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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Digital Video Ad Serving Template (VAST)

What is VAST? (The Digital Video Ad Serving Template (VAST))

The digital video ad serving template (VAST) provides a standardized method for communicating the status of a video ad back to the ad servers in the case where the ad is served from a dynamically selected ad server. It is specifically designed for on-demand videoplayer where the ad response is parsed prior to play.
VAST is applicable to Linear Video Ads (such as "pre-rolls"), Non-linear Video Ads (such as "overlays") and Companion ads as defined in the IAB Digital Video Ad Format Guidelines.

History
Due to both strong industry adoption and an evolving marketplace, VAST has continued to be updated in order to stay relevant.

VAST 1.0

The initial version of VAST was released in September 2008.

VAST 2.0

Released in November 2009, this formalized support for multiple creatives, linear and non-linear ads, and companion ads.

VAST 3.0

The upcoming version of VAST aims to include extensive industry feedback. :  http://www.iab.net/media/file/VASTv3.0.pdf

Compliance Program

The IAB allows members who have self attested to compliance with the VAST guidelines to obtain and post a VAST Complianceseal.

This Video Ad Serving Template (“VAST”) includes a standard XML-based ad response for in-stream video as well as an XML Schema Definition (“XSD”) for developers. It is meant to accommodate the majority of current practices within the online digital video advertising business.
VAST is designed for any on-demand video player where the ad response is parsed prior to play. For example, use of this standard would be appropriate within an Adobe Flash player if the ad response was requested and parsed in ActionScript but would not be appropriate if contained directly within a SMIL playlist directly sent to the player. It may be possible to use this XML format for applications other than on-demand viewing such as live video streaming, downloadable video players, set-top boxes, etc, but those applications are explicitly beyond the scope of the current effort.
The goal of this specification is to be compatible with any video player framework that has the ability to be scriptable. It will be up to each Secondary Ad Server to develop its own implementation of the standard and it will be up to each publisher or vendor to implement the standard in their Primary Ad Server and their Video Players.
Compliance Program for IAB members:
The IAB VAST Compliance Seal program has been designed to integrate into compliant member sites with ease. The IAB suggests that compliant member sites post the compliance seal in their online media kit as well as in their print versions. Media buyers will be educated about the benefits of VAST and be encouraged to look for the seal. The compliance seal must be placed according to IAB standards and should not be altered in any way. 
VAST Compliance Defined
 
Publishers who are VAST compliant self attest that they have implemented the standard XML-based ad response for in-stream video ad serving, as well as the XML Schema Definition (“XSD”) for developers.
How to Obtain the Compliance Seal:
In order to obtain the seal, a member company should download and fax theIAB Compliance Seal Application. Once the form has been received and reviewed, and assuming compliance, an attachment with the seal will be received by the compliant IAB member-company’s site.

Reference : http://www.iab.net/wiki/index.php/VAST

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