DCR Denmark Video iOS SDK

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Overview

The Nielsen SDK is one of multiple framework SDKs that Nielsen provides to enable measuring linear (live) and on-demand TV viewing using TVs, mobile devices, etc. The App SDK is the framework for mobile application developers to integrate Nielsen Measurement into their media player applications. It supports a variety of Nielsen Measurement Products like Digital in TV Ratings (DTVR), Digital Content Ratings (DCR), and Digital Ad Ratings (DAR). Nielsen SDKs are also equipped to measure static content and can track key life cycle events of an application like:

  • Application launch events and how long app was running

Prerequisites

Before you start the integration, you will need:

Item Description Source
App ID (appid) Unique ID assigned to the player/site and configured by product. Contact Nielsen
Nielsen SDK Includes SDK frameworks and sample implementation; "See iOS SDK Release Notes" Download


Step 1: Setting up your iOS Development Environment

Configuring Xcode Development Environment

Starting with SDK version 6.0.0.0, the Nielsen App SDK is compatible with Apple iOS versions 8.0 and above. In addition, the SDK uses the WKWebView class instead of the deprecated UIWebView as per Apple guidelines.

Importing Frameworks

1) Extract “NielsenAppApi.Framework” from the Nielsen App SDK zip file and copy it to Frameworks folder of the Xcode project.

2) Import following frameworks and libraries into the Frameworks of the Xcode project before creating an instance of the Nielsen App SDK object.

  • UIKit.framework
  • Foundation.framework
  • AdSupport.framework
  • SystemConfiguration.framework
  • Security.framework
    • Nielsen Analytics framework makes use of a number of functions in this library.
  • AVFoundation.framework
    • This framework is mandatory for the iOS SDK version 5.1.1 to work.
  • CoreLocation.framework
  • CoreMedia.framework
  • NielsenAppApi.framework
  • libc++.tbd (as SDK contains Objective-C++ source file)
    • Alternatively, include -lstdc++ in Build Settings → Other Linker Flag of the Xcode project

3) Include header file NielsenAppApi/NielsenAppApi.h to the View Controller's header file.

Note:

  • The SDK uses the NSURLSession instead of the deprecated NSURLConnection.
  • All communications between the SDK and the Census (Collection Facility) use HTTPS


Using Swift

To import a set of Objective-C files in the same app target as your Swift code, you rely on an Objective-C bridging header to expose those files to Swift. Xcode offers to create this header file when you add a Swift file to an existing Objective-C app, or an Objective-C file to an existing Swift app.

Select File/New File/Objective-C File
Xcode will prompt you to create a bridging header.

bridgingheader 2x.png


Once this file has been created, you need to add the following:

#import <NielsenAppApi/NielsenAppApi.h>

Using Objective-C

Add the code

#import <NielsenAppApi/NielsenAppApi.h>
to the View Controller’s header file.


Step 2: Create SDK Instance

The latest version of the Nielsen App SDK allows instantiating multiple instances of the SDK object when needed, which can then be used simultaneously. For the general use case where only one video is played at the same time in the App, a single instance of SDK object can then be used to play back and measure all watched streams one after another.

The following table contains the list of arguments that can be passed via the AppInfo JSON schema.

Parameter / Argument Description Source Required Example
appid Unique id for the application assigned by Nielsen. It is GUID data type. Nielsen-specified "PXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX"
appname Name of the application value is automatically populated through App Name included in the App Resource File "Nielsen Sample App"
appversion Current version of the app used value is automatically populated through App Version included in the App Resource File "1.0.2"
nol_devDebug Enables Nielsen console logging. Only required for testing Nielsen-specified "DEBUG"


Sample SDK Initialization Code

Initialize the Nielsen App object within the viewDidLoad view controller delegate method using initWithAppInfo:delegate:

If App SDK is initialized using init or new methods, it will ignore the API calls resulting in no measurement. The SDK will not return any errors.

