Media

Collecting media data is critical for tracking user behavior when your customers consume video or audio content through Android and iOS mobile applications or on the web. mParticle provides a toolset for integrating media analytics into your customer experience.

The mParticle Media SDK provides a dedicated API for tracking common media events including session start/end, play, pause, and other milestones, as well as logging recurring advertising impressions and chapters for segmented content.

The mParticle Media SDK works hand in hand with the mParticle platform. Data logged from the Media SDK is forwarded to the Apple SDK and then forwarded to any included integrations.

The mParticle Media SDK is compatible with Adobe Analytics for Media, supporting the full range of media-related events including heartbeat events. This simplifies an otherwise complicated and error-prone process of setting up media session event tracking and Adobe Heartbeat yourself.

Getting Started

Add the SDK

Before you can begin using the Media SDK, you need to have a working instance of the mParticle core SDK. Please see the core SDK getting started section for more details.

CocoaPods

To integrate the SDK using CocoaPods, specify it in your Podfile:

use_frameworks!

target '<Your Target>' do
    pod 'mParticle-Apple-SDK', '~> 7.12.0'
    pod 'mParticle-Apple-Media-SDK', '~> 1.0-beta.1'
end

Carthage

To integrate the SDK using Carthage, specify it in your Cartfile:

github "mparticle/mparticle-apple-sdk" ~> 7.12
github "mparticle/mparticle-apple-media-sdk" ~> 1.0

Creating an instance of a Media Session

The Apple iOS Media SDK provides a MPMediaSession object. Each MPMediaSession object represents a single end to end media experience and relates one-to-one to a piece of content. For example, if a customer is watching a video, pausing, seeking and scrubbing, that is considered a single session. If they stop the video, and play another piece of content, that is a new session.

let mediaSession = MPMediaSession.init(
    coreSDK:  MParticle.sharedInstance(), // mParticle SDK Instance
    mediaContentId: '1234567',            // Custom media ID
    title: 'Funny internet cat video',    // Custom media Title
    duration: 120000,                     // Duration in milliseconds
    contentType: .video,                  // Content Type (Video or Audio)
    streamType: .onDemand                 // Stream Type (OnDemand, Live, etc.)
)

You can access the source code and contribute to the mParticle Media SDK Github repo here.

Logging media events

Once your session is instantiated, you will need to trigger a SessionStart. This should be done at the moment the user interacts with your content. For example, if the media is set to trigger on a user click, and your player fires a play event when the content starts, the session must begin before the play event.

  1. Start a session
mediaSession.logMediaSessionStart()
  1. Log a play event
mediaSession.logPlay()
  1. (optional) Fire other events for user interaction, i.e. pause
mediaSession.logPause()
  1. End the Media Content once the content is complete
mediaSession.logMediaContentEnd()
  1. End the Media Session once the user interaction is over (such as after a post-roll or if the app is terminated)
mediaSession.logMediaSessionEnd()

Logging Advertising

In most cases, advertising comes in as a series of Ad Breaks each containing numerous Ads. The Media SDK provides both sets of functionality so that you can track this behavior.

  1. Fire an AdBreakStart event
let adBreak = MPMediaAdBreak.init(title: "pre-roll", id: "123456")
adBreak.duration = 6000
mediaSession.logAdBreakStart(adBreak)
  1. Trigger an AdStart event
let adContent = MPMediaAdContent.init(title: "What?! Nobody rips off my kids but me!", id: "4423210")
adContent.advertiser = "Mom's Friendly Robot Company"
adContent.campaign = "MomCorp Galactic Domination Plot 3201"
adContent.duration = 60000
adContent.creative = "A Fishful of Dollars"
adContent.siteId = "moms"
adContent.placement = 0
mediaSession.logAdStart(adContent: adContent)
let adBreak = MPMediaAd.init(title: "pre-roll", id: "123456")
mediaSession.logAdBreakStart(adBreak)
  1. Fire AdEnd or AdSkip when appropriate
mediaSession.logAdEnd()
  1. Trigger an AdBreakEnd event when all ads have completed
mediaSession.logAdBreakEnd()

Generating Custom Events

The Media SDK will generate “Media” events for client-side kits such as Adobe Media Analytics, however these events can be converted to look just like a typical mParticle custom event that may be used to create audiences, used in calculated attributes, and sent to most mParticle integrations for analysis and activation.

