The IAB announced the release for public comment of Video Player-Ad Interface Definitions Guidelines (VPAID). The announcement represents another important step in the IAB’s infrastructure initiative that seeks to build a common language for buying, selling, creating and delivering digital video advertising.

The series of definitions in the VPAID Guidelines help the interactive industry:
  • Define a standard method for video ads to communicate with video players and enable ad compatibility across all VPAID-compliant players
  • Provide specifications that can be implemented by any type of video player
  • Cut production costs and improve ROI for advertisers while enabling a less intrusive experience for video content viewers.
Until now, video ads could only be posted on publisher sites that supported the same technology as an agency did when creating the ads. With VPAID, publishers adhering to these standards will be able to render any type of video advertisement from any video ad serving technology that also adheres to the standards. Likewise, advertisers that adopt the standards can be assured that the ads they create are usable by any ad serving technology and publisher.
Over the past year, the IAB has taken a lead role in the industry-wide effort to create a common structure across distinct areas of digital video. In addition to VPAID, the IAB’s efforts have included the release of the following documents as part of this initiative:

  • Digital Video Measurement Guidelines
  • Digital Video In-Stream Ad Format Guidelines and Best Practices
  • Digital Video Ad Serving Template (VAST)
  • Digital Video In-Stream Ad Metrics Definitions
All of these documents can be reviewed here.
“Interactive advertising is a bright spot in the current advertising environment, and digital video is one of its most promising formats,” said Jeremy Fain, Vice President of Industry Services at IAB. “VPAID is the final piece of the current Digital Video Infrastructure Initiative. All five parts of the initiative help define the digital video ecosystem, reduce costs and increase efficiency for all parties and, most importantly, make it possible for advertisers to more easily reach larger online audiences.”

“Advertisers and agencies today require more interactive formats that go beyond linear TV ad spots, demand more control over how they experience ads, and want the ability to learn more about particular subjects of interest,” said David Ku, SVP of the Advertising Technology Group at Yahoo!, a member company of the IAB’s Digital Video Committee.  “VPAID provides a common standard for how video ads will interact with players and serves as an important step forward to deliver on the promise of digital video ad formats.”
Members of the industry (advertising agencies, advertisers, online publishers and technology vendors) are encouraged to read the proposed guidelines and submit comments.  After the comment period closes on March 5, 2009 the feedback will be reviewed and the guidelines will be finalized and released.