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. The mParticle Media SDK (Media SDK) is a toolset for integrating media analytics into your customer experience.

  • Provides a dedicated API for tracking common media events including session start, play, pause, milestones, and end, as well as logging recurring advertising impressions and chapters for segmented content.
  • Works hand in hand with the mParticle platform. Data logged from the Media SDK is forwarded to the Web SDK and then forwarded to any included integrations.
  • 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.

Get Started

Set up the appropriate client SDK, and then the Media SDK.

Set Up a Client SDK

To use the Media SDK, you need a working instance of an mParticle client SDK in a self-hosting environment. For more information, see the self-hosting documentation.

Set Up the Media SDK

  1. Install the relevant npm packages for your project. The following example uses our Adobe Client web integration. When adding Adobe as an output for JavaScript in the mParticle web app, there is a setting for Media Tracking Server. When you fill this out, mParticle will load the Heartbeat SDK and send media events to it.
// command line
npm i @mparticle/web-sdk @mparticle/web-media-sdk @mparticle/web-adobe-client-kit
  1. In your main JavaScript file, import the mParticle, MediaSession, and Adobe modules, and then add an mParticle configuration:
// Import each library
import mParticle from '@mparticle/web-sdk';
import MediaSession from '@mparticle/web-media-sdk';
import Adobe from '@mparticle/web-adobe-client-kit';

// Configure mParticle as needed for your project
const mParticleConfig = {
  // configuration items

// Register each kit to the configuration

// Initialize mParticle
mParticle.init('your-api-key', mParticleConfig);

Create an Instance of a Media Session

The Web Media SDK provides a MediaSession object. Each MediaSession object represents a single 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 a customer stops the video, and plays another piece of content, that is a new session.

When creating a new MediaSession object, the pageEventToggle and mediaEventToggle fields are optional. Both fields default to false if no value is provided.

  • If pageEventToggle is set as true, a PageEvent is logged when the session starts.
  • If mediaEventToggle is set as true, a Media event is logged when the session starts.
  • If both fields are set as true, both event types are logged.
const mediaSession = new MediaSession(
    mParticle,                    // mParticle SDK Instance
    '1234567',                    // Custom media ID
    'Funny Internet cat video',   // Custom media Title
    120000,                       // Duration in milliseconds
    'Video',                      // Content Type (Video or Audio)
    'OnDemand',                   // Stream Type (OnDemand, Live, etc.)
    true,                         // Log Page Event Toggle (true/false)
    true,                         // Log Media Event Toggle (true/false)
        "my_session_attribute": "My Session Attribute"
    } // (optional) Custom Session Attributes object used for each media event within the Media Session

Media Session Properties

Property Type Description
sdk object mParticle SDK Instance
mediaID string Custom Media ID
mediaTitle string Title of the Media Content
duration integer Length of time for the Media Content
contentType enum Type of content (Video or Audio)
streamType enum Type of Stream (OnDemand, Live, Linear, Podcast, Audiobook)
pageEventToggle boolean Optional. Defaults to false. If set to true, a PageEvent event is logged when the session starts
mediaEventToggle boolean Optional. Defaults to false. If set to true, a Media event is logged when the session starts

Now that you have an instance of a media session, you can process the session summary events: segment summary events, and ad events. Summary events are automated events that contain an accumulated record of what occured during a session, individual segments, and individual ads.

Session Summary Events

A Session Summary event tracks from when a MediaSession is initialized to when it’s de-initialized or when logMediaSessionEnd is called. The more accurate and detailed you are with logPlay, logPause, logAdStart, and other media events, the more accurate the summary data will be.

The following table explains the different parts of the Session Summary event.

Session Summary Keys Description
“media_session_id” A unique identifier automatically created for each session
“content_id” A unique identifier that can set by the user when initializing a session
“content_title” The title of the content. Can be set by the user when initializing a session
“media_session_start_time” Timestamp created on logMediaSessionStart event
“media_session_end_time” Timestamp of most recent valid event
“media_time_spent” Total seconds user spent on this session
“media_content_time_spent” The total seconds user spent playing content
“media_content_complete” True if logMediaContentEnd was called or if user progressed past percentage set in MediaSession.mediaContentCompleteLimit
“media_session_segment_total” The number of segments progressed into by the user
“media_total_ad_time_spent” The total seconds that ads played during this session
“media_ad_time_spent_rate” The parcentage of playback time that was ad content
“media_session_ad_total” The number of ads played in the media session
“media_session_ad_objects” An array of unique identifiers for ads played during this media session

Segment Summary Events

A Segment Summary event tracks from when logSegmentStart is called to when either logSegmentSkip or logSegmentEnd is called. Segments could be the chapters of an audiobook or scenes in a movie.

