DCR India Video Android SDK

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Overview

The Nielsen SDK is one of multiple framework SDKs that Nielsen provides to enable measuring live (beam) and on-demand (stream) content viewing using TVs, mobile devices, etc.

This document is specific to the Custom Implementation for BARC.

Prerequisites

To start using the App SDK, the following details are required:

  • App ID (appid): Unique ID assigned to the player/site and configured by product.
  • sfcode: Unique identifier for the environment that the SDK should point to.
  • Nielsen SDK: The Nielsen SDK package contains a variety of sample players for your reference.

If you do not have any of these prerequisites or if you have any questions, please contact our SDK sales support team. Refer to Digital Measurement Onboarding guide for information on how to get a Nielsen App SDK and appid.

Implementation

This guide covers implementation steps for iOS using Xcode and Android using Android Studio.

Setting up your Development Environment

Configuring Android Development Environment'

  • The Nielsen App SDK (located in the com.nielsen.app.sdk package) class is the primary application interface to the Nielsen App SDK on Android.
  • The Nielsen App SDK class is defined as the only public class belonging to the com.nielsen.app.sdk package.

Nielsen App SDK is compatible with Android OS versions 2.3+. Clients can control / configure the protocol to be used – HTTPS or HTTP to suit their needs.

The Nielsen App SDK 1.2 library is composed of two parts:

  • The Java AppSdk.jar library that runs on the Android’s Dalvik Virtual Machine.
  • The C/C++ libAppSdk.so native library that runs directly on the device’s hardware.
Note: App SDK 4.0.0 contains AppSDK.jar component only and does not support C/C++ libAppSdk.so components.

The requirement for the Java AppSdk.jar library and the libAppSdk.so native library will depend on the type of host application that will make use of them.

  • For Video player applications
    • The Android OS hosting the App SDK should use a media player supporting HLS streaming (Android 3.0 and later will support it natively).
    • If the player application uses a 3rd party media player implementing its own HLS, then the minimum Android version will be limited to version 2.3, since the SDK depends on Google Play support to work properly.
  • For Audio player applications
    • The Android OS hosting the App SDK should be at version 2.3 and later since the SDK depends on the Google Play support to work properly.

Ensure to unzip the Nielsen App SDK sample app and copy the AppSdk.jar into the libs/ folder on the App’s Eclipse project. Copy the libAppSdk.so file under libs/armeabi/ folder into the same Eclipse project.

  • App SDK 1.2 provides support for x86, mips, and armeabi-7a architecture; the respective libAppSdk.so can be found under the libs/x86/, libs/mips/, and libs/armeabi-7a/ folders.

Add the following permissions on the project’s AndroidManifest.xml file.

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION" android:required="false" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE"/>
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET"/>

For more details to handle runtime permissions in Android versions, please visit [1]. Download the latest google-play-services_lib and include it in the App’s project in order to use the App SDK.

  • App SDK checks to see if there is a Google service available and updated.
  • If not available or updated, App SDK will not use this service when executing its functions and will make reference to missing imports and the app will not be compiled.

To include the Google Play library in the media player project, copy the google-play-services_lib folder into the same location as the project

  • Access File > Import.
  • Select Existing Android Code into Workspace and click Next.
  • Click Browse and navigate to the google-play-services_lib to include it into the projects.
  • Select the exact Project Build Target for Eclipse to use from Android SDK.
    • Android 4.4.2, etc. OR
    • Edit project.properties file to point to Android target version e.g. target= android-19.

Once the google-play-services_lib is included into the App project, include the following code under the <application> node in the AndroidManifest.xml.

<meta-data android:name="com.google.android.gms.version" android:value="@integer/google_play_services_version"/>

Also, include the version.xml file that comes with the google-play-services_lib under the res/values directory of the media player project.

  • Once the files are in place, import com.nielsen.app.sdk to the java source code and start accessing the public interface.


Library

Nielsen App SDK uses the following packages/classes from the Google Play service.

