complete, run the installation file to set up the desktop client app on your broadcast PC, or any other PC computer in the same local network, and the access to broadcast PC's folders. It's a straightforward process that typically takes less than a minute.

Step 3: Configuration

Upon successful installation, open the desktop client app. You'll need to configure it to match your specific broadcast setup. This includes logging in with your AdMaster Cloud account credentials, selecting a station (if you're managing more of them), specifying the folders where traffic playlists and spots will be stored, pointing the app to your playout software's broadcast log, and providing the information about the file names of your broadcast log files. 

Step 4: Automatic Download

The desktop client app is designed to automatically download traffic playlists and spots from our cloud server. The process is fully automated, and you do not need to do anything to initiate the download. On the first run, the download process typically takes only a few minutes (depending on your internet connection). 

Step 5: Adding the commercial breaks to your schedule

With the desktop client app in place, you can now start adding the commercial breaks to your schedule. This is the area where the support of your playout software is in charge. If you're not familiar with the traffic import procedures, it's crucial to consult your playout/scheduling software documentation or reach out to their support team for guidance.

More or less all playout platforms will process the externally created commercial breaks by:

a) Merging the third-party logs with the main program playlist (your playout software looks for the traffic log files in the AdMaster's folder, reads the information from them, and creates the main program playlist with the inserted commercial breaks);
b) Executing the commercial breaks as events (the command to execute the external playlist is added to the playlist; when the time comes for the commercial break to be executed, your playout processes the command, reads the content, plays all the files from the commercial break playlist, and then goes back to the main playlist). 

If you will be using method A, you'll need to re-import the traffic logs each time anything is changed in AdMaster, otherwise your changes will not be effective. 

If you select method B, the campaign changes made in AdMaster would be effective immediately (except for the current hour playlist: some playout systems may not support automatic playlist reloading, so we're playing safe), but you won't need to re-import anything in your playout. This is a great upgrade to everyday work, as the persons managing traffic can work from anywhere, and do not need to ask for the main playlist to be reloaded at the station.

Even though we suggest using the method B whenever possible, please note that most playouts that support this kind of traffic import will not show you the content of the commercial break in the main program playlist, before the commercial break starts. However, Method B offers the advantage of immediate effectiveness for campaign changes made in AdMaster, reducing the need for manual playlist reloading and allowing traffic management from anywhere.

Please note that your playout software may only offer one way of processing the third-party traffic logs, so you won't have the choice as described above. 

In campaign scheduling, it is essential to understand that 2 + 2 always equals 4. 

This means there are rules you must follow to create a smooth schedule.

1) Always Mind the Basic Math

Here's an example: Imagine you have a break that's originally 1 minute and 40 seconds long, but you want it to be topped up to 2 minutes.
For AdMaster, this is a routine task. But, to make this work, you need to have either one top-up file that's 20 seconds long, or two top-up files, each lasting 10 seconds. Any other combination of durations (15 + 5 seconds, 13 + 7 seconds, etc.), will also work.

But, if all of your top up files are 30 seconds each, as the result, you'll get a 1:40 break and a warning message.

2) Don't Expect Impossible Calculations

In an example, you may run two breaks per hour, and your campaign needs to play five times over two hours.
With such settings, AdMaster will need to repeat a spot twice within one of the breaks. It's like fitting five things into two boxes – it can't be done without some repetition.

Campaign segments give you a lot of control over your ad schedules. They can overlap, run together, and play ads at different times. It's a flexible way to make sure your ads play exactly when you want them to.

1) Unlimited Segment creation

You can make as many segments as you need within one campaign. Each segment can have its own special settings, like when it starts and stops, how often ads play, and which ads get used. Even though each segment can be different, they all work together as part of the same ad campaign.

2) Overlapping Segments

Segments can overlap, which means they can share some of the same time. For example, Segment 1 might go from Monday to Sunday and play ads five times each day. At the same time, Segment 2 could start on Thursday and run until the next Wednesday, playing seven ads daily. This means there will be a total of 12 ads played each day from Wednesday to Sunday.

3) Running Segments at the same time

You can also make segments run at the same time. For instance, Segment 1 can run from Monday to Sunday with five ad plays every day. Meanwhile, Segment 2 can also run from Monday to Sunday but only have three ad plays each day. So, during this time, there will be eight ad plays daily.