Using Objective-C
#import "NlsAppApiFactory.h"
#import <NielsenAppApi/NielsenAppApi.h>

@implementation NlsAppApiFactory

+ (NielsenAppApi *)createNielsenAppApiWithDelegate:(id<NielsenAppApiDelegate>)delegate;
{
    NSDictionary *appInformation = @{
                                     @"appid": "PXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX",
                                     @"nol_devDebug": @"DEBUG"
                                     };
    return [[NielsenAppApi alloc] initWithAppInfo:appInformation delegate:delegate];
}
@end


The following would be the NlsAppApiFactory.h file:

#import <Foundation/Foundation.h>

@class NielsenAppApi;
@protocol NielsenAppApiDeligate;

@interface NlsAppApiFactory : NSObject

+ (NielsenAppAPI *) createNielsenAppApiWithDelegate:(id<NielsenAppApiDelegate>)delegate;

@end
Using Swift

NielsenInit.swift

class NielsenInit: NSObject {
    class func createNielsenAppApi(delegate: NielsenAppApiDelegate) -> NielsenAppApi?{
    let appInformation:[String: String] = [
           "appid": "PXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX",
            "nol_devDebug": "DEBUG"
        ]
        return NielsenAppApi(appInfo:appInformation, delegate:delegate)
    }
}


Sample code using AVPlayer.
ViewController.swift

class ViewController: UIViewController, NielsenAppApiDelegate, AVPictureInPictureControllerDelegate, CLLocationManagerDelegate  {

    let avPlayerViewController = AVPlayerViewController()
    var avPlayer:AVPlayer?
    var nielsenAppApi: NielsenAppApi!

  override func viewDidLoad() {
        super.viewDidLoad()

        self.nielsenAppApi = NielsenInit.createNielsenAppApi(delegate: self)
        NSLog("Nielsen SDK initialized")

            }
  }

APP SDK Error & Event Codes

To view the Error and Event codes for iOS and Android, please review the App SDK Event Code Reference page.

Life cycle of SDK instance

Life cycle of SDK instance includes four general states:

  1. Initial state – The SDK is not initialized and hence, not ready to process playing information. Once the SDK is moved out of this state, it needs instantiation of the new SDK instance in order to get the instance in the Initial state.
  2. Idle state – The SDK is initialized and is ready to process playing information. Once Initialized, the SDK instance is not processing any data, but is listening for the play event to occur.
  3. Processing state – The SDK instance is processing playing information. API calls "play" and "loadMetadata" move the SDK instance into this state. In this state, the SDK instance will be able to process the API calls (see below)
  4. Disabled state – The SDK instance is disabled and is not processing playing information. SDK instance moves into this state in one of the following scenarios.
    1. Initialization fails
    2. appDisableApi is called
@property (assign) BOOL appDisableApi;

Step 3: Create Metadata Objects

The parameters passed must be either a JSON formatted NSString or a NSDictionary object. The JSON passed in the SDK must be well-formed.

  • NSDictionary object
    • If an object of unexpected type is passed to the method, the error message will be logged.
    • If string has invalid JSON format, the error message will be logged.
  • JSON value must be string value.
    • This includes boolean and numeric values. For example, a value of true should be represented with "true", number value 123 should be "123".
    • All the Variable Names like appid, appname, dataSrc, title, type etc. are case-sensitive. Use the correct variable name as specified in the documentation.
  • JSON string can be prepared using either raw NSString or serialized NSDictionary.


Create channelName Metadata

channelName should remain constant throughout the completion of an episode or live stream.

Key Description Values Required
channelName Any string representing the channel/stream custom

Create Content Metadata

Content metadata should remain constant throughout the entirety of an episode/clip including when ads play.


program and title metadata values should be passed to SDK as UTF-8 strings.

Keys Description Values Required
type type of asset "content" for main content
assetid unique ID assigned to asset custom
(no Special Characters)
program name of program custom
title episode name custom
length length of content in seconds Length of content in seconds (86400 seconds for live stream (24/7). For Event-Live streams planned length. For VoD video length)
airdate the original date (local time with hh:mm:ss as 24h time stamp) content became available. This date does not change if the content is rebroadcasted on linear TV. YYYYMMDD HH:MI:SS (if not known set it to eg. "19700101 00:00:00")
isfullepisode full episode flag
  • "y" full episode (full content for a program)
  • "n" non full episode (only one part of the entire content for a program , i.e. preview, sub-episodes)

adloadtype type of Ad load
  • "1" Linear - matches TV ad load
  • "2" Dynamic - Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI)

stationId Unique Gracenote Station ID generated by Nielsen that uniquely identifies a live channel

provided by Nielsen

islivestn Indicates if a stream is playing on a live channel
  • "y" playing on a live channel
  • "n" otherwise i.e. VoD

pbstarttm Playback Start Time (UTC): Unix timestamp in seconds matching the broadcast time for Content and Ad when a user starts and joins a live stream (seconds since Jan-1-1970 UTC)

i.e. "1631098029" for live stream and ""(empty string) for a VoD.

