Background Audio Ad Playback

This guide is intended for publishers who are interested in loading audio ads to their Android apps.

Prerequisites

  • IMA Android SDK v. 3.16.1 or higher.

If you still need to implement the IMA SDK in your app, check out our Get Started guide.

Adding background ad playback to your app

For music and audio ad playback to continue when the app is in background mode, you can create a Service component that contains a custom audio player and an ad loader.

If your app has a MainActivity and an AudioPlayerService for audio playback, you can modify your AndroidManifest.xml file as shown below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    package="…">
  <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET"/>
  <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.FOREGROUND_SERVICE"/>
  <application … >
    <activity android:name=".MainActivity" android:exported="true">
      <intent-filter>
        <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN"/>
        <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER"/>
      </intent-filter>
    </activity>
    <service android:name=".AudioPlayerService"
             android:exported="false"/>
  </application>
</manifest>

In the service, you can create a custom audio player, which can be any media player as long as it also implements the VideoAdPlayer interface for interacting with the IMA SDK.

IMA SDK v. 3.16.1 added a new function, createAudioAdDisplayContainer, to create a specialized container for an ad loader to request audio ads.

The following code snippet shows an example of the AudioPlayerService for initializing and making audio ad requests.

import android.app.Service;

import com.google.ads.interactivemedia.v3.api.AdDisplayContainer;
import com.google.ads.interactivemedia.v3.api.AdsLoader;
import com.google.ads.interactivemedia.v3.api.AdsRequest;
import com.google.ads.interactivemedia.v3.api.CompanionAdSlot;
import com.google.ads.interactivemedia.v3.api.ImaSdkFactory;
import com.google.ads.interactivemedia.v3.api.ImaSdkSettings;
import com.google.ads.interactivemedia.v3.api.player.VideoAdPlayer;

import com.google.common.collect.ImmutableList;

/** Plays music and ads even when the app enters background mode. */
public class AudioPlayerService extends Service {

  /**
   * A custom audio player that implements the `VideoAdPlayer` interface.
   */
  private VideoAdPlayer audioPlayer;

  /**
   * An object to create other SDK objects: `AdDisplayContainer`, `AdsLoader` and `AdRequest`.
   */
  private ImaSdkFactory sdkFactory;

  /**
   * An object to make ad requests that would return an `AdsManager`.
   */
  private AdsLoader adsLoader;

  /**
   * An optional list of ViewGroup for rendering companion banners.
   */
  private ImmutableList<CompanionAdSlot> companionAdSlots;

  /**
   * Creates an AdsLoader for requesting ads and handling ad events.
   */
  public void initializeAds() {
    sdkFactory = ImaSdkFactory.getInstance();
    ImaSdkSettings imaSdkSettings = ImaSdkFactory.getInstance().createImaSdkSettings();
    AdDisplayContainer container = ImaSdkFactory.createAudioAdDisplayContainer(this, audioPlayer);
    if (companionAdSlots != null) {
      container.setCompanionSlots(companionAdSlots);
    }
    adsLoader = sdkFactory.createAdsLoader(this, imaSdkSettings, container);

    // Adds event handling logic for ads.
    // For more details, see
    // https://developers.google.com/interactive-media-ads/docs/sdks/android#create-an-adsloader
    adsLoader.addAdsLoadedListener(…);
    adsLoader.addAdErrorListener(…);
  }

  /**
   * Adds a companion ad slot. This slot is not required but can be set in ads initialization.
   *
   * @param companionAdSlot UI container for rendering companion banners.
   */
  public void addCompanionAdSlot(CompanionAdSlot companionAdSlot) {
    this.companionAdSlots = ImmutableList.of(companionAdSlot);
  }

  /**
   * Makes an audio ad request.
   *
   * @param adTagUrl Url to download an ad tag.
   */
  public void requestAd(String adTagUrl) {
    AdsRequest request = sdkFactory.createAdsRequest();
    request.setAdTagUrl(adTagUrl);
    adsLoader.requestAds(request);
  }
  ...
}

Using ads with companion ad slots

You can initialize ads with or without companion ad slots. If you choose to render companion ads, you will need to provide access of the AudioPlayerService to the MainActivity class through a service binder as shown below:

import android.app.Service;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.os.Binder;
import android.os.IBinder;

import androidx.annotation.Nullable;
...
/** Plays music and ads even when the app enters background mode. */
public class AudioPlayerService extends Service {
  ...
  @Nullable
  @Override
  public IBinder onBind(Intent intent) {
    return new ServiceBinder(this);
  }

  /**
   * Provides access to the `AudioPlayerService` instance after binding.
   */
  public class ServiceBinder extends Binder {
    private final AudioPlayerService boundService;

    /**
     * @param service The bound instance of the service
     */
    public ServiceBinder(AudioPlayerService service) {
      boundService = service;
    }

    public AudioPlayerService getBoundService() {
      return boundService;
    }
  }
}

You can call the addCompanionAdSlot() function and pass a UI container for rendering companion banner ads as you initialize ads from the MainActivity class.

import android.app.Activity;
import android.content.ComponentName;
import android.content.Context;
import android.content.ServiceConnection;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.os.IBinder;
import android.view.ViewGroup;

import com.google.ads.interactivemedia.v3.api.CompanionAdSlot;
import com.google.ads.interactivemedia.v3.api.ImaSdkFactory;

public class MainActivity extends Activity {

  private AudioPlayerService boundService;
  private ServiceConnection connection;

  @Override
  protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
    setContentView(R.layout.main_activity);

    ImaSdkFactory sdkFactory = ImaSdkFactory.getInstance();

    ViewGroup companionView = findViewById(R.id.companionAdSlotFrame);
    final CompanionAdSlot companionAdSlot = sdkFactory.createCompanionAdSlot();
    companionAdSlot.setContainer(companionView);
    companionAdSlot.setSize(640, 640);

    connection =
        new ServiceConnection() {
          @Override
          public void onServiceConnected(ComponentName name, IBinder binder) {
            boundService = ((AudioPlayerService.ServiceBinder) binder).getBoundService();
            boundService.addCompanionAdSlot(companionAdSlot);
            boundService.initializeAds();
          }
          ...
        };
    ...
    bindService(intent, connection, Context.BIND_AUTO_CREATE);
  }
  ...
}

Check out our sample app on GitHub for an implementation using ExoPlayer in a foreground service.