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IAB Tech Lab Releases VAST 4.0 For Public Comment

Updates Help Publishers Monetize Long-Form Video Content Through Improved Delivery & Measurement of Digital Video Advertising

NEW YORK, NY (November 2, 2015) — The IAB Technology Laboratory today announced the release of VAST 4.0 for public comment. The revision offers improvements in the delivery and measurement of video advertising, including sophisticated tracking options for clients, the ability to select ads dynamically for insertion, and a more seamless experience for the viewer. Developed by members of the IAB Digital Video Technical Standards Working Group, VAST 4.0 marks the first update to this critical digital video ad serving template since 2012.

VAST 4.0 features various advancements:

  • Server-side Support – VAST 4.0 supports “ad-stitching” or providing linear video ads in a stream to players with limited capabilities using server-to-server methods
  • Mezzanine File and Creative ID – Enabling advertising across video platforms that include long-form content, high-resolution screens, and advertiser requirements for tracking ad creative, VAST 4.0 includes support for raw, high-quality mezzanine files and international creative ID programs (such as Ad-ID in the U.S.)
  • Ad Verification and Viewability Execution – VAST 4.0 contains a light script object to simplify ad verification using VAST instead of complicating VPAID use and interfering with the video viewing experience
  • Category Support – The introduction of ad categories will allow video publishers to separate competing ad creatives and improve brand safety
  • Conditional Ad Declaration – A declaration in VAST for a conditional ad helps publishers prevent and reclaim any potentially lost inventory revenue in programmatic ad delivery

“As long-form video consumption increases, publishers need the ability to monetize longer form content,” said Scott Cunningham, Senior Vice President, Technology and Ad Operations, IAB, and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. “Additionally, ad tracking has been an ongoing pain point for advertisers who want to verify ad viewability and performance. This overhaul of VAST will help accomplish both of these industry-wide needs and much more.”

“If we want to fuel the growth of digital video, it is vital that we minimize the complexities in executing video ad campaigns,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Video, IAB. “VAST 4.0 is critical in ensuring that the technical infrastructure that supports the digital video ecosystem is able to reduce friction and encourage brands to spend more dollars on digital video.”

The public comment period will run through December 2, 2015, after which the IAB Digital Video Technical Standards Working Group will evaluate the comments received, make any necessary revisions, and release a final version. Comments are being accepted via email to Luke Luckett at [email protected]

The updates to VAST were released at the IAB Ad Operations Summit in New York City. To review the revised template, please go to iab.com/guidelines/vast4.0.

About the IAB Technology Laboratory

The IAB Technology Laboratory is an independent, international, nonprofit research and development consortium charged with producing and helping companies implement global industry technical standards. Comprised of digital publishers and ad technology firms, as well as marketers, agencies, and other companies with interests in the interactive marketing arena, the IAB Tech Lab’s goal is to reduce friction associated with the digital advertising and marketing supply chain, while contributing to the safe and secure growth of the industry. The organization’s founding member companies include AppNexus, Google, Hearst Magazines Digital Media, PubMatic, Tremor Video, and Yahoo. Established in 2014, the IAB Tech Lab is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]