  • google-play-services_lib

Classes/package

  • com.google.android.gms.ads.identifier.AdvertisingIdClient;
  • com.google.android.gms.ads.identifier.AdvertisingIdClient.Info;
  • com.google.android.gms.common.ConnectionResult;
  • com.google.android.gms.common.GooglePlayServicesUtil;
  • com.google.android.gms.common.GooglePlayServicesRepairableException;
  • com.google.android.gms.common.GooglePlayServicesNotAvailableException;

SDK Initialization

The latest version of the Nielsen App SDK allows instantiating multiple instances of the SDK object, which can be used simultaneously without any issue. The sharedInstance API that creates a singleton object was deprecated prior to version 5.1.1. (Version 4.0 for Android)

  • A maximum of four SDK instances per appid are supported. When a fifth SDK instance is launched, the SDK will return “nil” from initWithAppInfo:delegate:
  • When four SDK instances exist, you must destroy an old instance before creating a new one.

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

  • The appid is provided by the Nielsen Technical Account Manager (TAM). The appid is a GUID data type and is specific to the application.
Parameter / Argument Description Source Required/Obligatory? Example
appid Unique id for the application assigned by Nielsen. It is GUID data type. Nielsen-specified PXXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX
appname Name of the application Client-defined No Nielsen Sample App
appversion Current version of the app used Client-defined No "1.0.2"
sfcode Nielsen collection facility to which the SDK should connect. Nielsen-specified "bc"
nol_devDebug Enables Nielsen console logging. Only required for testing Nielsen-specified Optional "DEBUG"


Sample SDK Initialization Code

AppSDK() is no longer a singleton object and should be initialized as below.

Initialization of App SDK object through a JSON object

  
try
{
  // Prepare AppSdk configuration object (JSONObject)
  JSONObject appSdkConfig = new JSONObject()
          .put("appid", "PDA7D5EE6-B1B8-XXXX-XXXX-2A788BCXXXCA")
          .put("appversion", "1.0")
          .put("appname", "Sample App Name")
          .put("sfcode", "bc")
          .put("nol_devDebug", "DEBUG"); // only for debug builds

// Pass appSdkConfig to the AppSdk constructor
mAppSdk = new AppSdk(appContext, appSdkConfig, appSdkListener);
}
catch (JSONException e)
{
  Log.e(TAG, "Couldn’t prepare JSONObject for appSdkConfig", e);
}

Here, appContext is the App context object and appSdkConfig is JSON object for holding the parameters (appid, appname, sfcode) the App passes to the Nielsen App SDK via a JSON string. The appid is obtained from Nielsen operational support and is unique to the app.


The integration of Nielsen App SDK will depend on type of client app.

  • Ensure that SDK files (AppSdk.jar and libAppSdk.so [App SDK 1.2 Only]) are included under the App’s project and the App SDK is linked to the App (the setting to link App SDK to the App can be found on property page of the App’s project).

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.

Configure Payload

Handling JSON Metadata

All the SDK methods handles only two types of objects: NSString, NSDictionary. The parameters passed must be either a JSON formatted string 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, sfcode, 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.
JSONObject channelInfo = new JSONObject()
    .put("channelname","My Channel Name 1")

JSONObject contentMetadata = new JSONObject()
//SDK Metadata
    .put("type", "content")
    .put("assetid", "vid345-67483")
    .put("program", "Program Name")
    .put("title", "Program S3, EP1")
    .put("length", "3600")
    .put("isfullepisode", "y")
    .put("adloadtype", "2")
    .put("segmentB", "custom")
    .put("segmentC", "custom")
    .put("nol_c0","bc_lang,0001")
    .put("nol_c1","bc_adsupport,Y")
    .put("nol_c2","bc_ugc,Y")
    .put("nol_c4","bc_sub,S")
    .put("nol_c5","bc_download,S")
    .put("nol_c7","bc_ccat,6")
    .put("nol_c8","bc_cgenre,N1")
    .put("nol_c9","bc_do,D")
    .put("nol_c10","bc_dname,A123")
    .put("nol_c11","bc_altype,1")

Configure 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


Content Metadata

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

Keys Description Example Required
type 'content', 'ad' 'content' Yes
assetid unique ID assigned to asset custom Yes
program name of program (25 character limit) custom Yes
title name of program (40 character limit) custom Yes
length length of content in seconds seconds (0 for live stream) Yes
isfullepisode full episode flag "y"- full episode, "n"- non full episode Yes
adloadtype ad model only pass value as 2 2 Yes
segB custom segment B custom
segC custom segment C custom
crossId1 standard episode ID custom
crossId2 content originator (only required for distributors) Nielsen provided

Custom Parameters for Analytical Reporting Only

The below values will not be part of standard reporting and designed for custom analytical reporting only.

