Brightcove Native Player for iOS Reference

IMA Plugin for Brightcove Player SDK for iOS, version


IMA Plugin for Brightcove Player SDK provides a dynamic library framework for installation.

The IMA plugin supports version 3.14.4 of the Google IMA SDK for iOS and version 4.3.2 of the Google IMA SDK for tvOS.


You can use CocoaPods to add the IMA Plugin for Brightcove Player SDK to your project. You can find the latest Brightcove-Player-IMA podspec here. The pod will incorporate the correct version of IMA automatically.

CocoaPod Podfile example:

```bash source ‘' source ’'

platform :ios, ‘11.4’ use_frameworks!

target ‘MyIMAPlayer’ do pod ‘Brightcove-Player-IMA’ end ```

As of IMA release 3.4.1, AdMob is published as a standalone dynamic framework and can no longer be installed as part of the IMA Plugin for the Brightcove Native Player SDK. As such, there is no longer a ForAdMob subspec for the podspec. To use AdMob, download it and add it to your project manually, or add the Google-Mobile-Ads-SDK CocoaPod to your Podfile:

pod 'Google-Mobile-Ads-SDK'  


To add the IMA Plugin for Brightcove Player SDK to your project manually:

  1. Download the Brightcove Player SDK framework.
  2. Download the IMA Plugin for Brightcove Player SDK framework.
  3. Download the Google IMA framework.
  4. On the “General” tab of your application target, add the dynamic framework, BrightcovePlayerSDK.framework, from the Brightcove Player SDK download to the list of Frameworks, Libraries, Embedded Content. The dynamic framework, BrightcovePlayerSDK.framework, is found in the ios/dynamic directory of the download.
  5. On the “General” tab of your application target, add BrightcoveIMA.framework from the IMA Plugin for Brightcove Player SDK download to the list of Frameworks, Libraries, Embedded Content.
  6. On the “General” tab of your application target, add GoogleInteractiveMediaAds.framework from the Google IMA download to the list of Frameworks, Libraries, Embedded Content.
  7. On the “Build Settings” tab of your application target, ensure that the “Framework Search Paths” include the paths to the frameworks. This should have been done automatically unless the framework is stored under a different root directory than your project.
  8. On the “Build Settings” tab of your application target:
    • Ensure that -ObjC has been added to the “Other Linker Flags” build setting.
  9. (Universal Framework only) On the “Build Phases” tab, add a “Run Script” phase with the command bash ${BUILT_PRODUCTS_DIR}/${FRAMEWORKS_FOLDER_PATH}/BrightcoveIMA.framework/ Check “Run script only when installing”. This will remove unneeded architectures from the build, which is important for App Store submission.
  10. (Apple Silicon only) On the “Build Settings” tab of your application target:
    • Ensure that arm64 has been added to your “Excluded Architectures” build setting for Any iOS Simulator SDK.


The IMA Plugin for Brightcove Player SDK can be imported into code a few different ways; @import BrightcoveIMA;, #import <BrightcoveIMA/BrightcoveIMA.h> or #import <BrightcoveIMA/[specific class].h>. You can import the GoogleInteractiveMediaAds and BrightcovePlayerSDK modules in similar fashion.

Quick Start

The BrightcoveIMA plugin is a bridge between Google IMA iOS SDK v3 and the Brightcove Player SDK for iOS. This snippet shows its basic usage with VMAP ad rules.

[1] IMASettings *imaSettings = [[IMASettings alloc] init];
    imaSettings.ppid = kViewControllerIMAPublisherID;
    imaSettings.language = kViewControllerIMALanguage;

    IMAAdsRenderingSettings *renderSettings = [[IMAAdsRenderingSettings alloc] init];
    renderSettings.webOpenerPresentingController = self;

    UIView *videoContainerView = <UIView of video container>;
    NSString *adTag = <ad tag>;

[2] BCOVIMAAdsRequestPolicy *adsRequestPolicy = [BCOVIMAAdsRequestPolicy adsRequestPolicyWithVMAPAdTagUrl:adTag];

    BCOVPlayerSDKManager *manager = [BCOVPlayerSDKManager sharedManager];
    id<BCOVPlaybackController> controller =
[3]         [manager createIMAPlaybackControllerWithSettings:imaSettings
    controller.delegate = self;

    [videoContainerView addSubview:controller.view];  

    NSString *policyKey = <your-policy-key>;
    NSString *accountId = <your-account-id>;
    NSString *videoID = <your-video-id>;
    BCOVPlaybackService *playbackService = [[BCOVPlaybackService alloc] initWithAccountId:accountID
    [playbackService findVideoWithVideoID:videoID
                               completion:^(BCOVVideo    *video,
                                            NSDictionary *jsonResponse,
                                            NSError      *error) {

        [controller setVideos:@[ video ]];
        [controller play];


Breaking the code down into steps:

  1. Create the same IMA settings, ads rendering settings that you would create if you were using Google’s IMA iOS SDK directly. These are required.
