By Evan DeSimone
The IAB Technology Lab has announced the latest update to its Video Ad Serving Template (VAST), the document which specifies communication requirements between ad servers and video players.
The last version of the template, VAST 4.0, was released for public comment on Monday. This newest iteration is the first update to the template since 2012 and contains specific provisions to address a number of trending issues in digital ad servicing.
Some key innovations include support for ad stitching, the technology touted by many ad tech firms as a curative for the rising problem of ad blocking. The new VAST specifications clarify how ad servers should deliver linear videos ads stitched directly into consumer streaming media to avoid detection by ad blocking software. Such technology has already been pioneered by ad tech firms such as Brightcove and Kaltura and is widely expected to become industry standard.
Other provisions include protocols for serving ads across platforms that deliver long-form and high definition content. The proliferation of video platforms makes this adaptation increasingly important. According Scott Cunningham, SVP of technology and ad operations at IAB and GM of the IAB Tech Lab, “as long-form video consumption increases, publishers need the ability to monetize longer form content.” With the latest update to VAST, that monetization can be further standardized.
VAST 4.0 can be viewed at www.iab.com/guidelines/vast4.0 and will be available for public comment until Dec. 2. After that time, the IAB Digital Video Technical Standards Working Group will review all submitted comments and make revisions to the template where appropriate. A finalized version of the template is expected in early 2016. Comments on the document can be sent to Luke Luckett at Luke@iab.com