subbrand vcid/sub-brand/Channel ID – value is automatically populated through provided AppID. In order to override the sub-brand configured to the App ID, value can be passed here (e.g. multiple sub-brands/Channels in the App)

provided by Nielsen

Create Ad Metadata (optional for DR)

The Ad Metadata (if applicable) should be passed for each individual ad.

Note: All metadata values should be passed as UTF-8 strings.

Keys Description Values Required
type type of Ad "preroll", "midroll", "postroll"
"ad" - If specific type can not be identified.
assetid unique ID assigned to Ad custom
(no Special Characters)
stationId Unique Gracenote Station ID generated by Nielsen that uniquely identifies a live channel

provided by Nielsen

islivestn Indicates if a stream is playing on a live channel
  • "y" playing on a live channel
  • "n" otherwise i.e. VoD

pbstarttm Playback Start Time (UTC): Unix timestamp in seconds matching the broadcast time for Content and Ad when a user starts and joins a live stream (seconds since Jan-1-1970 UTC)

i.e. "1631098029" for live stream and ""(empty string) for a VoD.

subbrand vcid/sub-brand/Channel ID – value is automatically populated through provided AppID. In order to override the sub-brand configured to the App ID, value can be passed here (e.g. multiple sub-brands/Channels in the App) provided by Nielsen

MetaData Example

Using Objective-C

NSDictionary  *channelInfo = @
{
  @"channelName":@"My Channel Name 1",
}

NSDictionary *contentMetadata = @
  {
  @"assetid" : "unique_content_id",
  @"type" : "content",
  @"program" : "program name",
  @"title" : "episode title",
  @"length" : "length in seconds",
  @"airdate" : "20161013 20:00:00",
  @"isfullepisode" : "y",
  @"adloadtype" : "2",
  @"subbrand" : "c05",
  @"stationId" : "TESTXXYYSSWWLL",
  @"islivestn" : "y",
  @"pbstarttm" : "1631098029"
}

NSDictionary *adMetadata = @
  {
  @"assetid" : "unique_postroll_ad_id",
  @"type" : "postroll",
  @"subbrand" : "c05",
  @"stationId" : "TESTXXYYSSWWLL",
  @"islivestn" : "y",
  @"pbstarttm" : "1631098029"
}

Using Swift

     let channelInfo = [
        "channelName": "My Channel Name 1",
     ]

     let contentMetadata = [
       "assetid" : "unique_content_id",
        "type" : "content",
        "program" : "program name",
        "title" : "episode title",
        "length" : "length in seconds",
        "airdate" : "20200713 10:22:00",
        "isfullepisode" : "y",
        "adloadtype" : "2",
        "subbrand" : "c05",
        "stationId" : "TESTXXYYSSWWLL",
        "islivestn" : "y",
        "pbstarttm" : "1631098029"
     ]

    let adMetadata = [
        "assetid" : "unique_postroll_ad_id",
        "type" : "postroll",
        "subbrand" : "c05",
        "stationId" : "TESTXXYYSSWWLL",
        "islivestn" : "y",
        "pbstarttm" : "1631098029"
    ]

Step 4: Start the Measurement

Overview of SDK API Calls

play

The play method prepares the SDK for reporting once an asset has loaded and playback has begun. Use play to pass the channel descriptor information through channelName parameter when the user taps the Play button on the player. Call play only when initially starting the video.

Using Objective-C
[self.nielsenAppApi play:channelInfo];
Using Swift
self.nielsenAppApi?.play(channelInfo);


loadMetadata

Needs to be called at the beginning of each asset, pass JSON object for relevant content or ad. Make sure to pass as 1st loadMetadata for content at the begining of playlist - see below API call sequence examples.