  2. BCOVIMAAdsRequestPolicy provides methods to specify VAST or VMAP ad rules. Select the appropriate method to select your ads policy.
  3. BrightcoveIMA adds some category methods to BCOVPlaybackManager. The first of these is -createIMAPlaybackControllerWithSettings:adsRenderingSettings:adsRequestPolicy:adContainer:companionSlots:viewStrategy:. Use this method to create your playback controller.

Play and Pause

The Brightcove IMA Plugin implements custom play and pause logic to ensure the smoothest possible ad experience. Therefore, you will need to make sure that you use the play method on the BCOVPlaybackController or the -[BCOVSessionProviderExtension ima_play] or -[BCOVSessionProviderExtension ima_pause] (BCOVSessionProviderExtension), and not the AVPlayer.

As an example, calling play for the first time on BCOVPlaybackController allows BCOVIMA to process preroll ads without any of the content playing before the preroll. For more information on how BCOVIMA overrides the default BCOVPlaybackController methods, please check out BCOVSessionProviderExtension.

Using the Built-In PlayerUI

In your UIViewController, create a BCOVPUIPlayerView property called the player view, to contain the playback controls, the video content view, and a special view where IMA can display its ads.

// PlayerUI's player view
@property (nonatomic) BCOVPUIPlayerView *playerView;

Then create your player view; supply a nil playback controller which will be added later. This player view contains both the video content view and the view that displays playback controls and ad controls. This setup is the same no matter what plugin you are using. Set up the player view to match the video container from your layout (videoView) when it resizes.

// Create and configure Control View.
BCOVPUIBasicControlView *controlView = [BCOVPUIBasicControlView basicControlViewWithVODLayout];

// Create the player view with a nil playback controller.
self.playerView = [[BCOVPUIPlayerView alloc] initWithPlaybackController:nil options:nil controlsView:controlView];
// Add BCOVPUIPlayerView to your video view.
[self.videoView addSubview:self.playerView];

You’ll need to set up the layout for the player view, you can do this with Auto Layout or the older Springs & Struts method.

Springs & Struts

self.playerView.frame = self.videoView.bounds;
self.playerView.autoresizingMask = UIViewAutoresizingFlexibleHeight | UIViewAutoresizingFlexibleWidth;

Auto Layout

self.playerView.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = NO;
[NSLayoutConstraint activateConstraints:@[
                                          [self.playerView.topAnchor constraintEqualToAnchor:self.videoView.topAnchor],
                                          [self.playerView.rightAnchor constraintEqualToAnchor:self.videoView.rightAnchor],
                                          [self.playerView.leftAnchor constraintEqualToAnchor:self.videoView.leftAnchor],
                                          [self.playerView.bottomAnchor constraintEqualToAnchor:self.videoView.bottomAnchor],

Creating the playback controller is specific to IMA. Create your playback controller as you did above, but instead of your video container view, pass in the contentOverlayView from the player view as your adContainer. The contentOverlayView is a special view used for overlaying views on the main video content.

// Create the playback controller.
id<BCOVPlaybackController> controller =
                [manager createIMAPlaybackControllerWithSettings:imaSettings
                                                     adContainer:self.playerView.contentOverlayView // special view for IMA ad content
controller.delegate = self;

// Assign new playback controller to the player view.
// This associates the playerController's session with the PlayerUI.
// You can keep this player view around and assign new
// playback controllers to it as they are created.
self.playerView.playbackController = self.playbackController;

Now, when playing video with ads, you will see the PlayerUI controls while playing video content, plus ad markers on the timeline scrubber (VMAP ads only).

The PlayerUI is highly customizable. For more information and sample code, please see Custom Layouts section in the file of the Brightcove Native Player SDK repository.

Seek Without Ads

Use -[BCOVPlaybackController seekWithoutAds:(CMTime)seekToTime completionHandler:(void (^)(BOOL finished))completion] to resume playback at a specific time without forcing the user to watch ads scheduled before seekToTime.

In preparation for seekWithoutAds:completionHandler:, disable autoPlay when setting up the BCOVPlaybackController.

Apple recommends waiting for the status of an AVPlayerItem to change to ready-to-play before using the AVPlayerItem. Therefore, call seekWithoutAds:completionHandler: in the kBCOVPlaybackSessionLifecycleEventReady handler of the playbackController:playbackSession:didReceiveLifecycleEvent method of your BCOVPlaybackControllerDelegate.

