OTSM Specifications

On The Spot Media Advertisement Specifications and Media Submission Procedure

Thank You for Choosing On The Spot Media!

Getting Started

We're here to help you to easily and quickly set up your account, and walk you through your first order. If you need even a little help uploading our order, we're ready to assist (without any extra fees, of course). Our OTSM Station Services team will follow up with verbal confirmations for every destination on your first time order.

The Support You Need | Pricing You Can Afford

We're proud to provide the industry's best 24x7x365 personalized service, bar none. And our Pure Digital Pricing means no more annoying and unnecessary late-night fees or rush charges. Same day delivery for basic short-form content is standard.

CYBORG|QC - the best combination of online quality analysis and human inspection

In addition to File-Based analysis to ensure file integrity, we visually inspect and approve all incoming masters for distribution. We will hold content and request approval prior to distribution if there are formatting concerns, including center cut safety, closed captioning, slating, picture quality, and/or linear specifications. If you have content you suspect will be flagged, pre-approval can be arranged by contacting clientservices@onthespotmedia.com prior to submission. See quick tips for better file quality.

Have A Question About Submitting Your Media?

Select from the topic list on this page, or feel free to call us at 855.855.OTSM 24/7.


File Name and ISCI Code/Ad-ID Requirements
File Encoding Guidelines
Audio Channel Mapping
Audio Levels, Loudness and CALM Act Compliance
HD Center Cut Protect and 4:3 Title Safety Requirements
Closed Caption Formatting and Encoding Specifications
Linear Formatting Requirements
Slate Requirements
Long Form Specifications - HD and SD
Testing Guidelines and Uploading Instructions
Uploading Content Through OTSM Media Shuttle

International Specifications
File Layout
Video Levels
Audio Levels
Safe Area

Request Upload URL and Log In

File Name and ISCI Code/Ad-ID Requirements

The file name should be the ISCI code or Ad-ID followed by the file extension ex: .mpg, .mov. As an example a spot with ISCI Code ISCI1234 in a QuickTime container would be named ISCI1234.mov. A valid ISCI code or AD-ID is required for all advertisements and must not exceed 15 characters. HD advertisements must have an ISCI code or Ad-ID ending with an H (ex: ISCI1234H).

File Encoding Guidelines

Our primary goal is to distribute the highest quality content possible. To that end we request that clients upload their highest quality file. We can process a wide variety of formats, including but not limited to the following containers and codecs:

Apple Pro Res | MPEG 2 | MXF

Files for broadcast distribution should be submitted with a frame rate of 29.97. Frame rate conversions are available as an additional production service charge.

Video and chroma levels should conform to SMPTE 292M for HD-SDL.

Video levels should be 100IRE with black levels at 7.5 IRE for analog video and 0 IRE for digital video. Here are proper levels when looking at a color bars on a waveform monitor:

OTSM file encoding proper levels on waveform monitor

Chroma should be 100 percent. While it can go as high as 110 percent and still be acceptable it is recommended to keep the chroma at 100 percent for optimum quality. The screenshot below shows all the vectors at the 100 percent setting:

OTSM file encoding vectors at 100 percent setting

If you are submitting content for PRODUCTION SERVICES. we recommend submitting Apple Pro Res 422HQ with the following specifications:

Format: ProRes
Format Profile: 422 HQ
Bit Rate: 147 Mb/s
Width: 1920 Pixels
Height: 1080 Pixels
Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 29.97
Color Space: YUV
Chroma Subsampling: 4:2:2
Scan Type: Interlaced
Scan Order: Top Field First
Color Primaries: BT 709

To inquire about additional supported formats please email operations@onthespotmedia.com.

Audio Channel Mapping

Stereo Only
Stereo Mix on Channels: 1-2

Surround W/Stereo Mix
Surround on Channels 1-6
(Left Front, Right Front, Center, Low Frequency Effects, Left Surround, Right Surround)
Stereo Mix on Channels 7-8

To inquire about additional audio configuration formats, please email operations@onthespotmedia.com

Audio Levels, Loudness and CALM Act Compliance

Audio levels should be CALM Act compliant with a loudness level of -24LKFS +/- 2dB. Every spot will be subjected to an audio loudness processing to ensure CALM Act compliance prior to distribution at no additional cost.

Here are some guideline tips to configure an acceptable audio level:

Digital Audio Levels Using dBFS Scale
10dbfs = Digital audio levels should not peak higher than -10dbfs ( +/- 1dbfs ).
Digital Peak Meters are found on digital broadcast equipment. VTR's and NLE editing systems.

Analog Audio Levels Using VU Scale
0 dB = Analog audio levels should not peak higher than 0dB ( +/- 1dB ).
Analog audio levels can be metered using a standard analog VU meter.

HD Center Cut Protect and 4:3 Title Safety Requirements

HD content should be "Center Cut Safe" and "4:3 Title Safe". Important creative and legal information includes but it is not limited to, phone numbers, website URL's, disclaimers, Logo's as well as other important text and graphics.

Closed Caption Formatting and Encoding Specifications

We support and process accurately the following closed captioning data, "Line 21" VBI Captioning in files with a frame size of 486i or greater, QuickTime Closed Captioning Tracks in all versions of QT files, MPEG2 Captioning typically encoded as "Picture User Data".

