About VAST 4

See what's supported and learn how to activate VAST 4 for your network

Ad Manager video and audio line items can request creative assets via the Video Ad Serving Template (VAST), and allows you to report on those lines items based on what delivered. #vast #videoandaudio

You can find the latest version of the Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) from the IAB, including details about what's been added with each release. It's recommended that you use the latest supported version to take advantage of all available features.

Ad Manager currently supports features available in VAST version 4.2. However, not all features of this version are fully supported. You can see a list of version support when using the IMA SDK.

VAST 4.x version highlights



  • Merging of VAST with Audio Ad Serving Template
  • Initial changes to begin deprecation of VPAID
  • Standardization of closed captioning files


Support for VAST 4 extends to Ad Exchange publishers. Bid requests now include the VideoProtocol field, which specifies accepted VAST versions. This is available for both Real-Time Bidding and OpenRTB.

VAST 4 provides continued support for all features released in VAST 3.

Update the "VAST version" network setting

VAST 4 is active by using the latest IMA SDK. Video ad tags that set output=vast use the minimum VAST version set in your network settings. To update this setting:

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Admin and then Video and audio.
  3. Select the minimum "VAST version".
  4. Click Save.

For specific ad tags or parts of your site, you can explicitly set a different minimum using:

  • VAST 4: output=xml_vast4
  • VAST 3: output=xml_vast3
  • VAST 2: output=xml_vast2

Before switching all network traffic to VAST 4, you should make sure your players are capable of processing VAST 4 XML responses. For players that have not integrated with IMA 3, contact your player provider.

If your video player uses the IMA SDK, the output parameter for a video ad request is always set to output=xml_vast4, but redirect responses from other systems may not adhere to this version. Note that the IMA SDK supports all VAST versions.

The SDK for HTML5, iOS, and Android includes the ad ID and registry. See the Google developer documentation for Interactive Media Ads for details about supported video player platforms by VAST version.

Report on VAST version

This feature is currently in beta and may not be activated for your network.

You can manage your upgrade to VAST 4 and determine which version of VAST is requested on your ad tags. This allows you to see which features work with particular inventory. To report on VAST version, include the VAST version dimension when you create a report for Video Solutions.

This dimension is currently in beta and not available to all publishers. Contact your account manager for details.

Learn more about video-specific reporting dimensions.

Manage externally-hosted mezzanine files

Mezzanine files are high-quality video files that act as the source to create other versions of a creative, optimized for varying devices and formats. While Ad Manager-hosted video creative assets are automatically designated as the mezzanine file when hosted by Ad Manager, externally-hosted assets can be designated as such when you create a new linear video creative.

To designate an externally-hosted video file as the mezzanine file:

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Follow the instructions to add a linear creative set to a video line item.
  3. After you enter the asset URL and click Add assets, turn on the Mezzanine option.

Set an ad ID for linear video creatives

A universal ad ID can be set when you create a new linear video creative. This ID allows for standardized tracking for distinct video creatives. In addition, you can choose to select an identification registry, such as ad-id.org or clearcast.co.uk.*

To set an ad ID or select a registry:

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Follow the instructions to add a linear creative set to a video line item.
  3. When configuring the optional settings, enter your ad ID and optional registry.

You can learn more about the ad ID field and the formatting requirements for each type of ad ID, and see a detailed explanation of the ad ID structure.

* Ad Manager does not validate if the ad ID you've entered is valid for the selected registry.

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