To enable Custom event generation, pass a boolean to the initialization of your MediaSession to enable the Log Page Event feature:

let mediaSession = MPMediaSession.init(
    coreSDK:  MParticle.sharedInstance(), // mParticle SDK Instance
    mediaContentId: '1234567',            // Custom media ID
    title: 'Funny internet cat video',    // Custom media Title
    duration: 120000,                     // Duration in milliseconds
    contentType: .video,                  // Content Type (Video or Audio)
    streamType: .onDemand,                // Stream Type (OnDemand, Live, etc.)
    logMPEvents: true,                    // Whether to log mParticle custom events for audiences and non-media kits
    logMediaEvents: true                  // Whether to log media events for media-enabled kits
)

Custom Event Schema

The Media SDK will generate Custom events per the specification below.

Event Names

The Media SDK exposes methods that will trigger Media Events based on the most common player functions. The Media SDK maps every MediaSession API to a predefined Custom event name. The table below details all of the predefineed Media Events:

Media Session API Custom Event Name
mediaSession.logPlay() ‘Play’
mediaSession.logPause() ‘Pause’
mediaSession.logMediaContentEnd:() ‘Media Content End’
mediaSession.logMediaSessionStart() ‘Media Session Start’
mediaSession.logMediaSessionEnd() ‘Media Session End’
mediaSession.logSeekStart() ‘Seek Start’
mediaSession.logSeekEnd() ‘Seek End’
mediaSession.logBufferStart() ‘Buffer Start’
mediaSession.logBufferEnd() ‘Buffer End’
mediaSession.logPlayheadPosition() ‘Update Playhead Position’
mediaSession.logAdClick() ‘Ad Click’
mediaSession.logAdBreakStart() ‘Ad Break Start’
mediaSession.logAdBreakEnd() ‘Ad Break End’
mediaSession.logAdStart() ‘Ad Start’
mediaSession.logAdEnd() ‘Ad End’
mediaSession.logAdSkip() ‘Ad Skip’
mediaSession.logSegmentStart() ‘Segment Start’
mediaSession.logSegmentEnd() ‘Segment End’
mediaSession.logSegmentSkip() ‘Segment Skip’
mediaSession.logUpdateQoS() ‘Update QoS’

Event Attributes

The media attributes below are a list of all available for capturing valuable information with every media event listed above. The customer will choose which attributes will be logged for each event to best describe the session characteristics for that event at that time. Should you require attributes not listed below, you may add your own media attributes.

Note: Depending on your player, you will need to either enable the callback method to receive updates for playhead position and quality of service (QoS) or set up a job to frequently poll for the current values.

