DFP Video advertising overview

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Just as ads appear on your TV during a show, video ads serve during videos that play on your site. If you already serve videos, these ads are a great way to increase revenue.

Watch related Publisher University training (Video ads)

Watch related Publisher University training (VAST)

Differences between video and display ads

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) categorizes video and display ads differently based on three main factors:

  Display Video
Impression counting An impression is counted once the ad content is downloaded to the user's device. An impression is counted once the video ad starts playing. This ensures a more accurate impression count if the user navigates away from the page. 
Tracking events Impressions and clicks are the primary metrics. Many more metrics are available, such as the number of times the video reached its first quartile, midpoint, third quartile, or 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 is then served directly onto the page.  Before a video creative is served, the video player is already on the page playing other video content. The creative is served directly into the player. 

Video ad types

DFP supports the main video ad types:

  • Linear ads are video ads that appear before (pre-roll), after (post-roll), or during a break in 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 around the video player. 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 serving video content and ads on your site is the video player. These 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. 

Standards for serving video ads

The IAB maintains a set of standard specifications for serving video ads. There are three types of specifications:
  • VAST (Video Ad Serving Template): the standard for serving and tracking video ads.  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

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


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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