```objective-c - (void)playbackController:(NSObject)controller playbackSession:(NSObject)session didReceiveLifecycleEvent:(BCOVPlaybackSessionLifecycleEvent *)lifecycleEvent { if ([kBCOVPlaybackSessionLifecycleEventReady isEqualToString:lifecycleEvent.eventType]) { // self.resumePlayback is a hypothetical instance variable used here for illustration. if (self.resumePlayback) { __weak typeof(controller) weakController = controller;

  // seek without playing ads which are scheduled before the seek time, i.e. resume playback.
  [controller seekWithoutAds:CMTimeMake(seekWithoutAdsValue, seekWithoutAdsTimescale)
           completionHandler:^(BOOL finished) {

    if (!finished)
      NSLog (@"seekWithoutAds failed to finish");

    typeof(controller) strongController = weakController;
    if (strongController)
      // fade out the shutter to reveal the player view.
      strongController.shutterFadeTime = 0.25;
      strongController.shutter = NO;

      // turn off seek without ads - especially important if this player is being used with a playlist
      self.resumePlayback = NO;


} } ```

The shutter and shutterFadeTime properties of the BCOVPlaybackController can be used along with seekWithoutAds:completionHandler: to hide frame-flicker which can occur as the AVPlayer loads assets. In your BCOVPlaybackController set-up code, enable the shutter to hide the player view:

```objective-c NSObject *playbackController;

playbackController = [sdkManager createFWPlaybackControllerWithAdContextPolicy:nil viewStrategy:nil]; playbackController.delegate = self;

if (self.resumePlayback) { // set the shutter fade time to zero to hide the player view immediately. playbackController.shutterFadeTime = 0.0; playbackController.shutter = YES;

// disable autoPlay when resuming playback.
playbackController.autoPlay = NO;

} ```

Note that when Seek Without Ads is used in your app, you might observe network traffic which normally occurs as part of setting up the IMA plugin. This traffic is necessary for proper plugin setup, and does not affect the Seek Without Ads functionality.

Customizing Plugin Behavior

There are a couple of configuration points in BCOVIMA. You can combine BCOVIMA with another plugin for the Brightcove Player SDK for iOS, you can create a custom view strategy, and you can supply a custom ads request policy.

VAST and VMAP ad rules

BCOVIMA gives you control over how ads requests are made, via the BCOVIMAAdsRequestPolicy class. The class provides factory methods for the supported policies. Once you obtain an instance of the correct policy, you need to provide it to the BCOVPlayerSDKManager to create a playback controller or a playback session provider.

In Quick Start, an example of VMAP is given. Here is a VAST example.

    IMASettings *imaSettings = [[IMASettings alloc] init];
    imaSettings.ppid = kViewControllerIMAPublisherID;
    imaSettings.language = kViewControllerIMALanguage;

    IMAAdsRenderingSettings *renderSettings = [[IMAAdsRenderingSettings alloc] init];
    renderSettings.webOpenerPresentingController = self;

    UIView *videoContainerView = <UIView of video container>;

[1] BCOVIMAAdsRequestPolicy *adsRequestPolicy = [BCOVIMAAdsRequestPolicy adsRequestPolicyWithVASTAdTagsInCuePointsAndAdsCuePointProgressPolicy:nil];

    BCOVPlayerSDKManager *manager = [BCOVPlayerSDKManager sharedManager];
    id<BCOVPlaybackController> controller =
            [manager createIMAPlaybackControllerWithSettings:imaSettings

Let’s break this code down into steps, to make it a bit simpler to digest:

  1. This example is the same as the one provided in the quick-start, except that we are now calling a different BCOVIMAAdsRequestPolicy policy method to specify that we want to use VAST.

BCOVIMAAdsRequestPolicy has four factory methods to generate ads request policy; two for VMAP and two for VAST. Two factory methods for VMAP are described in more detail below:

  • +videoPropertiesVMAPAdTagUrlAdsRequestPolicy: This method returns the default ads request policy, which looks for the kBCOVIMAAdTag in each BCOVVideo’s properties to determine the VMAP ad tag that should be used to request ads.

  • +adsRequestPolicyWithVMAPAdTagUrl:: This method returns an ads request policy that always uses the same ad tag for every video. If you use this policy, you do not have to put the ad tag in the BCOVVideos' properties. This is the easiest way to specify an ad tag if you know your ad tag will never change for the lifetime of the application session.

There are two factory methods for VAST. All of the VAST methods take a BCOVCuePointProgressPolicy. The cue point policy determines which BCOVCuePoints will get processed by the BCOVIMAAdsRequestPolicy. The VAST policies are as follows:

  • +adsRequestPolicyWithVASTAdTagsInCuePointsAndAdsCuePointProgressPolicy: This method returns an ads request policy that checks each BCOVVideo for BCOVCuePoints of type ‘kBCOVIMACuePointTypeAd’ and looks in each of those cue points properties for the key kBCOVIMAAdTag to determine the VAST ad tag that should be used to request ads.

  • +adsRequestPolicyFromCuePointPropertiesWithAdTag:adsCuePointProgressPolicy: This method returns an ad request policy that uses the specified VAST ad tag for all BCOVCuePoints of type kBCOVIMACuePointTypeAd. Properties of the cue point are appended to the ad tag as query parameters.

You can add VAST ad tag cuepoints to a video by using the update: method on the BCOVVideo object. The following example adds pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll cuepoints:

// Objective-C
- (BCOVVideo *)updateVideo:(BCOVVideo *)video
    // Determine mid-point of video so we can insert a cue point there
    CGFloat durationMiliSeconds = ((NSNumber *)[@"duration"]).doubleValue;
    CGFloat midpointSeconds = (durationMiliSeconds / 2) / 1000;
    CMTime midpointTime = CMTimeMakeWithSeconds(midpointSeconds, 1);

    return [video update:^(id<BCOVMutableVideo> mutableVideo)
        mutableVideo.cuePoints = [[BCOVCuePointCollection alloc] initWithArray:@[
            [[BCOVCuePoint alloc] initWithType:kBCOVIMACuePointTypeAd
                                    properties:@{ kBCOVIMAAdTag : kVASTAdTagURL }],
            [[BCOVCuePoint alloc] initWithType:kBCOVIMACuePointTypeAd
                                    properties:@{ kBCOVIMAAdTag : kVASTAdTagURL }],
            [[BCOVCuePoint alloc] initWithType:kBCOVIMACuePointTypeAd
                                    properties:@{ kBCOVIMAAdTag : kVASTAdTagURL }]


// Swift
func updateVideo(withVASTTag vastTag: String) -> BCOVVideo? {

    guard let durationNum =["duration"] as? NSNumber else {
        return nil

    let durationMiliSeconds = durationNum.doubleValue
    let midpointSeconds = (durationMiliSeconds / 2) / 1000
    let midpointTime = CMTimeMakeWithSeconds(midpointSeconds, preferredTimescale: 1)

    let cuePointPositionTypeAfter = CMTime.positiveInfinity

    return update { (mutableVideo: BCOVMutableVideo?) in
        guard let mutableVideo = mutableVideo else {

        mutableVideo.cuePoints = BCOVCuePointCollection(array: [
            BCOVCuePoint(type: kBCOVIMACuePointTypeAd, position:, properties: [kBCOVIMAAdTag:vastTag])!,
            BCOVCuePoint(type: kBCOVIMACuePointTypeAd, position: midpointTime, properties: [kBCOVIMAAdTag:vastTag])!,
            BCOVCuePoint(type: kBCOVIMACuePointTypeAd, position: cuePointPositionTypeAfter, properties: [kBCOVIMAAdTag:vastTag])!,


You can also convert cuepoints created in VideoCloud to VAST cuepoints like this:

- (BCOVVideo *)updateVideo:(BCOVVideo *)video
    NSArray *cuePoints = video.cuePoints.array;
    NSMutableArray *updatedCuePoints = @[].mutableCopy;
    for (BCOVCuePoint *cuePoint in cuePoints)
        if ([cuePoint.type isEqualToString:kBCOVIMACuePointTypeAd])