The following table explains the different parts of the Segment Summary event.

Segment Summary Keys Description
“media_session_id” A unique identifier automatically created for each session
“content_id” A unique identifier that can set by the user when initializing a session
“segment_title” The title of the segment
“segment_index” The index of the segment
“segment_start_time” Timestamp created on logSegmentStart event
“segment_end_time” Timestamp of most recent valid event in segment
“media_segment_time_spent” Total seconds user spent on this segment
“segment_completed” True if logSegmentEnd was called to end the segment
“segment_skipped” True if logSegmentSkip was called to end the segment

Ad Summary Events

An Ad Summary event tracks from when logAdStart is called to when either logAdSkip or logAdEnd is called.

The following table explains the different parts of the Ad Summary event.

Ad Summary Keys Description
“media_session_id” A unique identifier automatically created for each session
“ad_break_id” A unique identifier that can set by the user when initializing an ad break
“ad_content_id” A unique identifier that can set by the user when initializing an ad
“ad_content_title” The title of the ad
“ad_content_start_time” Timestamp created on logAdStart event
“ad_content_end_time” Timestamp of most recent valid event in segment
“ad_completed” True if logAdEnd was called to end the segment.
“ad_skipped” True if logAdSkip was called to end the segment.

Log 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
const options = {
    customAttributes: {
    currentPlayheadPosition: 0,
  1. Log a play event
const options = {
    customAttributes: {
        content_rating: 'epic',
        additional: {
            attribute: 'foo',
    currentPlayheadPosition: 0,
  1. (optional) Fire other events for user interaction, i.e. pause
const options = {
    customAttributes: {
        content_rating: 'epic',
        additional: {
            attribute: 'foo',
    currentPlayheadPosition: 32,
  1. End the Media Content once the content is complete
const options = {
    customAttributes: {
        content_rating: 'epic',
        additional: {
            attribute: 'foo',
    currentPlayheadPosition: 30000,
  1. End the Media Session once the user interaction is over (such as after a post-roll or if the app is terminated)
const options = {
    customAttributes: {
        content_rating: 'epic',
        additional: {
            attribute: 'foo',
    currentPlayheadPosition: 30000,

Log 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
  id: '123456',             // ad_break_id for Ad Break Start/End and Summary events
  title: 'pre-roll',        // ad_break_title
  duration: 6000            // ad_break_duration
  1. Trigger an AdStart event
  id: '4423210',                                        // ad_content_id for Ad Start/End and Summary events
  advertiser: "Mom's Friendly Robot Company",           // ad_content_advertiser
  title: 'What?! Nobody rips off my kids but me!',      // ad_content_title
  campaign: 'MomCorp Galactic Domination Plot 3201',    // ad_content_campaign
  duration: 60000,                                      // ad_content_duration
  creative: 'A Fishful of Dollars',                     // ad_content_creative
  siteid: 'moms',                                       // ad_content_site_id
  placement: 'first',                                   // ad_content_placement
  position: 0                                           // ad_content_position
  1. Fire AdEnd or AdSkip when appropriate
  1. Trigger an AdBreakEnd event when all ads have completed

Custom media session attributes

You can create custom media session attributes when initializing a new media session directly in the MediaSession() builder. These custom session attributes are helpful when you need to track data like the specific page a piece of content was viewed on.

Custom media session attributes are automatically propagated to all subsequent media events logged during the session in addition to the media session summary event. Since custom session attributes are propagated to any event (a media event, advertising event, or a custom events) that is logged during the session, you don’t need to set these attributes again when you trigger the start of a media session.

How are these unique from custom event attributes?

There are several differences between event-level custom attributes and custom media session attributes:

  • Custom media session attributes are propagated to all media events, ad events, or other custom events that are logged during the current media session.
  • If there are any conflicts or collisions between custom media session attributes and event-level attributes, the event-level attributes override the session attributes.
  • Custom session attributes are also propagated to segment summary events and ad summary events, while custom event-level attributes are not.
  • Custom event attributes in the Media SDK are not included in the media session summary event.

