Video ad serving

Video ad serving is the process of delivering video ads to a video player on a website or app. Video ad serving can be done using different standards and formats, such as VAST, VPAID, VMAP, and ad pods. In this post, we will explain what these terms mean and how they work.

VAST stands for Video Ad Serving Template. It is an XML-based protocol that defines how video ads should be structured and delivered. VAST enables communication between the video player and the ad server, and provides information such as the ad URL, duration, click-through URL, tracking events, etc. VAST is the most common and basic standard for video ad serving.

VPAID stands for Video Player-Ad Interface Definition. It is a specification that extends VAST and allows interactive and rich media video ads. VPAID enables communication between the video player and the ad creative, and allows the ad to access the player’s functionality, such as volume control, pause, resume, etc. VPAID also provides more detailed tracking and reporting of user interactions with the ad.

VMAP stands for Video Multiple Ad Playlist. It is an XML-based protocol that defines how multiple video ads can be inserted into a single video content. VMAP enables publishers to specify the ad breaks within the video content, such as pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll, and the number and type of ads in each break. VMAP also allows publishers to delegate the ad decisioning to a third-party ad server or network.

Ad pods are a sequence of video ads that are played back-to-back within a single ad break. Ad pods can be used to increase the fill rate and revenue of video inventory, as well as to create a TV-like viewing experience for users. Ad pods can be defined using VAST or VMAP.

3rd-party Video Ads Republishing is a feature that allows publishers to republish video ads from other sources on their own inventory. This can help publishers to increase their video ad inventory and revenue, as well as to access premium advertisers and campaigns. 3rd-party Video Ads Republishing can be done using VAST Wrapper.

VAST Wrapper is a special type of VAST response that contains a reference to another VAST response from a different source. The video player follows the wrapper chain until it reaches the final VAST response that contains the actual video ad. VAST Wrapper enables 3rd-party Video Ads Republishing, as well as ad verification, ad mediation, and ad waterfalling.

Pre-roll, Mid-roll, and Post-roll Video Ads are the most common types of video ads based on their position within the video content. Pre-roll ads are played before the video content starts, mid-roll ads are played during the video content at specified intervals, and post-roll ads are played after the video content ends. These types of video ads can be defined using VAST or VMAP.

VAST tag and VMAP tag are URLs that point to a VAST or VMAP response from an ad server or network. The video player requests these tags when it needs to fetch and display video ads. The tags can contain parameters that specify the targeting criteria, such as site ID, content ID, device type, etc.

Video player is a software component that plays video content and video ads on a website or app. The video player can be HTML5-based or Flash-based, depending on the browser or device compatibility. The video player needs to support VAST, VPAID, and/or VMAP standards to be able to display video ads.

Video ads are short videos that promote a product, service, brand, or message. Video ads can be linear or non-linear, depending on whether they interrupt or overlay the video content. Video ads can also be interactive or non-interactive, depending on whether they allow user input or not. Video ads can have different goals, such as awareness, engagement, conversion, or retention.