Using Objective-C
[self.nielsenAppApi loadMetadata:metadataDict];
Using Swift
self.nielsenAppApi?.loadMetadata(metadataDict)


playheadPosition

Note: "playheadPosition" has to be called every second and the value passed should match the broadcast time for live channel.
  • VOD: current position in seconds. Pass whole number that increments only by 1 like 0,1,2,3...
  • Live: Unix timestamp matching the broadcast time for Content and Ad (seconds since Jan-1-1970 UTC). Pass whole number that increments only by 1 like 1631098029,1631098030,1631098031,1631098032,...
Using Objective-C
[self.nielsenAppApi playheadPosition:pos];
Using Swift
self.nielsenAppApi?.playheadPosition(pos);


sendID3

Needs to be called when ID3 Tags are included in the Video Stream.

Using Objective-C
[self.nielsenAppApi sendID3:id3];
Using Swift
self.nielsenAppApi?.sendID3(id3)


ID3 Tags are parsed from the Video Stream, refer to the DK Reference Implementation sdkRefImplDK on how to parse ID3 Tags included in a sample HLS Stream. For further technical details, please contact your Technical Account Manager (TAM).

stop

Call when

  • ads complete playing
  • when a user pauses playback
  • upon any user interruption scenario - see bellow chapter Interruption scenario
Using Objective-C
[self.nielsenAppApi stop];
Using Swift
self.nielsenAppApi?.stop;


end

Call when the content asset completes playback. Stops measurement progress.

Using Objective-C
[self.nielsenAppApi end];
Using Swift
self.nielsenAppApi?.end


Start the Measurement

In order to start the measurement, follow the 3 first steps below i.e. for Content without Ads. When terminating the Content playback call end to terminate the Content Measurement for the given asset.

Playlist Sample code Description
1. Start of stream play(channelName) channelName contains JSON metadata of channel/video name being played
loadMetadata(contentMetadataObject) contentMetadataObject contains the JSON metadata for the content being played
2. Content is playing playheadPosition(position) playheadPosition is position of the playhead while the content is being played
sendID3(id3) id3 is an ID3 Tag parsed from the Video Stream, pass ID3 Tag immediately to SDK when found
3. End of Stream end Content playback is completed.

Step 5: Stop/Resume the Measurement for video Playback Interruptions

As part of integrating Nielsen App SDK with the player application, the Audio / Video app developer needs to handle the following possible interruption scenarios:

  • Pause / Play
  • Network Loss (Wi-Fi / Airplane / Cellular)
  • Call Interrupt (SIM or Third party Skype / Hangout call)
  • Alarm Interrupt
  • Content Buffering
  • Device Lock / Unlock (Video players only, not for Audio players)
  • App going in the Background/Foreground (Video players only, not for Audio players)
  • Channel / Station Change Scenario
  • Unplugging of headphone

In case of encountering one of the above interruptions, the player application needs to

  • Call stop immediately (except when content is buffering) and withhold sending playhead position.
  • Once the playback resumes, start sending pings playheadPosition for the new viewing session.

Please see the Digital Measurement FAQ for more details

Step 6: Review SDK Integration Architecture Diagram

For Content Playback

SDK Integration Architecture Diagram - Content

For Ad Playback

SDK Integration Architecture Diagram - Ad

Step 7 : Disclose Nielsen Privacy Statement

The App SDK uses Mobile Ad IDs (Android ID or IDFA) which are fully hashed on the device before being sent to Nielsen (Nielsen never receives un-hashed values). Users retain the possibility to oppose the use of Mobile Ad IDs, or to reset them, by using the functionality provided by the mobile operating system (iOS or Android).

In order to disclose Nielsen measurement privacy statement, please include the following items in your privacy policy:

Step 8 : Review the Reference Implementation for VoD and Live Streams

The Reference Implementation covers VoD and Live use cases. It also covers DAI (Dynamic Ad Insertion) with preroll Ad.

Download the Reference Implementation for iOS DKRefImplSwift. Unzip and open the project in Xcode, then run it i.e. in the simulator or on iOS device and then filter the Xcode output with "##" in order to see only relevant Nielsen SDK API Calls, as below:

 Nielsen SDK NielsenInit.getAppApi() - create Instance 
==##!!> LandingVC -- viewDidAppear
==##!!> LandingVC -- Nielsen SDK eventOccurred
==##> Nielsen SDK .play(sdkMethods.loadChannelInfo())
==##> Nielsen SDK nielsenApi.loadMetadata
==##> Nielsen SDK updatePlayheadPosition, pos = 0 / 378
==##> Nielsen SDK updatePlayheadPosition, pos = 1 / 378
==##> Nielsen SDK updatePlayheadPosition, pos = 2 / 378
==##> Nielsen SDK updatePlayheadPosition, pos = 3 / 378
==##> Nielsen SDK updatePlayheadPosition, pos = 4 / 378
==##> terminatePlaybackSession Nielsen SDK end()
==##!!> LandingVC -- viewDidAppear

Step 9 : Test your player by yourself

Guide

1. Connect your PC and test device (tablet or phone) via same router.
2. PC side: run Proxy sw (like Charles) and get local IP
3. Test device: modify Wifi setting to pass through Proxy IP from step 2.
4. Test device: run your player, launch video
5. PC side: filter traffic by "nmr" and confirm presence of GN pings


Example of GN ping

https://secure-dmk.nmrodam.com/cgi-bin/gn?prd=dcr&ci=us-500207&ch=us-500207_c77_P&asn=defChnAsset&fp_id=&fp_cr_tm=&fp_acc_tm=&fp_emm_tm=&ve_id=&devmodel=&manuf=&sysname=&sysversion=&sessionId=zlmmxkq867zt4bpnumlyz6dpn9hyp1610980356&tl=Episode%201&prv=1&c6=vc%2Cc77&ca=us-500207_c77_VID5556674-123456&cg=TAMSample%20DK&c13=asid%2CP10DF14BA-937E-436D-99DF-ED39A0422387&c32=segA%2CNA&c33=segB%2CNA&c34=segC%2CNA&c15=apn%2C&plugv=&playerv=&sup=1&segment2=&segment1=&forward=0&ad=0&cr=4_00_99_V1_00000&c9=devid%2C&enc=true&c1=nuid%2C999&at=view&rt=video&c16=sdkv%2Cbj.6.0.0&c27=cln%2C0&crs=&lat=&lon=&c29=plid%2C16109803568088038&c30=bldv%2C6.0.0.563&st=dcr&c7=osgrp%2C&c8=devgrp%2C&c10=plt%2C&c40=adbid%2C&c14=osver%2CNA&c26=dmap%2C1&dd=&hrd=&wkd=&c35=adrsid%2C&c36=cref1%2C&c37=cref2%2C&c11=agg%2C1&c12=apv%2C&c51=adl%2C0&c52=noad%2C0&sd=170&devtypid=&pc=NA&c53=fef%2Cy&c54=oad%2C20200713%2010%3A22%3A00&c55=cref3%2C&c57=adldf%2C2&ai=VID5556674-123456&c3=st%2Cc&c64=starttm%2C1610980392&adid=VID5556674-123456&c58=isLive%2Cfalse&c59=sesid%2Cgezrb92q4i9b9jg7acxgn783gjw0a1610980365&c61=createtm%2C1610980392&c63=pipMode%2C&c68=bndlid%2C&nodeTM=&logTM=&c73=phtype%2C&c74=dvcnm%2C&c76=adbsnid%2C&c77=adsuprt%2C2&uoo=&evdata=&c71=ottflg%2C0&c72=otttyp%2Cnone&c44=progen%2C&davty=0&si=http%3A%2F%2Fnielsenonlinesupport.com%2Fdk%2Findex.htm&c66=mediaurl%2Cassets%252FRTVOD_C3%252Fprog_index.m3u8&c62=sendTime%2C1610980392&rnd=714644

Step 10 : Provide your app for certification

Once ready please send your application to Nielsen local staff for certification.

Step 11 : Going Live

After the integration has been certified (but not prior that), disable debug logging by deleting {nol_devDebug: "DEBUG"} from initialization call - see Step 2.