            // The "metadata" property is the value of the
            // "Key/Value Pairs" field in VideoCloud when
            // creating/editing a Cue Point. In this example
            // the only value in this field is the VAST ad tag URL.
            // If you have additional values you'll need to parse
            // out just the ad tag URL.
            NSString *metadata =[@"metadata"];
            NSDictionary *properties = @{ kBCOVIMAAdTag : metadata };
            BCOVCuePoint *updatedCuePoint = [[BCOVCuePoint alloc] initWithType:cuePoint.type position:cuePoint.position properties:properties];
            [updatedCuePoints addObject:updatedCuePoint];
    return [video update:^(id<BCOVMutableVideo> mutableVideo) {
        mutableVideo.cuePoints = [BCOVCuePointCollection collectionWithArray:updatedCuePoints];

Modifying the IMAAdsRequest

The IMA Plugin passes an IMAAdsRequest object to a BCOMIMAPlaybackSessionDelegate immediately before calling IMAAdsLoader -requestAdsWithAdsRequest, allowing the user to first modify the ads request. To receive the ads request callback, create an object that implements the BCOVIMAPlaybackSessionDelegate protocol.

@import BrightcovePlayerSDK;
@import BrightcoveIMA;

@interface MyViewController : UIViewController <BCOVIMAPlaybackSessionDelegate>

Create a BCOVIMASessionProvider using either createIMAPlaybackControllerWithSettings or createIMASessionProviderWithSettings, and provide an NSDictionary of options with an entry having a key of kBCOVIMAOptionIMAPlaybackSessionDelegateKey and a value which is your delegate.

NSDictionary *imaSessionProviderOptions = @{ kBCOVIMAOptionIMAPlaybackSessionDelegateKey: self };

id<BCOVPlaybackSessionProvider> imaSessionProvider =
    [sdkManager createIMASessionProviderWithSettings:imaSettings

Implement willCallIMAAdsLoaderRequestAdsWithRequest:forPosition: in your BCOVIMAPlaybackSessionDelegate.

- (void)willCallIMAAdsLoaderRequestAdsWithRequest:(IMAAdsRequest *)adsRequest
    adsRequest.vastLoadTimeout = 3000.;

View Strategy

You can provide a custom view strategy to the BCOVPlaybackManager when you are constructing your playback controller or session provider, rather than specify the defaultControlsViewStrategy directly. With a custom view strategy, the ad container view and ad companion slots can be tied with the video content view. This is an example of custom view strategy.

BCOVPlaybackControllerViewStrategy customViewStrategy = ^UIView* (UIView *view, id<BCOVPlaybackController> playbackController){

    BCOVPlaybackControllerViewStrategy defaultControlsViewStrategy = [playbackManager defaultControlsViewStrategy];
    UIView *contentAndDefaultControlsView = defaultControlsViewStrategy(view, playbackController);

    [<UIView of video container> addSubview:contentAndDefaultControlsView];

    return <UIView of video container>;

Composing Session Providers

If you are using more than one plugin to the Brightcove Player SDK for iOS that needs to create a customized playback controller, you must instead compose a chain of session providers and pass the final session provider to the -[BCOVPlayerSDKManager createPlaybackControllerWithSessionProvider:viewStrategy:] method.

When composing session providers, the session preloading can be enabled from BCOVBasicSessionProvider; however, preloading sessions with IMA plugin is strongly discouraged due to a bug in the Google IMA SDK when having multiple AVPlayers in memory.

Registering Ad Overlays

If you are placing any views over ads while they are playing, it is necceessary to register those views with the IMA SDK. Read the Friendly obstructions section of the Open Measurement in the IMA SDK page for more information.

