Click here to view the latest AIM webinar from October 2021 

Overview

In early 2017, the PBS 24/7 KIDS channel was made available to stations via satellite for rebroadcast and multiple system operator (MSO) retransmission in their local designated market area (DMA). As part of the rebroadcast, stations can program sponsorship and interstitial content into 65-second breaks at the end of each scheduled program. These 65-second breaks in the linear stream when stations can insert an interstitial are referred to as avails (short for availability). The Avail / Interstitial Manager (AIM) distinguishes station-specific streams instead of user-specific streams, which means all users localized to your station will see interstitial content from your station alone.

The basic workflow for using this tool is pretty straightforward and entails:

  • uploading your video file as a pod
  • scheduling your pod to appear in the linear stream
  • viewing reporting details on your pod elements

The Avail console can be accessed at https://aim.console.pbs.org/

View a PBS webinar about Avail/Interstitial Manager (This link takes you to the PBS Hub website and requires a login. If you need access, submit a support ticket.)


Key features

The primary components that make up the Avail / Interstitial Manager include:

  • Pods - The 65-second video, and associated metadata, assigned to a time slot.
  • Spots - Individual video elements that can be of varying lengths and are used to create your 65-second pod
  • Rules - The mechanism by which pods are assigned to time slots.
  • Schedule - The various views showing all pods and campaigns assigned to the time slots. A schedule displays a week's worth of data at a time. 

See the Glossary for more terms

Benefits

Inserting sponsorship messaging into avails between programs helps stations monetize their KIDS 24/7 livestream. The AIM console provides an easy way for stations to run and export reports and generate invoices that address costs per view. Learn more about generating invoices

Navigation

  • All functionality in the AIM console can be accessed from the top navigation menu and in the Create dropdown menu in the upper right corner of the page (A).
  • All scheduling information can be accessed in the body of the main schedule page when you first log in to AIM (B).

Getting started

To begin using the AIM console, you need to have access. If you have not been invited to the system, please submit a support ticket to request access to the AIM console. Accessing the console does not mean that your scheduled pods will automatically go live. Please see the Testing section to learn more 

Testing

Before scheduling your pods to go live, it's important to familiarize yourself with the console by testing to ensure your pods run well when they go live. View the testing environment here: https://aim.console.pbs.org/livestream/

When everything looks good and you're ready for your AIM instance to go live in production, submit a support ticket stating that you are ready for your interstitials to go live. PBS will update your KIDS 24/7 livestream URL to pull in your localized interstitials.

PBS will notify you when everything is complete and let you know when you should start seeing data populate in the report area for your scheduled pods.

Learn more about using the livestream to test

Please note that due to the way SamsungTV+ localizes, pods go live without the Station Manager URL updates. This means that anything scheduled during testing will be live on SamsungTV+, even if all other PBS platforms are not yet live with your localized stream.

Using the console

  • Once you have access to the console, log in by clicking Login in the upper right side of the console (Figure 1).

Figure 1

  • Type your PBS Account username and password in the textboxes provided (Figure 2.1).
  • Click Sign in (Figure 2.2).
  • If you do not have a PBS account, click Create a PBS Account and follow the steps to create one (Figure 2.3).

Figure 2


You are redirected to the schedule view where you can see everything currently scheduled in your live stream. The schedule view is primarily used just for viewing your station's streaming schedule and any pods and campaigns you have scheduled, as well as available timeslots for pods and campaigns. 

  • The schedule view displays a full week of data with the timespan displayed at the top of the page (Figure 3.1).
  • Click the timeframe on the left and right side of the page to skip to a previous or future week (Figure 3.2).
  • Each 24-hour period of time is split into 8-hour chunks that can be scrolled through by clicking each tab (Figure 3.3).
  • Click on a day (Example: Sun 4/23) to see all times for that one day (Figure 3.4).
  • Each time slot reserved for an interstitial is highlighted as a blue link and each available time slot displays an empty box (Figure 3.5).

Figure 3