Tuesday, April 10, 2012
IAB Releases New ‘Video Suite’ Featuring Critical Updates to Key Specs - VAST & VPAID - and New Protocol, VMAP

Suite Introduces User-Friendly Ad Formats, Support for Mobile and Connected TV, and Complete Interoperability to Minimize the Complexity of Executing Video Advertising Campaigns

NEW YORK, NY (April 10, 2012) — Releasing the first comprehensive update to its in-stream video advertising standards since 2008, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today introduced its “IAB Video Suite” of new and updated specifications designed to deliver a variety of enhanced video advertising experiences while simplifying technical execution. Working in an open forum with leaders from over 45 member companies, the IAB Digital Video Committee spent over a year crafting the suite, which includes critical updates to its key specs – VAST and VPAID – and the establishment of a new protocol, VMAP. The announcement was made at the IAB Digital Video Marketplace “Content…Without Borders,” held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Times Square in New York City.

The suite’s three specs are devised to work together as part of a thorough video advertising offering:

  • Video Ad-Serving Template (VAST) – a universal protocol for serving in-stream video ads, permitting ad servers to use a single ad response format across multiple compliant publishers/video players
  • Video Player-Ad Interface Definition (VPAID) – a common communication protocol between ad units and video players that enables rich ad experiences and detailed event reporting back to advertisers
  • Video Multiple Ad Playlist (VMAP) – a new protocol that allows content owners to describe where ad breaks should be placed in their content when they do not control the video player or the content distribution outlet

“The IAB Video Suite gives advertisers new canvases where they can tap the power of video to create real brand stories in the digital space," said Steve Sullivan, Vice President, Ad Technology, IAB. “These specs help creativity flourish by making it easier for companies to buy and sell video ad inventory while allowing marketers to deliver in-stream interactive video ads with the confidence that consumers will always receive a consistent viewing experience across different media players.”

VAST 3.0, VPAID 2.0, and VMAP 1.0 offer a range of benefits to advertisers, publishers, and consumers. Advancements include:

  • Support for “skippable” video ads that allow for publisher pricing models based on ads that play to completion
  • Support for “pods” of multiple ads to be displayed in a single ad break, allowing for the creation of viewing experiences similar to broadcast television
  • Support for the display of in-ad privacy notices recommended by the Digital Advertising Alliance Self-Regulation Program for Online Behavioral Advertising
  • Ability for a single ad to play seamlessly across different devices including iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as certain connected television platforms
  • Clarity surrounding compliance, while permitting vendors to support only the ad formats they use

“Creating this new suite of standards was certainly worth the effort, although it was huge undertaking,” said Teg Grenager, Founder and Vice-President of Product at Adap.tv, and Co-Chair of the IAB Digital Video Committee Technical Standards Working Group. “All of us on the Working Group collaborated closely with the IAB team with one goal in mind–the expansion of the digital video advertising marketplace. Now, with these new specs in place, I think we will increasingly see advertisers using them to create innovative new ad experiences for consumers, and distribute and measure them across partners and devices.”

“These new specifications allow content owners, distributors, and publishers to control the ad experience across a range of platforms and devices, giving them greater confidence to bring more content online,” said Payam Shodjai, Product Manager, Google/YouTube, and Co-Chair of the IAB Digital Video Committee Technical Standards Working Group. “Moreover, we expect the IAB Video Suite to benefit the entire online video ecosystem, providing better experiences for users while incentivizing creative agencies to develop more engaging ads.”

For further details on the new IAB Video Suite, and to download the digital video specifications, go to http://www.iab.net/vsuite.

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
347.683.1859
[email protected]