Keys Description Values Example Required/Obligatory
bc_lang Language of the content Language Code (58 codes) '0001' Yes
bc_adsupport Ad Supported Flag 'Y' or 'N' 'Y' Yes
bc_ugc User Generated Content 'Y' or 'N' 'Y' Yes
bc_sub Subscribed or Free 'S' or 'F' 'S' Yes
bc_download Downloaded or Streamed content 'D' or 'S' 'D' Yes
bc_ccat Content code ContentTypeID (10 codes) '6' Yes
bc_cgenre Genre BARC Custom Codes (81 codes) 'F12' Yes
bc_do Distributor or Owner 'D' or 'O' 'Y' Yes
bc_dname Distributor name BARC Predefined numeric/alphanumeric value 'A123' Yes
bc_altype Ad load type '1' or '2' or '3' '1' Yes

Note: nol_c3 and nol_c6 must not be set!

Example Content Object

var content_metadata_object = {  
  // SDK
  type:      'content',
  assetid:   'VID123-123456',
  program:   'program name',
  title:     'episode title',
  length:    '543',
  isfullepisode: 'n',
  adloadtype:'2',
  
 //Custom Properties for Analysis
// Examples only
  nol_c0:  'bc_lang,0001',
  nol_c1:  'bc_adsupport,Y'
  nol_c2:  'bc_ugc,Y',
  nol_c4:  'bc_sub,S',
  nol_c5:  'bc_download,S',
  nol_c7:  'bc_ccat,6',
  nol_c8:  'bc_cgenre,N1',
  nol_c9:  'bc_do,D',
  nol_c10:  'bc_dname,A123',
  nol_c11:  'bc_altype,1'
}

Ad Metadata

The ad metadata (if applicable) should be passed for each individual ad, if ads are available during or before the stream begins.

Keys Description Values Required
type type of ad 'preroll', 'midroll', or 'postroll'
assetid unique ID assigned to ad custom

Example Ad Object

var adMetadataObject = 
{  
  assetid: 'AD-1',
  type:    'preroll'
};


URL Character Limit: There is a URL character limit of 2K characters due to browser limitations. Exceeding this value could impair data delivery on particular browsers.

Configure API Calls

icon

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. play and loadMetadata calls move the SDK instance into this state. In this state, the SDK instance will be able to process the following calls.
    1. playheadPosition – Call this API every one second when playhead position timer is fired.
    2. stop – Call this API when the playback is paused, switches between content and ad (within the same content playback) or encounters interruptions.
    3. end – SDK instance exits from Processing state when this API is called.
  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

Note: In case of any interruptions during playback due to alarm, calendar, call, flight mode, Wi-Fi toggle, channel change, etc., call stop to stop the measurement.

API Call sequence

Use Case 1: Content has no Advertisements

Call play() with channelName JSON as below.

{
   "channelName": "TheMovieTitle"
}

Call loadMetadata() with JSON metadata for content as below.

{
  "type": "content",
  "assetid": "vid345-67483",
  "program": "ProgramName",
  "title": "Program S3, EP1",
  "length": "3600",
  ...
}

Call setPlayheadPosition() every one second until a pause / stop. Use the sample API sequence below as a reference to identify the specific events that need to be called during content playback without ads.

Type Sample code Description
Start of stream mAppSdk.play(channelName); // channelName contains JSON metadata of channel/video name being played
mAppSdk.loadMetadata(contentMetaDataObject); // contentMetadataObject contains the JSON metadata for the content being played
Content mAppSdk.setPlayheadPosition(playheadPosition); // position is position of the playhead while the content is being played
End of Stream mAppSdk.end(); // Content playback is completed.

Use Case 2: Content has Advertisements

Call play() with channelName JSON as below.

{
   "channelName": "TheMovieTitle"
}

Call loadMetadata() with JSON metadata for ad as below.

