THIS WEEK’S DIP INTO THE GRAB-BAG OF CABLE TECH ACRONYMS IS ON “SAFI,”
which people say as a word (rhymes with “taffy”).
SaFI is tech shorthand for a group of CableLabs specs known
as the “Stewardship and Fulfillment Interfaces.” Their focus is linear,
interactive-TV advertising. This is “steward” as in “watch over the
campaign,” and fulfill as in “get the viewer what she wanted.”
Let’s start with some companion language.
When ad-tech people talk shop, they often use
the terms “above the line” and “below the line.”
“Below the line” is where MSOs receive, deliver,
present and fulfill clickable ads on linear
TV.“ Above the line” is where cable gets enabled
for national advertising, by entities like Canoe
If Canoe is above the line, and MSOs are
below the line, SaFI straddles the line. It’s the big translator between
the huge gobs of data flowing back and forth across the
line, from national campaign to local insertion and back.
SaFI’s aim is uniformity. Uniformity matters, because (like so
many other things) the nation’s local ad-insertion systems aren’t
Uniformity matters up on the Canoe side of the line, too, for ingesting
interactivity reports. How many clicked? Where’s the proof?
Who opted in for more info? It’s that data that feeds the beast that is
measurement and metrics.
SaFI comes in four parts. There’s the “Campaign Information
Manager,” which converts national campaign data into instructions:
Run this interactive ad at this time, to these audiences.
The “Interactive Application Messaging,” or
“IAM,” formats viewer interactions to flow into
aggregation servers. The Service Measurement
Summary Interface (“SMSI”) formats the data
sitting inside the aggregation servers; the “Interactive
Application Fulfillment” (IAF) defines how
clicks are formatted into usable data for thirdparty
How does SaFI correlate with the other
batch of advanced advertising specs, known as SCTE 130? One
feeds the other, in essence. SaFI feeds campaign info downstream
to some of the 130 specs, and visa versa.
Hungry for more? You’ll see a whole lot of SaFI, and SCTE 130,
in the CableNET area of next month’s Cable Show 2010.
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