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Video Advertising

Differences between VAST, VPAID, VMAP in Video Advertising

Video Advertising

Video Advertising:

Video advertising involves streaming of advertisements such as Mid Page Units (MPUs) with video within them. This concept video advertising has been gaining popularity and few statements amply substantiate the same.

• Video ads accounted for 12.8% of all videos viewed.

• LiveRail (video advertising distributor) places more than 7 billion video ads a month.

The latest trend in video advertising in real-time bidding. IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) is the nodal agency to prescribe and develop rules relating to video advertising. IAB proposes 3 types of video ad formats i.e.) linear video ads (ads presented before, in the middle of, or after the video content is consumed), ii) non-linear video ads (that run concurrently with the video content) & iii) companion ads (common text, rich media etc).

Options in Video Advertising:

There are presently 3 options available for video advertising. They are VAST, VPAID & VMAP. Each of them has their own advantages and limitations. Now let’s briefly understand these terms.

VAST -Video Ad Serving Template:

It is the foundational specification offering a structured method for ad servers as well as video players to communicate. It aims to help advertisers to implement their ads across unique publishers. VAST has been able to offer basic ad tracking (providing valuable consumer engagement metrics) such as pause, player expand, resume, and completed play, skip, click, midpoint and player collapse.

VPAID – Video Player Ad Interface Definition:

Compared to VAST, VPAID offers enhanced features allowing advertising create richer and more interactive video experiences. Scalability across consumer devices is another advantage offered by VPAID.

VMAP— Video Multi-Ad Playlist:

The latest release addressing the problems unique to video distribution is VMAP that was released in 2012. VMAP enables the advertiser to decide the number and placement of ad breaks thereby increasing inventory control by the publisher.

Now let’s briefly view the advantages and limitations of each of the above options:

• VAST is a Video Ad Serving Template whereas VPAID is a Video Player AD Serving Interface Definition.

• VAST is a universal specification for serving video ads whereas VPAID helps in establishing a common interface between the video ad and video player.

• VAST only enables video ads to be served across all compliant video players (simple in-stream video ad formats) whereas VPAID helps to provide rich interactivity plus rich interaction, playback etc and is much more to VAST.

• VAST enables a common way of serving video ads on video players whereas VPAID enables ad interactivity.

• VAST provides a uniform way for data to be passed from the ad server to video players independent of any technology whereas VPAID offers an API to facilitate increasing complexity in video advertising enabling video players to accept more ads.

• VPAID enables the video player to preload an ad unit before rendering it whereas VAST does not have such feature.

• VAST is a common language which helps in the video player and different ad server communication whereas VPAID communicates between the video player and different ad servers.

Coming to VMAP, it is an XML template designed for publishers who lack the ability to control ad placement within their content. VMAP enables the publisher to define the ad breaks (including the broken timing, number of available breaks & how many are allowed in each break).


After learning briefly about few of video advertising terminologies/standards. It is all the more important to note that these standards are important for scalability and to manage his ads depending on the breaks and also the relevance of the ads for the video that is being streamed.

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