Custom media session attribute limitations

  • 100 key/value pairs per media session
  • Keys must be strings and cannot exceed 255 characters
  • Values may be strings, numbers, booleans, or dates, and cannot exceed 4096 characters


const mediaSession = new MediaSession(
    mParticle,                    // mParticle SDK Instance
    '1234567',                    // Custom media ID
    'Funny Internet cat video',   // Custom media Title
    120000,                       // Duration in milliseconds
    'Video',                      // Content Type (Video or Audio)
    'OnDemand',                   // Stream Type (OnDemand, Live, etc.)
    true,                         // Log Page Event Toggle (true/false)
    true,                         // Log Media Event Toggle (true/false)
        "my_session_attribute": "My Session Attribute"
    } // (optional) Custom Session Attributes object used for each media event within the Media Session

Generate Custom Events

The Media SDK generates a MediaEvent for client-side kits such as Adobe Media Analytics, however the event 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 (aka Custom Event) feature:

// Later in your code, when a user begins to engage with your content
const mediaSession = new MediaSession(
    mParticle,                    // mParticle SDK Instance
    '1234567',                    // Custom Media ID
    'Funny Internet cat video',   // Custom Media Title
    120000,                       // Duration in milliseconds
    'Video',                      // Content Type (Video or Audio)
    'OnDemand'                    // Stream Type (OnDemand or LiveStream)
    true                          // Log Page Event Toggle (true/false)

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’


The API method mediaSession.logPlayheadPosition() and mediaSession.logUpdateQoS() don’t generate custom events. See Playhead Position and Quality of Service for more information about using them.

Event Attributes

All of our events support an options parameter that can contain custom attributes to allow a customer to capture valuable information with every media event. Each attribute will be logged to best describe the session characteristics for that event at that time.

The customer can choose from our list of predefined attributes below, which are mapped to custom third-party attributes, such as Adobe Standard Metadata, when forwarded to their respective vendor. A customer is also free to add their custom attributes of their own, which will pass through as-is when forwarded to a partner service.

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.

    customAttributes: {
        content_title: 'The Best of Both Worlds',
        content_season: 3,
        content_episode: 26,
        my_custom_attribute: 'Locutus'
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_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_position Index of position in content
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.

Vendor-specific Attributes

In some cases third-party vendors, such as Adobe, may require custom attributes to be submitted in a differnt format from mParticle’s format, such as content_show vs, which would require duplicate information to be passed. In these cases, we provide vendor-specific mappings for some of our custom attributes to reduce duplication.

For example:

mParticle Custom Attribute Adobe Heartbeat Metadata

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",
            "media_session_id": "96a023b8-b0c7-47b7-b687-09f73b9dfac3",
            "playhead_position": "110123"

Use 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 for use with callbacks.

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

const myCallback = function(mediaEvent) {
    // Some custom callback method defined by user
    // Should only trigger when play or pause is fired
    if (
        mediaEvent.type == MediaEventType.Play ||
        mediaEvent.type == MediaEventType.Pause
    ) {
        // Get the Media Event as an mParticle Page Event
        const mpEvent = mediaEvent.toPageEvent();

        // Pass to your own custom function


Capture Playhead Position and Quality of Service

When creating media events, the Media SDK automatically includes relevant attributes, including media ID and title. Two of the most important attributes are the current playhead position, and the current quality of the media.

To capture these attributes, call logPlayheadPosition() and logUpdateQoS() at consistent intervals in each session.

Playhead Position

Use logPlayheadPosition() to continuously update the playhead position, so that your media events show the correct time.

Your media player provides at least one API method to query for the playhead position. There are two approaches to logging playhead position, depending on the capabilities of your player. The examples below both use JWPlayer, but any player should provide similar APIs.

If you are generating media custom events, note that logPlayheadPosition() doesn’t generate a custom event, so it is safe to call this method as often as necessary.

Event-driven (Preferred)

Most media players emit an event when the playhead position changes. You can listen for this event and call logPlayheadPosition() whenever it occurs. This example uses JWPlayer’s time event.

// The 'time' event is emitted whenever the playhead position changes
jwplayer().on('time', function(obj) {

Cron-driven (Alternative)

If your media player does not emit an event when playhead position changes, query your player once per second to update the playhead. You must call logPlayheadPosition() at regular intervals. Adobe Heartbeat requires this to track the playhead position, in order to know how far a user has progressed through a media session.

You can query less often than once per second, depending on your needs. However, make sure that the query fires at a constant rate.

This example uses JWPlayer’s time event.

const intervalID = window.setInterval(updatePlayhead, 1000);

function updatePlayhead() {
  if (mediaSession) {
    const currentPosition = jwplayer().getPosition()

API Reference

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

Contribute to the Media SDK GitHub Repo

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

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