Online advertisements are a means through which website owners and webmasters make money.  For all intents and purposes, online advertisements can take the form of banners, surveys or videos. Recently, video advertisements have seen a rise in popularity. This can be attributed to the rise in the number of social media users. Audiences have become inquisitive and online surfing is satiating their intellectual appetite.

To utilize a video advertisement to the fullest, learn about video ad technology. The purpose of this article is to keep you informed about video ad servers, the players that are used to project the ads and the concepts of VAST and VPAID.

Video Ad Servers

Video ads are stored and kept ready in a network resource called Server.  This is the simplified version of the functionality of a video ad server. If we delve deeper, there is an intricate web of instructions that are followed to display the right advertisement on the right web page at the right place at the right time.

Video ad servers are classified into two types:

  • Publisher Ad Server
  • Third-party Ad Server

 In case of a publisher ad server, the ads are displayed only on the publisher’s personal website. They are designed keeping one publisher in mind.

In case of a third-party ad server, the ads are displayed on a multitude of websites. Websites may or may not belong to the same organization.

Publisher ad servers are a good idea if you are a well-established business. You should have enough resources to manage and maintain your portfolio. This way, the work remains internal and hands on. A third-party ad server is for the ones who are new to the business. If you are looking to expand, outsourcing your video advertisement needs to a company designed to manage it makes more sense. This way, you can invest more time and resources in the development of your core product.

A step by step process is involved in displaying an advertisement, and it starts from the moment you select a website on your webpage. Here the publisher web server which holds all the websites data starts to communicate with the web browser and gives it the directions to locate the ads to be displayed. This sends the browser in the direction of the publisher ad server, where the browser shall use a small portion of the ad’s code to find it. The ad server will use this tag, find the ad and decide the appropriate creative display. The final delivery of the product is managed by marketer ad server.


Ad Format

While creating an ad, the creators should:

  • Decide the player to be used so as to display the video ad
  • Finalize the format or template to be used- Template is required to embed the code of the advertisement.

Let us now take a look at the most popular types of template.

For long, people have relied on creating their own templates to create an ad. This, however, is a tedious and time-consuming task. Moreover, to run the original script ad, a player is required. Creating a player is easier said than done. Not only does this add to the complexity of the task but also costs the company a fortune if the work is freelanced.

An advertising business organization, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) gave the world not one but two solutions to this problem by creating standard interfaces which can be used all throughout the world by anyone.  The solutions are:

  • VAST: Video Ad Serving Template
  • VPAID: Video Player-Ad Interface Definition

Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) and Video Player-Ad Interface Definition(VPAID) have centralized the video ad industry and are godsend boons for ad developers.

VAST was the first template created by IAB in 2008 to simplify the life of the ad creator by creating a common list of instructions. This list of instructions can be used by all to create the ads which can be run on different types of players. It is worth mentioning that, IAB  in 2016, came out with VAST 4.0 where they have improved this template in areas like standardized time stamp, conditional ad declaration, universal ad ID etc.

VPAID is the advanced version of VAST and has seen much popularity when it comes to advertisements. Marketers are in love with its functionality. The ad reports back the action/response of the user. This can work as a great survey and marketing tool.  VPAID has an advantage over VAST in the fact that it is more interactive.

Many have today started to tap into the best of both worlds by layering VPAID over VAST. This gives the users an enhanced experience when it comes to video ads. The ad benefit of VPAID is its better user interaction, while VAST has the advantage of running on any video player

Video Player

Once the final product has been created, it is the task of the video player to display it. The video player’s function is to display the ad and also send a feedback to the server of the user who viewed the ad. They can also carry out advanced research like assessing the environment they are being run on. For example, handheld devices and desktops register different behaviors.

As mentioned earlier, initially, the creators were coerced to create a specific player for a specific template. Thanks to IAB, VAST and VPAID templates, everything is standardized. There are no hassles.


Types of Ads


  • In-stream video ads

These are the ads which many webmasters are familiar with. They are the annoying kind we encounter while watching a video on YouTube. Also known as linear video ads, they are played before, after or during the video content.

  • Out stream video ads

These are billboards of online advertising. There is no content which is used as a platform to display this type of ads. They are generally placed in the corners or alongside articles. Standard ad placement protocols are followed.

  • Interactive Video Ads

These ads are not just there to be viewed. The purpose of this type of ads is to keep audiences engaged. Interactive ads have the same functionality as linear ads. They are played before, after or in between the original content. However, interactive video ads can be used to give the users an opportunity to sign up or have a taste of a game the ad represents. This way, the creators can not only display their products but also let the users enjoy.

Advertising the product is the most important marketing skill any business owner should be aware of. Since the internet is here to stay for eternity, marketers should keep themselves abreast of video ad technology and trends in video streaming. Cheers!