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What is VAST?


The video content publishing has become the most common thing, and monetization is always a part of the process. Before the VAST there is no such common protocol to follow for in-stream ads for multiple publishers. There is a great talk about VAST and how much it is necessary for adopting the better standards. Many people don’t know about the VAST and how it means for the video standardization. You need not be a programmer to understand the VAST. The digital video ad spending was growing and the need for the standards was also increased.

What exactly is VAST?

VAST is a Video Ad Serving Template which is a script that provides the information about the video ad to play and how it can be shown and how long it will play and whether the user can skip that particular ad or not.

VAST means Video Ad Serving Template. It provides a generic framework for the embedding of in-stream video ads. It is specifically designed with a generic framework for embedding the in-stream video ads. It facilitates the communication between the video players as well as the video ad players.

It provides better standardization and can be utilized by the advertisers for hosting as well as serving the video ads and also helps in calculation of some impressions.

Publishers can easily serve and track the ads from all the VAST ad servers without the need of integrating the work. VAST did not do anything and will not embed the video on to the web page, and it also doesn’t control the flow of ad execution.

VAST has become an important thing because it allows the video players and the ad servers to speak some similar language and the standards were mean the volume for the publishers for selling to acquire more revenue.

Why VAST Matter?

The main objective behind the VAST is to avoid publisher forcing and to change the video stack just to utilize on various ad servers.

What is changed in VAST?

VAST was developed with the demand of the publishers and advertisers. It allows the players to signal the ad formats they are needed in general. Like linear, linear skippable, etc. It is a problem for the publishers to play the certain type of formats and can’t go with other certain types of formats. The IAB developed version 4.0 as the at least update with the present video ad standards.

With VAST the adoption with the publishers and versions become easy, and there are many useful additional features are updated in the newer VAST versions.

The main limitation with the VAST is it unable to support the visibility standards until it was developed for 4.0 versions. A solution was at last found with the cobbling of VPAID with VAST.

What is VPAID?

VPAID is called as a Video player Ad serving Interface Definition which is just a code that runs in the video players. It is the interactive one with good overlay features that viewers can click to know more, and the advertisers like ads trigger a response from the viewers and hence they can measure the effectiveness.

Is VAST and VPAID is for desktop only?

No, it was initially prepared for the pre-mobile, and IAB developed the MRAID version with the standard rich media ads that run on a mobile application which can incorporate the VPAID’s functionality. VPAID is also helpful in providing the advertisers with more information about the activity of ads and their performance with better interaction.

VAST request

When the video player needs to display an ad, it will send an HTTP request that gets by DSP which had the impression to the VAST-compliant ad server to get the Ad which is displayed on the screen.

The VAST request embeds the publisher’s ID and the campaign ID in the standard version of VAST. The request is not a part of the VAST specifications that baits the entry point.

VAST Response

The ad server with a well-standardized XML format response replies. The traditional form of the response contains the different elements. The first type is like links to the ad creative to play in which the VAST did not specify the various formats and the creatives.

The second type is the ad type in which it denotes the linear form of ads play before, during and after the content of the publishers. When comes to the nonlinear type of ads, it is like overlay and post-roll type of ads.

The tracking URIs and the pixels must be fired by the concerned player whenever the certain events occur.

What is the Tracking URIs?

In the VAST response, the ad server will provide the player that list with some tracking URIs and the pixels which can be fired whenever there is a certain event occur.

The pixels will be very helpful for the ad servers to keep the track on the current events just like a number of impressions and ads watched and average time watched etc.

This feature address some complex and other technical issues.

Why do some Ad networks prefer VPAID tags Instead of VAST tags?

The majority of the borrowers like to remove the support for the flash and VPAID is a creative tag where you can easily configure to any ad network. That means if a publisher player were capable of playing the creative it would work well. The main support will be utilized with the VPAID tag.

Building an own VAST/VPAID compliant video player

You can use the open source video player framework along with the VAST plugin. But implementation of an effective VAST and VPAID component is a challenging one if you have no prior experience in the similar field.

Many famous players in the market were also doing to have the implemented the VAST issue free. It is just like building your car, and you need to move by learning step by step using the open sources and expert advice.

The video content publishers need to upgrade the video players in order to support the VAST ad response basing on the supporting formats.

Image Source: Visualhunt

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