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video advertising overview

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  You can learn more about DoubleClick video solutions or contact us for more information.

If you have videos on your site, video ads are a way to increase your revenue. Online video ads work the same as TV ads. Just as ads appear on your TV during a show, video ads serve during videos that play on your site.

Learn the differences between video and display ads

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) categorizes video and display ads differently. There are three main differences:

  • Impression counting: Unlike display ads, where an impression is counted once the ad is requested, video ad impressions aren't counted until the video ad starts playing. Counting the video ad impression later ensures a more accurate impression count in the event that the user navigates away from the page due to a slow connection speed, a change in interest, or other reasons.
  • Tracking events: Impressions and clicks are the primary metrics for display ads. Many more metrics are available for video ads. For example, you can track the number of times the video reached its midpoint, the first quartile, third quartile, and video ad completion. See the full list of video ad metrics.
  • Where the ad serves: Before a display creative is served, the ad slot is an empty space. The creative file is then served directly onto the page. Creative files for video ads are different. Before they are served, the video player is already on the page, playing content. Video ads serve directly into the player.

Using this overview, you can see which video ad types are supported by DFP, or learn about video players and ad delivery.

Video ad types

DFP supports both of the main video ad types:

Linear ads are video ads that appear before (pre-roll), after (post-roll), or during a break in the video content (mid-roll).

Non-linear ads are display or video ads that appear during video content playback, without disrupting playback.

DFP also includes support for companion ads, which can display on the page along with the video player. You can learn more about these formats in the IAB guidelines.

See examples of each video ad type

  Example: Linear video ad
  Example: Non-linear video ad
  Example: Video companion ad

Video players and ad delivery

The basic component of video advertising is a video player. Without a video player, neither video content nor video ads can show on your site. Video players can be custom-built by you, or provided by a video technology partner.

To use DFP Video, your player must be VAST-compliant. In other words, it must be able to handle VAST ad responses from DFP and any standard, industry-compliant video ad server. Learn more about what VAST is, and the different standards for serving video ads.

One of the easiest ways to ensure VAST-compliance is to integrate your player with the Google IMA SDK.

Standards for serving video ads

With video ad serving, many different systems need to talk to each other using a series of requests and responses. The IAB maintains a set of standard specifications for serving video ads, in order for systems to communicate. There are three types of specifications:

VAST (Video Ad Serving Template): the standard for serving and tracking video ads. DFP uses VAST to display ads, so your player and ad response must be VAST compliant. In order to be IAB-compliant, every tag in a VAST chain must point directly to VAST XML. HTTP redirects are not supported. Learn more

VPAID (Video Player Ad Interface Definition): the standard that allows a video ad and a video player to communicate with each other. For example, VPAID would allow an interactive overlay ad to interrupt the video when the user interacts with the ad. DFP supports VPAID creatives.

VMAP (Digital Video Multiple Ad Playlist): the standard for multi-ad playlists. VMAP is used to schedule a playlist of video ads and manage their exact placement. It does not define the video ads themselves, but creates inventory. The ads are defined by the VAST response. Learn more about ad rules and VMAP.

Integrate your player with the Google IMA SDK

The Google Interactive Media (IMA) SDK enables your player to display linear, non-linear, and companion ads in interactive media content such as videos, games, and audio streams.

It is strongly recommended that your video player be integrated with the IMA SDK because it supports VAST, VPAID, and VMAP. You can use a player provided by a video technology partner, which is already integrated with the IMA SDK, or you can integrate the IMA SDK with your own player.

Learn more about the benefits of using the IMA SDK with DFP Video.

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