The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) made a couple of noteworthy announcements today. The first is release of an update to its in-stream video ad standards; the second, the kickoff of a "Rising Stars" video competition devoted to digital video.
"The 'IAB Video Suite' is [a] new and updated specification designed to deliver a variety of enhanced video advertising experiences while simplifying technical execution," a spokesperson for the IAB tells WebProNews. "This includes critical updates to its key specs — VAST and VPAID — and the establishment of a new protocol, VMAP."
The organization says it has been working for over a year crafting the suite, with help from over 45 member companies.
VAST, the IAB says, is 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. VPAID is described as a common communication protocol between ad units and video players that enables rich ad experiences and detailed event reporting back to advertisers. Finally, VMAP, is described as 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," says the IAB's VP of Ad Tech, Steve Sullivan. "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.”
These standards support skippable video ads, "pods" of multiple ads to be displayed in a single ad break (TV-style), the display of in-ad privacy notices, and the ability for singular ads to play across various devices.
As far as the contest, the IAB wants companies (as well as individuals) to submit digital video ad units, to be evaluated based upon: user experience, branding, functionality, integration and adoption.
"Like the previous IAB Rising Stars contest for display and mobile ads, the Digital Video Rising Stars competition is designed to foster digital advertising creativity and boost larger ad spends across multiple screens," the spokesperson says.
The deadline for submission is June 30. More details here.