{
   "type": "preroll",
   "assetid": "ad=123"
}
Note: In case the individual ad details are not available, send ad pod (presence) details through the loadMetadata and playhead position through playheadPosition.

Call setPlayheadPosition() every one second until a pause / stop / another loadMetadata() is called. Playhead should be passed for the entire duration of ad pod, if the ad pod details are passed as part of loadMetadata().

The sample API sequence can be used as a reference to identify the specific events that need to be called during content and ad playback.

Type Sample code Description
Start of stream mAppSdk.play(channelName); // channelName contains JSON metadata of channel/video name being played
mAppSdk.loadMetadata(contentMetaDataObject); // contentMetadataObject contains the JSON metadata for the content being played
Preroll mAppSdk.loadMetadata(prerollMetadataObject); // prerollMetadataObject contains the JSON metadata for the preroll ad
mAppSdk.setPlayheadPosition(playheadPosition); // position is position of the playhead while the preroll ad is being played
mAppSdk.stop(); // Call stop after preroll occurs
Content mAppSdk.loadMetadata(contentMetaDataObject); // contentMetadataObject contains the JSON metadata for the content being played
mAppSdk.setPlayheadPosition(playheadPosition); // position is position of the playhead while the content is being played
mAppSdk.stop(); // Call stop after the content is paused (ad starts)
Midroll mAppSdk.loadMetadata(midrollMetaDataObject); // midrollMetadataObject contains the JSON metadata for the midroll ad
mAppSdk.setPlayheadPosition(playheadPosition); // position is position of the playhead while the midroll ad is being played
mAppSdk.stop(); // App moves to background(midroll pauses)
mAppSdk.loadMetadata(midrollMetaDataObject); // App moves to foreground (midroll resumes)
mAppSdk.setPlayheadPosition(playheadPosition); // playheadPosition is position of the playhead while the midroll ad is being played
mAppSdk.stop(); // Call stop after midroll occurs
Content (End of stream) mAppSdk.loadMetadata(contentMetaDataObject); // contentMetadataObject contains the JSON metadata for the content being played
mAppSdk.setPlayheadPosition(playheadPosition); // position is position of the playhead while the content is being played
mAppSdk.stop(); // Always call stop irrespective of postroll is followed or not
End of Stream mAppSdk.end(); // Call end() at the end of content
Postroll mAppSdk.loadMetadata(postrollMetaDataObject); // postrollMetadataObject contains the JSON metadata for the postroll ad
mAppSdk.setPlayheadPosition(playheadPosition); // position is position of the playhead while the postroll ad is being played
mAppSdk.stop(); // Call stop after postroll occurs
Note: Each Ad playhead should reset or begin from 0 at ad start. When content has resumed following an ad break, playhead position must continue from where previous content segment was left off.


Sequence Examples

The example code below will differ from your production application. Provided to assist in explaining how to implement.

play

Use play to pass the channel descriptor information through channelName parameter when the user taps the Play button on the player.

    public void play(JSONObject channelInfo);

loadMetadata

public void loadMetadata(JSONObject contentMetadata);

playheadPosition/setPlayheadPosition

Please note: iOS sdk uses playheadPosition. Android uses setPlayheadPosition.

public void run() {
       if (mMediaPlayer != null) {

      //getting current position of media player
     int mCurrentPosition = mMediaPlayer.getCurrentPosition() / 1000;

    seek.setProgress(mCurrentPosition);
     try {
       //Checking If video player is not paused and video is playing and is not a DTVR
           if (!isPaused && mMediaPlayer.isPlaying() && videoType != Constants.dtvrVideo) {
      //Sending playHeadPosition to SDK.
      appSdk.setPlayheadPosition(mCurrentPosition);
        }
       } catch (Exception e) {
       e.printStackTrace();
         }
         }
    playheadHandler.postDelayed(this, 1000);
                }

//Live streaming
Live Streaming :
Calendar c = Calendar.getInstance();
long pos = (c.getTimeInMillis()/ 1000);
if (mAppSdk != null)
{
mAppSdk.setPlayheadPosition(pos);
}

stop

mAppSdk.stop()

end

When content stop is initiated and content cannot be resumed from the same position (it can only be restarted from the beginning of stream).

mAppSdk.end()

Interruptions during playback

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.
  • Start sending pings – loadMetadata and playheadPosition for the new viewing session, once the playback resumes.

Please see the Digital Measurement FAQ for more details

Handling Foreground and Background states

Foreground/Background state measurement is a requirement of Nielsen AppSDK implementation. It may be implemented in multiple ways for Android. This includes

  • Enable the Nielsen SDK to measure background/foreground state by making the relevant update to the AndroidManifest.
  • Integrate Nielsen’s SdkBgFgDetectionUtility class within your Custom Application Class.
  • Custom implementation of the required methods within your application.

ForeGround/Background Measurement via AndroidManifest

The simplest way to measure the app background/foreground state is to add the following application tag to the Manifest XML. Integrating this into the Manifest XML will enable the SDK to measure app state directly. This approach is supported for Android 4.0 and up only; it requires that the application class is not in use for some other purpose.

<application android:name="com.nielsen.app.sdk.AppSdkApplication">

Using the Android SdkBgFbDetectionUtility Class

For developers who are already using the application class, it is recommended that background/foreground state is implemented using the SdkBgFgDetectionUtility class. The SdkBgFgDetectionUtility class is compatible with Android 4+ and has been made available to Nielsen clients.

Manual Background/ForeGround State Management

In cases where the developer is not able to use the AndroidManifest.xml solution nor the Nielsen provided SdkBgFgDetectionUtility class the developer will need to manually identify the change of state through the application and call the respective API (appInForeground() or appInBackground()) to inform the SDK regarding the change of state from background to foreground or foreground to background.

The SDK is informed about app state using the below methods.

AppLaunchMeasurementManager.appInForeground(getApplicationContext());
AppLaunchMeasurementManager.appInBackground(getApplicationContext());

Within the lifecycle of individual activities, onResume() and onPause() are best suited to providing indication of the app state.


Correct measurement of the foreground/background state is crucial to App measurement within Nielsen Digital Content Ratings (DCR).

Privacy and Opt-Out

Users must either have access to the "About Nielsen Measurement" page, or have similar text available within the native app. Include "About Nielsen Measurement" and "Your Choices" link in the Privacy Policy / EULA or as a button near the link to the app's Privacy Policy.

  • URL to this web page should be called from SDK by invoking userOptOutURLString() and opened in 'WebView' / External browser.
  • If the App SDK returns NULL as Opt-Out URL, handle the exception gracefully and retry later.
  • To retrieve the current Opt-Out status of a device, use the userOptOutURLString() method.
public String userOptOutURLString()
public boolean getOptOutStatus()


Users can opt out or opt back into Nielsen Measurement. Opt-Out feature relies on the system setting – "Limit Ad Tracking". The setting can be accessed in the Settings application on any device. User is opted out of Nielsen online measurement research when the "Limit Ad Tracking" setting is enabled.

In addition, the following text must be included in your app store description.

"Please note: This app features Nielsen’s proprietary measurement software which contributes to market research. Please see http://priv-policy.imrworldwide.com/priv/mobile/in/en/optout.html for more information"

Going Live

Following Nielsen testing, users need to make one update to the initialization call to ensure that the site is being measured properly.

  1. Debug Logging: Disable logging by deleting {nol_sdkDebug: 'DEBUG'} from initialization call.
    • Example Production Initialization Call - Refer to the production initialization call below:

iOS Example:

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


Android Example:

  
try
{
  // Prepare AppSdk configuration object (JSONObject)
  JSONObject appSdkConfig = new JSONObject()
          .put("appid", "PXXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX")
          .put("sfcode", "bc")
            // Remove Flag:   "nol_devDebug": "DEBUG"

// Pass appSdkConfig to the AppSdk constructor
mAppSdk = new AppSdk(appContext, appSdkConfig, appSdkListener);
}
catch (JSONException e)
{
  Log.e(TAG, "Couldn’t prepare JSONObject for appSdkConfig", e);
}


Note: before going live you have to inform Nielsen team - this is necessary, because Nielsen team has to adjust internal configuration parameter to enable data collection. Without that notification no data will be collected and no data will be reported.