Ad server built has Disney – called YODA

New technology supplies ads across Hulu and Disney+ platforms with first-party data, as the media giant has fun naming adtech after characters from its famous movie franchises.

The Walt Disney Company has developed its own ad-serving technology to deliver ads on Disney+ and Hulu called YODA (Yield Optimized Delivery Allocation). 

This is part of the company’s moves towards more ad-supported tiers for its streaming platforms, following the introduction of Disney+ Basic With Ads last month.

Instead of ‘The Force’, YODA uses an algorithm to determine when it should serve an ad to individual viewers. It balances direct-sold, programmatic and self-serve ad buys alongside the other adtech named after a character from Marvel: the Disney Real-time Ad Exchange (DRAX) that sells Disney’s ad inventory programmatically.

“What you saw with ads on Disney+ was the first product to launch on that ad server from an end-to-end perspective,” said Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED) Chief Technology Officer, Aaron LaBerge to Variety. “We’ve made significant investments in our technology platform to serve ads for the entire company.”

The Disney Ad Server (DAS) was installed on Hulu last year, and is now also supplying Disney+ with ads as of December, and powers all of the ad platforms in the US. “Over the next 12 months, the DAS will be powering all of our addressable platforms,” said LaBerge. 

Currently, the DAS delivers some 500 million ad impressions per day, according to the CTO, whilst being able to "prioritise delivery behaviour for ad clients and its own business" without having to use a third-party vendor.

Since launching its Disney+ Basic With Ads in early December, the company has not reported how many subscribers the new ad-supported tier has gained.