4) No Exclusions

The segments don't cancel each other out. For example, if Segment 1 plays an ad at 9 AM from Monday to Sunday, and Segment 2 also plays an ad at 9 AM from Wednesday to the next Tuesday, the ad will play twice at 9 AM from Wednesday to Sunday. 

5) Templates for Complex Schedules

You can save a segment as a template if you have a complicated ad schedule. This can be useful when you have a lot of ads to manage. But for simple schedules, it's easy to create new segments without using templates.

In a variable schedule, you set the daypart (a range of hours during the day) and the number of spot plays you want for this daypart. This part is in your control. Then, the AdMaster algorithm takes over. It selects different combinations of hours each day within your specified daypart, so that your final traffic schedule is never the same from day to day. Your audience will never be able to guess when the next commercial will play.

Maximizing Your Station's Advertising Potential

The variable schedule is a game-changer for your station's advertising potential. With variable scheduling, campaigns can run with a lower number of daily repeats, making some free room for a larger number of clients. Your advertisers get more bang for their buck, and your audience stays engaged because they can't predict when the commercials will air. It's a win-win for everyone.

Spots are Distributed Evenly

In AdMaster's variable scheduling, one key principle is the even distribution of spot plays within the specified daypart. This means that if you set, for instance, 2 spot plays to run between 7 AM and 7 PM, our algorithm will ensure that these two spots are spread out evenly across this timeframe. So the first spot play will be scheduled in an hour between 7AM and 1PM, while the second play will be scheduled in an hour between 1PM and 7PM. This even distribution ensures that your advertising content gets exposure throughout the chosen daypart, optimizing your reach and maximizing the impact of your campaigns.

Variable Hours Selection

In AdMaster's variable scheduling, the hours during which your spot plays are scheduled vary from day to day. This dynamic approach ensures that your traffic schedule remains fresh and unpredictable, enhancing your advertising impact and keeping your audience engaged.

Example: Suppose you want 5 spot plays each day between 6AM and 9PM.
The Result: Monday schedule: 06, 09, 2PM, 5PM, 8PM; Tuesday schedule: 07, 10, 1PM, 3PM, 7PM; Wednesday schedule: 06, 11, 3PM, 6PM, 8PM, etc.

Variable Breaks Selection

In addition to the variable selection of hours, the chosen breaks within the hour will also be dynamically selected, enhancing the unpredictability of your traffic schedule. This means that not only will your spots play at varying times throughout the day, but they will also be distributed unpredictably across different breaks within each hour. It's important to note that variable breaks selection is entirely customizable. Users have the option to specify break selection rules according to their preferences. For example, you can set campaign segments so that the spots within them are scheduled to specific breaks only. This level of control allows you to tailor your scheduling strategy precisely to your station's needs.

The Video Tutorial that demonstrates creating a simple campaign with three spots is available on our Video Tutorials page.

Example 1: A simple campaign with one spot in 30 days

Client requirements:

  • 2 plays between 7AM and 9AM
  • 2 plays between 9AM and 2PM
  • 2 plays between 2PM and 6PM
  • 2 plays between 6PM and 9PM

How to schedule:

  • Use Variable scheduling
  • Create 4 campaign segments, each one with the requested daypart selection and number of plays

Example 2: The same as above, but with the spot replacement to arrive at the half-point of campaign

How to schedule:

  • Use Variable scheduling
  • Option A: Create the same schedule as above, wait for the spot replacement to arrive, and replace the spot when the time comes.
  • Option B (if you already have both spots): Create 4 segments that run for 15 days with spot A, and 4 more segments that run for the next 15 days with spot B.