Linear Formatting Requirements

Each advertisement should be exported as a self-contained file at an fps of 29.97 ( for basic distribution ). Files must adhere to one of the following combinations:

Order of Content Second Frames
Slate - 2 seconds - 60 Frames
Black and Silence - 2 Seconds - 60 Frames

Followed by:
:10 Second Creative - 300 Frames
:15 Second Creative - 450 Frames
:30 Second Creative - 900 Frames
:60 Second Creative - 1800 Frames
:90 Second Creative - 2700 Frames
:120 Second Creative - 3600 Frames

Followed by:
Black and Silence - 3 Frames

Slate Requirements

Each individual spot/file must have a slate before the start of picture (see Linear Spec for additional information). A slate is a still video segment with basic information required by broadcasters for identification. The slate at a minimum will contain the Client, Advertiser, Product, Title, ISCI, or Ad-ID (15 character max), and Length.

Long Form Specifications - HD and SD

We accept durations of 27:30, 28:30, 58:30 and 60:00 dependent on distribution. Please contact us in advance if there are any questions about what lengths are accepted for a specific destination.

Tape Slate Requirements:
Sponser or Product
Recording Date
Stereo, Dual Mono or 5.1
Closed Captioned

Content Layout Requirements:
8 seconds slate
2 seconds black followed by program and 2 frames of black (Example: run time for a 28:30 infomercial
would be 00:28:40,02)

File Formats:
We accept Apple Pro Res & MPEG2

Apple ProRes 422 HD
Quality HQ
1920 X 1080
16X9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 29.97
Color Space: YUV
Scan Type: Interlaced Upper First
Color Primaries: BT 709
Audio Channels: 2 or 8
Audio Sample Rate: 16-bit

MPEG2 Transport Stream HD 4:2:2 CBR
Video Bit Rate: 60 MB
Long GOP
Interlaced Upper First
Frame Size: 1920 X 1080
16X9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 29.97
MPEG1 Layer 2 Audio
Audio Sample Rate: 48K
Audio Profile: Stereo 384Kbps

Apple ProRes 422 SD
Quality HQ
Frame Size: 720X486
4X3 aspect ratio
Frame Rate: 29.97
Interlaced Lower First
608 Captions
Audio Channels: 2
Audio Sample Rate: 16 bit

MPEG2 Program Stream 4:2:2 CBR
Video Bit Rate: 25 MB
I-Frame or Long GOP
Interlaced Upper First
Frame Size: 720X512
Frame Rate: 29.97
MPEG1 Layer 2 Audio
Audio Sample Rate: 48K
Audio Profile: Stereo 384Kbps

Files for Radio Distribution Specifications

Preferred File Specifications
.MP3 format
44.1 KHz
Constant bit rate of 320 kbps

Testing Guidelines and Uploading Instructions

Prior to sending content for distribution, all new clients must send test files for QC analysis and approval. This allows us to perform and communicate our quality control procedures and attend to all potential issues ahead of time. After testing is complete, we can setup customer specific FTP login credentials for live orders. The goal of the testing phase is to develop a repeatable process that can be automated to accelerate distribution.

Uploading Content Through OTSM Media Shuttle

We'd like to encourage you to download the Signiant app for faster upload times.
*Please note: file names cannot contain any special characters.

Spots: https://sendotsmspots.mediashuttle.com
Paid Programs/Long Form: https://sendotsmlongform.mediashuttle.com

OTSM Media Shuttle Downloading Signiant App

OTSM Media Shuttle Uploading Content

International Distribution Specifications

File Formats:
We accept MXF (OP1a)

MXF (OP1a)
Frame Size: 1920X1080
16X9 aspect ratio
Frame Rate: 25
Upper Field First
Video Bit Rate: 50 MB
Chroma Subsampling: 4:2:2
GOP Length: 12(M=3, N=12)
Audio Format: PCM (Little Endian)
Audio Channels: 2(1 channel per stream)
Audio Sample Rate: 48 kHz
Bit Depth: 16 bits / 24 bits

File Layout

Files must be exact duration; TVC content only. No pre or post roll such as clock/slate, bars, black, hold, freeze or audio tone is required.

The first and last 6 frames of the commercial must be mute.

Video (Active on-air duration, exact number of mm:ss:ff)
Audio (First and Last 6 frames must be mute)

Video Levels

Levels must be accordance with ITU BT.709 HD content, and EBU R103-2000 recommendations:

Luma = Level 16-235 (not RGB 0-255 level), equivalent to 0% - 100% or 0mV - 700mV. Chroma = Level 16-240, equivalent to maximum 100% RGB.

All content should be upper/first field dominant throughout and must be free of encoding artifacts, dropout, glitches, blocking, interlace issues or excessive aliasing and considered broadcast quality throughout.

Audio Levels

The Program Loudness Level must be normalized to -23 LKFS and -1 dBTP max, according to EBU R128 recommendation.

Audio should be free of any distortion, glitches or excessive sibilance and must be in phase and in sync with the video throughout.


Please ensure all On Screen Text is free from spelling and grammatical errors, and within the relevant Safe Area in accordance with EBU R95-2017 recommendations:

HD Safe Area 1920x1080 Interlaced

HD Safe Area 1920x1080 Interlaced 16:9

SD Safe Area

SD Center Cut 1440px Safe Area 1296px