Shepherding Online Video Growth Through Updated Standards

New VPAID & VAST offer incredible opportunities

Change is in the air. The industry standards that control how supply and demand sources connect are about to be updated.

New versions of both VPAID and VAST will create more opportunities to deliver engaging advertising and ensure that online video gets more investment and continues to grow its share of advertising spend.

Updates to the standards, for example, will enable:

  • Reformatted XML content to simplify and make easier for reader to understand
  • Support for HTML 5
  • Added functionality around skip-able ads
  • Ability to include companion ads separately from .SWF
  • Support for ad icons (required for various industry programs – privacy, etc)  
  • Some additional reporting elements

The adjustments to the VAST and VPAID standards are not public yet – expect them to appear in around a month’s time – but we are confident they will provide more opportunities for improved reporting, greater functionality and even more opportunities to maximize your video inventory.

Publishers who haven’t embarked on the journey to adopting VAST and VPAID, however, shouldn’t stand back and wait for the new standards to be finalised. Adopting the current standards will already deliver a wide range of benefits both operational and financial. 

The standardized reporting and metrics they provide will become a requirement of business going forward so; while this is not a direct monetary uplift, integrating these standards will ensure that publishers remain competitive.

Everybody’s Integrating

Direct benefit will come from easier integration with third parties. This will open up new sources of revenue through expanded demand and also enhanced creative capability. 

Third-party integration with demand sources such as networks, DSPs and exchanges will not only safeguard current revenue streams as demand moves onto these platforms but will also allow publishers to access new sources of demand for video inventory.  

Publishers that are already using a network partner but aren’t VAST compliant could already be missing out on some potential revenue as not all campaigns will be able to run on their site.

On the creative side, there is strong demand to use such opportunities coming from specialist creative agencies such as Innovid, Mixpo, and Jivox as they wish to develop these formats into powerful advertising messages, which command higher CPM values.

In addition, VPAID brings with it enhanced reporting capabilities, benefiting advertisers but also providing advantage to publishers in that they gain better campaign insight and reporting capabilities.

Stand Up for Standards

The standout advantage of the VAST framework is industry standardization, which opens up larger pools of inventory to demand for all publishers by providing agencies and advertisers with consistent, transparent and accountable metrics they can use to justify their investment in the medium. 

Ultimately both current and future versions of VAST and VPAID will help drive the growth of the VOD market. It’s impossible to calculate how much industry standardization will contribute to the growth of VOD (as opposed to the growth driven by simple digitalization of more and more of our media consumption). 

Nevertheless, standardization is likely to be a major contributor to overall market growth. It’s too early for full first quarter revenues but the indications are that they are firmly in line with the IAB’s forecast of 100% growth in 2012.


Get the latest on all things premium at OPS London, which will bring EU digital advertising leaders and ops professionals together to discuss and develop best practices for operational excellence. Register today for OPS London, which will be held May 15, 2012.