Example 3: The same campaign with two (or more) rotating spots

How to schedule:

  • Use Variable scheduling
  • Add all the spots to all campaign segments
  • When creating the campaign segments, choose the way the spots will be rotated (random selection / in a sequence (A-B-A-B,...) / set the percentage)

Example 4: The campaign with rotating spots and client's requirements how to rotate them

Client requirements:

  • 2 plays of Spot A between 7AM and 9AM
  • 2 plays of Spot B between 9AM and 2PM
  • 2 plays of either spot between 2PM and 6PM
  • 2 plays of spot B between 6PM and 9PM

How to schedule:

  • Use Variable scheduling
  • Create the separate campaign segments according to the client's requirements:
  • Segment 1: 2 plays of Spot A between 7AM and 9AM
  • Segment 2: 2 plays of Spot B between 9AM and 2PM
  • Segment 3: 2 plays of both spots between 2PM and 6PM (if the client has specified how to rotate the spots, make the selection accordingly)
  • Segment 4: 2 plays of spot B between 6PM and 9PM

Example 5: The campaign with two spots, one from Monday to Friday, and another one on Saturdays and Sundays

Client requirements:

  • 8 plays of Spot A between 7AM and 9PM from Monday to Friday 
  • 8 plays of Spot B between 7AM and 9PM on Saturdays and Sundays 

How to schedule:

  • Use Variable scheduling
  • Create the separate campaign segments according to the client's requirements:
  • Segment 1: 8 plays of Spot A between 7 AM and 9PM from Monday to Friday
  • Segment 2: 8 plays of Spot B between 7AM and 9PM on Saturtays and Sundays
  • Add more segments in case of dayparting requirements.

In AdMaster's dynamic scheduling environment, every campaign schedule is a piece of a larger puzzle, influencing the placement of spots not only within itself but also across all other campaigns. 

Important rules to remember:

1) Be very selective with Schedule restrictions
Only apply schedule restrictions (especially break selection and positioning inside the break) for strong reasons, preferably when there's an additional charge associated with them. 
2) Choose Variable scheduling whenever possibleIt introduces unpredictability into your schedule, and it offers much more scheduling possibilities to the scheduling algorithm. This means that instead of rigid patterns, your commercial slots are strategically placed throughout the day, keeping your audience engaged and unable to predict the next commercial. This unpredictability is a powerful tool in your advertising arsenal. 

Respecting User Settings

First and foremost, it's crucial to understand that the AdMaster algorithm will always respect your user settings. This means that any preferences you set, whether they involve specific break selections or other customized criteria, will be honored. AdMaster assumes that every user setting is purposeful and valuable, often reflecting additional cost charged to the customer. In a simple example, a spot scheduled to be played at 9AM will never be moved to 10AM on a no-questions-asked basis because all the slots at 9AM were occupied.

Examples of Chain Effects

Example 1: 
Let's say you have two automotive giants, Toyota and Ford, and their spots are scheduled to run within the same break during a specific hour.
Now, an IKEA spot has arrived to the schedule, but you don't specify a preferred break for it.
AdMaster's algorithm, striving for balance, aims to evenly distribute breaks durations throughout the hour.
To maintain an even break duration in the hour, the IKEA spot might be placed in the opposite break, despite being a perfect candidate to separate the two automotive spots.

Example 2: 
Imagine you have two commercial breaks within an hour. The first break is time-limited to 60 seconds, meaning it can only contain commercials that, when played together, don't exceed 60 seconds in total duration. However, the second break has no time limits applied.

Now, let's say you have a long-term and valued advertiser who sends you a commercial spot that's 61 seconds long. In this case, you might decide that arguing over a tiny extra second isn't worth it, and you accept the spot.

In this scenario, AdMaster's scheduling algorithm steps in to maintain a balance. Since the 61-second spot can only fit into the second break without violating time limits, it will always be scheduled there.

To ensure a duration balance and make the best use of available time in the first break, AdMaster will strategically move other spots that could otherwise be scheduled for any break into the first break. This redistribution of spots helps maintain the balance of commercial duration and keeps the schedule harmonious.

However, this does come with a trade-off. By moving spots to the first break to accommodate the longer spot in the second break, there are fewer available spots to separate commercials from the same businesses in the second break. This chain effect continues, impacting the overall scheduling strategy for your station. Therefore, every decision in scheduling can have a ripple effect on your entire advertising lineup.

Download the free 2024 Broadcast Calendar for your convenience, and stay organized with all your broadcasting schedules throughout the year
The download page is here.

Need help with scheduling your campaigns? Feel free to reach out! Just click the chat icon on the right to start a live conversation with our team, or drop us a message.