About VAST 3

VAST 3, the third version of the IAB’s video ad serving template, represents the latest video ad serving standards. VAST 3 contains a multitude enhancements, including:

  • Standardized support for multiple ads in a single VAST response, including
    • Standardized ad pod responses (e.g., optimized pods)
    • Skippable linear ads (including network-level custom skip times)
    • Fallback, also known as “waterfall.”
  • More granular VAST 3 error codes.
  • Enhanced support for adaptive bitrate creatives, providing users with the best quality video stream for their bandwidth and processing speed.
  • Alternative companion creatives. Available on both IMA iOS and IMA HTML5.
  • Icons. Available on IMA HTML5.

VAST 3 supports much more than VAST 2 does. Also VAST 3 can do everything that VAST 2 did at least as well, if not better. You should really seriously consider fully using VAST 3 today across your entire network to take advantage of the latest features.

See the Google Developers page on Google Interactive Media Ads for details about supported video player platforms VAST standards.

How to enable VAST 3 for your network

VAST version is controlled by a network setting. By default, your network has the value of 2. To start serving VAST 3, you can update the network setting to 3. We recommend the network-level setting because it will be necessary for future updates (e.g., VAST 4) and because no retagging will be necessary.

To update your network VAST setting

  1. In DFP, click Admin and then Video.
  2. In the “Default VAST version” drop-down, select VAST 3.

In addition, your tag should now request simply output=vast, and DFP uses the VAST version set in your network default.

For specific ad tags or parts of your site, you can explicitly ask for VAST 3 with output=xml_vast3 or VAST 2 with output=xml_vast2.

Before switching all the traffic on your network to VAST 3, you should make sure your players are capable of processing VAST 3.0 XML responses. Google IMA 3 SDK supports VAST 3. For players that haven’t integrated with IMA 3, you should get in touch with your player provider's support organization.

How to customize skippable and engaged view time

VAST 3 allows you to customize "Skip" and "Engaged view" times for your directly-sold skippable ads (i.e. does not involve skippable ads served through Ad Exchange for video).

To customize skippable and engaged view times:

  1. In DFP, click Admin and then Video.
  2. Make your changes to the following settings:
    • Skippable video skip time: The amount of time, in seconds, that a user must spend watching a skippable video ad before being able to skip it.
    • Skippable video engaged view time: The amount of time, in seconds, that a user must spend watching a skippable ad before an engaged view is counted.

Once set, these two settings apply to all skippable ads in your network.

Recommended for VAST 3

  • IMA 3 or other VAST 3-compliant player : IMA SDK v3 supports VAST 3 and it is the recommended SDK for your players for VAST 3 and other DFP features.
  • GPT: Use Google Publisher Tags to render display companion ads served with VAST 3.
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