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Video ads FAQ

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Specifications and requirements

How do I run video ads on Ad Exchange?

In order to buy in-stream video inventory on Ad Exchange through either the user interface or real-time bidding, you must be an eligible buyer on Ad Exchange and use a certified video vendor to host and serve video ads.

All video ad servers must be certified according to the VAST 2.0 or 3.0 standard and our policy in order to serve video ads on Ad Exchange. This applies to technologies that have already been certified for display ads.

What is the creative review process for video ads?

The video creative review process is the same as in display (real-time bidding ads can run once they’ve passed our approval process; most are reviewed within 24 hours). Learn more about the ad approval process.

How are impressions counted for video ads?

Video impressions are counted when the first frame of the video loads. Both the Flash and HTML5 IMA SDKs wait 8 seconds for an ad before timing out. Ad Exchange does not charge buyers for impressions if the ad does not load properly, even if the buyer won the auction for that particular impression.

Video ad throttling is used to monitor view and error rates for video ads, to prevent impression counting for problematic video ads. Learn more about video ad throttling.

How do I measure video viewability using my own reporting tools?

Your bidder or agency ad server must be able to add the video viewability VAST extensions shown below.

Two specific trackers must be added into the <Extensions> element of a VAST response, either inline or wrapper. A sample VAST response should include an <Extension> within the <Extensions> element that looks like the following, where the placeholder <!-- http://tracking.url.com -->  is replaced by the actual tracking URLs generated by your reporting system (comment code must also be removed):

<Extension type="activeview">
  <CustomTracking>
    <Tracking event="viewable_impression">
      <![CDATA[
          <!-- http://tracking.url.com -->
      ]]>
    </Tracking>
    <Tracking event="measurable_impression">
      <![CDATA[
          <!-- !http://tracking.url.com -->
      ]]>
   </Tracking>
  </CustomTracking>
</Extension>
What data can be tracked from video ads?

Beyond impressions, buyers can track other information about video ads. Examples include view, video click-through, mute, unmute, completed play, time spent viewing, percentage complete (i.e. first quartile, midpoint, third quartile), expand, collapse, pause, resume, rewind, etc.

To track data for video, you must use an Ad Exchange certified vendor.

Which vendors are certified to run on video ad inventory?

Learn about certification for third-party ad serving on Ad Exchange in the 3PAS certification help center.

How do I request certification for a video ad server?

Learn about certification for third-party ad serving on Ad Exchange in the 3PAS certification help center.

Supported features and targeting options

Are video companion ads supported?

Yes, companion ads can be set up in the user interface. Companion ads will serve if and only if there is a companion slot available. UI users must have a correct ad size pre-loaded via the UI. Companion ads can also serve via RTB if the they are included in the creative declaration at verification. Learn more about the REST API.

Companion ads are not guaranteed to serve, as not every in-stream impression has a companion slot along with it.

How do I ensure brand and family safety on video ad inventory?

We require family-safe content, targeted at >13-year-olds, for any publisher to join the Google Display Network.

All publishers on the Google Display Network must abide by our AdSense webmaster guidelines and be using our IMA SDK so that we're able to track who is/isn't compliant with our policies. We have automated signals as well as manual sweeps to maintain compliance similar to the GDN.

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