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Inn-dustry basics: VPAID

Inn-dustry basics: VPAID

Whether you are just dipping your toes into programmatic or elbow-deep in its trenches,
it’s always good to bring it back to basics.

The two IAB video standards, VAST and VPAID, have been part of our digital lexicon since 2008 and 2012, respectively. But it seems that we have heard more about VPAID in 2017 than we have in the entirety of its 5 year existence–and we probably have. Interactive video has been on the rise and so too is the demand for partners who support the VPAID format. 5 years is a long time in ad tech, so if the information you read in 2012 about VPAID is no longer fresh in your mind, don’t worry. We’re here to help.

What does it stand for?
VPAID: Video Player-Ad Interface
Definition: a universal specification developed by the IAB for interaction between ad units and video players focused on “enabling a rich interactive in-stream ad experience.”

What is it?
It’s JavaScript code holding the instructions for a dynamic creative: rich interactive elements, what ad to play, video length, etc.

How common is VPAID?
VPAID is the enhanced version of VAST (Video Ad Serving Template). Before VAST, ad creatives had to be coded to work with each proprietary player the advertiser wanted it to work with. Adoption of VPAID has been rather slow, especially on mobile, but with major browser vendors reducing their support of Flash, VPAID creatives are rapidly gaining adoption.

What does VPAID do?
VPAID supports a rich interactive ad experience that is directly associated with increased user engagement and improved ad performance.

Why was it created?
To improve communication between video players and different ad servers.

Why is it important to advertisers?
VPAID also enables advertisers to directly and independently track metrics like viewability, completion rate and click-through rate without having to rely on the measurement of the publisher or the exchange. By allowing advertisers to see how individual ads are performing, they can devise improved ways of engaging with their audiences to  increase the level of interaction with their ads.

Why is it important to publishers?
Dynamic video ads are known to provide higher levels of engagement and are predicted to attract more advertising dollars. If a publisher is VPAID compatible, then publishers can accept a broader range of video ads.