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What is SCTE-35?

SCTE-35 is a standard developed by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), now a part of the global industry association SCTE•ISBE, which stands for Society of Telecommunications and Broadband Engineers•International Society of Broadband Engineers.

SCTE-35 provides a set of protocols for digital signals that indicate where in a video stream a system should insert other content, like advertisements or programming. This includes signaling for local ad insertion, content substitution, program start and end points, and more.

The SCTE-35 standard is commonly used in both traditional broadcast TV and internet-based streaming services. The signals can be embedded into the video stream itself or they can be delivered out-of-band.

Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV (FAST) channels use SCTE-35 markers to manage ad insertion. FAST channels are linear, TV-like channels that are delivered over the internet, often as part of a streaming service. These channels are free to the viewer and are supported by advertising.

When a FAST channel wants to insert an ad, it uses an SCTE-35 marker to signal the start of an ad break. This signal can be detected by the streaming service, which can then replace the content at the ad break with an ad from its ad server.

The use of SCTE-35 markers allows FAST channels to manage ad breaks in a way that is similar to traditional broadcast TV. However, because the delivery is over the internet, it also allows for more advanced features, like personalized ads and dynamic ad insertion.

SCTE-35 and FAST channels are key components of the modern video streaming ecosystem. SCTE-35 provides the signaling needed for dynamic and targeted ad insertion, while FAST channels offer a linear TV-like experience that many viewers are familiar with.

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