To meet the need for standardization in the expanding digital video landscape, the Interactive Advertising Bureau released a “Digital Video Ad Serving Template” (VAST), designed to standardize communication protocol between video players and servers.

VAST will allow companies to build digital video players and video ad servers that have the same interfaces and speak the same standard language. Publishers who use the standard will be able to plug into multiple third-party digital video ad servers and networks without additional development and therefore enable a powerful tool for improving yield.

This document:

• Defines a standard ad response for in-stream video
• Provides specifications that are compatible with any video player framework
• Includes guidance for most on-demand video players (i.e., Adobe’s Flash, Microsoft’s Windows Media Player and Real Player)
• Includes accommodations for linear video and interactive ads (e.g.“pre-roll”) as well as non-linear ads such as clickable overlays as described in the IAB Digital Ad Format Guidelines

“Digital video is one of the most exciting platforms to emerge within the interactive advertising ecosystem,” said Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the IAB. “VAST is a critical industry accomplishment because it lays out a much-needed mechanism for standardization in one of the hottest areas of interactive advertising.”

“VAST allows for standardized communication between ad servers and players which is essential as more and more marketers embrace digital video as a key element of their interactive media plans and publishers wish to maximize yield on their video inventory,” said Ari Paparo, Group Product Manager, Advertiser Products of Google.

The public comment period will last until September 10, 2008. The feedback will then be reviewed and the document will be finalized and publicly released.

To review the complete document, please go to: