Video is one of the most efficient advertising formats. It’s capable of delivering excellent results on all platforms, and especially on mobile. The majority of marketing professionals name video as the type of content with the best ROI. Video also tends to increase visitor’s time on page at least twice. Video has seen staggering growth on mobile, as 51% of all in-stream ad views occur on mobile devices. All in all, it’s hard to overestimate the importance of video content to both advertisers and publishers.

To benefit from the lucrative ad format, marketers and website owners should know the technicalities of serving video ads. Let’s review in brief how video tags can ensure great user experience while playing videos online.

video ads vpaid vast tags

In-stream vs. out-stream

Video can be served in various environments and formats. There’s the key difference is between in-stream and out-stream video ads.

In-stream advertising appears before, during or after video content online. Out-stream ads, on the other hand, can appear on any page, over text and images, in social media feeds and games.

For serving in-stream ads, publishers need a video player, configured to serve ads with universal specifications.

Why video tags?

Ever since video ads entered the mainstream, the industry felt the need for universal standards that would let publishers serve ads across all devices. The issues of ad quality, loading time and latency are equally important for ensuring great user experience. At the same time, advertisers need a solution to purchase inventory for video ads on scale — programmatically, and track the performance of ad units.

Video tags and specifications, developed by iAB, are meant to resolve these issues.

VAST and VPAID: what’s the difference?

VAST stands for Video Ad Serving Template. It helps to transfer all the information about ad from ad server to video player: the length and type of the ad (pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll), whether it can be skipped or not, the target audience for the ad, etc. VAST enables programmatic media-buying and powers ads with complex interactions. The specifications are designated to tackle the viewability issue. They separate video and interactive files to ensure the ad is served even by publishers with limited capabilities. VAST 4.0 is the latest version, released by iAB in 2016.

VPAID is Video Player-Ad Interface Definition, which standardizes the communication between video players and in-stream video advertising. VPAID is a more advanced specification than VAST, because it supports emerging in-stream formats: non-linear video ads, rich media and interactive video ads. These ads require a high level of communication between the ad and the video player, therefore the need to ensure enhanced user experience and enable more advanced analytics, comparing to VAST specifications.

To sum up, video tags provide video advertisers and publishers with the following advantages:

  • Ensuring execution and viewability of ads across all devices;
  • Improving page load time and decrease latency;
  • Serving ads to the right audience, controlling ad environment and brand safety;
  • Tracking and measuring ad performance;

What to look for in a video platform?

In addition to VAST and VPAID tags, video platform (and ad server) should offer good loading speed. This helps ensuring that ads are properly served and viewed. Video is more “heavy” and requires more bandwidth, which can impact the quality of the image that users see. For advertisers, the vendor should provide detailed targeting and tracking, to make sure that ads are optimized to reach the target audience.

Clickky’s Video Platform works with both advertisers and publishers that support VAST and VPAID tags, and allows trading video ads programmatically, across desktop and mobile. The video platform supplies 1B views daily.

Thanks to the free video player adaptable to the content of publisher’s website, which Clickky provides at no additional cost, video ads run smoothly, without delays, latency in load times and other hindrances of the viewing experience.

Learn more about Clickky’s Video Platform or get in touch to start working with video ads.