You can get the current IMAAdDisplayContainer object neccessary to register your overlays from the playbackController:playbackSession:didEnterAdSequence: delegate method of your BCOVPlaybackController instance. For example: - (void)playbackController:(id<BCOVPlaybackController>)controller playbackSession:(id<BCOVPlaybackSession>)session didEnterAdSequence:(BCOVAdSequence *)adSequence { NSDictionary *props =; IMAAdDisplayContainer *adDisplayContainer = props[kBCOVIMAVideoPropertiesKeyAdDisplayContainer]; [adDisplayContainer registerFriendlyObstruction:self.adOverlayView]; }

To unregister the obstructions when the ad sequence is finished, the playbackController:playbackSession:didExitAdSequence: delegate method of your BCOVPlaybackController instance can be used. For example: - (void)playbackController:(id<BCOVPlaybackController>)controller playbackSession:(id<BCOVPlaybackSession>)session didExitAdSequence:(BCOVAdSequence *)adSequence { NSDictionary *props =; IMAAdDisplayContainer *adDisplayContainer = props[kBCOVIMAVideoPropertiesKeyAdDisplayContainer]; [adDisplayContainer unregisterAllFriendlyObstructions]; }


The IMA plugin supports AirPlay for pre-roll and post-roll ads. Set enableBackgroundPlayback to YES on IMASettings along with enabling AirPlay on your BCOVPlaybackController. See the “AirPlay” section of the Core SDK README for more information.


The Brightcove IMA plugin can be used with Brightcove’s Picture-in-Picture support.

Ads can not be started if Picture-in-Picture is active, however if an ad is playing when Picture-in-Picture begins it will continue playing in the Picture-in-Picture window. Any VAST cue-points encountered after Picture-in-Picture has become active will be skipped. This is a limitation with the Google IMA SDK, see IMA SDK for iOS > Picture-in-picture for more information.

Supported configurations are: * VAST with pre, mid and/or post-rolls. * VMAP with a pre-roll.

Set enableBackgroundPlayback to YES on IMASettings and see the “Picture in Picture” section of the Core SDK README for more information.

If you are using a VAST configuration you will need to use this BCOVCuePointProgressPolicy:

BCOVCuePointProgressPolicy *policy = [BCOVCuePointProgressPolicy progressPolicyProcessingCuePoints:BCOVProgressPolicyProcessFinalCuePoint resumingPlaybackFrom:BCOVProgressPolicyResumeFromLastProcessedCuePoint ignoringPreviouslyProcessedCuePoints:YES];

Audience Segment Targeting

If you’d like to use Audience Segment Targeting with your IMA VAST ad requests you can do so by using the updateAudienceSegmentTargetingValues on BCOVPlaybackController. For eample:

[playbackController updateAudienceSegmentTargetingValues:@{

These values will be appended to the cust_params query paramater of the IMA ad request URL. For example:

The URL would become

AVPlayerViewController Support

Displaying Ad UI

If you’d like to display your own Ad UI during ad playback you can use the playbackController:playbackSession:didReceiveLifecycleEvent: delegate method. Here is an example:

#pragma mark BCOVPlaybackControllerDelegate

- (void)playbackController:(id<BCOVPlaybackController>)controller playbackSession:(id<BCOVPlaybackSession>)session didReceiveLifecycleEvent:(BCOVPlaybackSessionLifecycleEvent *)lifecycleEvent

    if ([lifecycleEvent.eventType isEqualToString:kBCOVIMALifecycleEventAdsManagerDidReceiveAdEvent])
        IMAAdEvent *adEvent =[@"adEvent"];

    switch (adEvent.type)
        case kIMAAdEvent_STARTED:
        case kIMAAdEvent_COMPLETE:
            [self hideAdUI];

Frequently Asked Questions

I can hear the ads, but I can’t see them playing.

This usually happens when the ad container view is not in the view hierarchy, or when the ad view (which is a subview of the ad container view) is covered by other views.


If you have questions, need help or want to provide feedback, please use the Support Portal or contact your Account Manager. To receive notification of new SDK software releases, subscribe to the Brightcove Native Player SDKs Google Group.