Event Attribute Description
media_session_id Unique identifier assigned when media event starts (it is recommended that this be included with every event log)
media_session_start_time Timestamp for media session initiation
media_session_end_time Timestamp for media session completed, ended, or quit
media_session_ad_objects Array of all ad_content_ids consumed
media_session_custom_attribute Custom media session attribute
stream_type Encoded audio and video streams are assembled in a container “bitstream” such as MP4, FLV, WebM, ASF or ISMA stream types
stream_format The video stream is compressed using a video coding format to make the file size smaller. Video coding formats include H.264, HEVC, VP8 or VP9
content_type Content type name
content_id Unique content identifier
content_duration Content duration
content_title Content title
content_asset_id Content asset id
content_season A “season” is a reference to a set of episodes of a show within a specific period of time
content_episode An “episode” is a coherent narrative unit within a larger dramatic work, such as a radio, television, audio or video streaming series
content_daypart A “daypart” is the time division in a typical broadcast day by different media like Radio and Television. Different part of the days can be Morning shows, afternoon siesta, evening songs or prime time slot. Dayparts can be standard or customized.
content_originator Content source name
content_network A “network” includes broadcast and cable television networks, television distribution and production, domestic television stations, radio networks and stations, and audio and video streaming services.
content_mvpd A “multichannel video programming distributor” (MVPD) include cable operators, multichannel multipoint distribution services, direct broadcast satellite services, or television receive-only satellite program distributors.
content_feed Name of content feed
content_show Name of show
content_show_type Show type
content_genre A “genre” is a category of artistic composition, as in videos, music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.
content_rating A content rating (also known as maturity rating)rates the suitability of TV broadcasts, movies, comic books, or video games to its audience.
content_authorized Content rights, release, or licence reference
content_first_air_date Date of initial broadcast
content_digital_date Date of initial digital distribution
playhead_position The current playhead position at the moment the event occured
milestone A “milestone” is a customer defined percentage of content consumed typically reported at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 95%. Customers may capture milestones at any percentage points they are most interested in tracking
buffer_duration Duration of content buffering
buffer_percent Percentage of content buffering
buffer_position Playhead positioin when buffering
seek_position Playhead position when seek began or ended
segment_title Segment title
segment_index Segment index
segment_duration Segment duration
ad_break_id Unique identifier for the ad break. Ad breaks may have one or more pieces of ad content
ad_break_title Ad break title
ad_break_duration Ad break duration
ad_content_id Unique identitifer for a specific piece of ad content
ad_content_title Ad content title
ad_content_duration Ad content duration
ad_content_advertiser Name of advertiser
ad_content_campaign Name of campaign
ad_content_creative Name of creative
ad_content_placement Description of placement
ad_content_site_id Identifier of ad content site
ad_custom_attribute User defined attribute
player_name Then name of the player used
player_ovp Online Video Platform name
player_initial_resolution The default resolution of the content
qos_bitrate Quality of service (QoS) bitrate
qos_fps Quality of service (QoS) frames per second
qos_startup_time Quality of service (QoS) time from content play event to first frame
qos_dropped_frames Quality of service (QoS) dropped frames
other_attribute Replace “other_attribute” with any attribute name you wish to capture. The system will create an object with that name and store the value provided.

Example Event

{
    "event_type": "custom_event",
    "data": {
        "custom_event_type": "media",
        "event_name": "Play",
        "custom_flags": {},
        "timestamp_unixtime_ms": "1573828863888",
        "event_id": "-109840007014118971",
        "source_message_id": null,
        "session_id": "-8572887793551346848",
        "session_uuid": "29959B6B-9C3B-486F-9807-B5534EA1B16A",
        "session_start_unixtime_ms": "1573828757702",
        "event_start_unixtime_ms": "1573828863888",
        "custom_attributes": {
            "content_title": "My sweet sweet media",
            "content_duration": "120000",
            "content_id": "1234567",
            "content_type": "Video",
            "stream_type": "OnDemand",
            "media_session_id": "96a023b8-b0c7-47b7-b687-09f73b9dfac3",
            "playhead_position": "00:00:00:00"
        }
    }
}

Using the Event Listener

In cases where you may need to handle some custom functionality when a media event occurs, the Media SDK provides a mediaEventListener which will provide a callback.

For example, if you need to trigger a custom function when Play or Pause occurs:

mediaSession.mediaEventListener = { (event: MPMediaEvent) -> Void in
    // Some custom callback method defined by user
    // Should only trigger when play or pause is fired
    if event.mediaEventName == .play ||
       event.mediaEventName == .pause {
        // Get the Media Event as an mParticle Custom Event
        let mpEvent = event.toMPEvent();

        // Pass to your own custom function
        myCustomFunction(mpEvent);
    }
}

API Reference

Visit the complete API Reference for a deep dive into the Media SDK

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