Skippable In-Stream Video Ads

Authorized Buyers supports Skippable In-Stream Video Ads in both VAST 2.0 and 3.0.

Authorized Buyers will not consider creatives to be skippable if they have skip tracking URLs included under Ad/Wrapper/Extensions/Extension/CustomTracking instead of under Ad/Inline/Extensions/Extension/CustomTracking. Additionally, because Authorized Buyers is unable to analyze the contents or functionality of a VPAID ad, it cannot detect an ad's skip functionality if the ad is implemented through VPAID.

Authorized Buyers supports skippable ads that use VAST 2.0 (through a custom in-line skippable tracking element in the XML) or VAST 3.0 with built-in skippable ad tracking functionality.

How are skippable ads served?

When a skippable ad is served, the publisher player reads the VAST response to determine if the ad has been implemented correctly as a skippable ad and then displays a skippable button. The ad will be displayed for at least five seconds before it can be skipped.

Buyer requirements

Google's OpenRTB implementation and the deprecated Google RTB protocol support the following fields for video duration and skipability:

Duration Skippable duration Skipability
OpenRTB maxduration n/a skip
Google protocol (deprecated) max_ad_duration skippable_max_ad_duration video_ad_skippable

This means that while the Google protocol can have a granular skippable and non-skippable duration, the OpenRTB implementation only has a single maximum duration value.

Prior to bid flattening, OpenRTB's maxduration would be set to the lower of the Google protocol's max_ad_duration and skippable_max_ad_duration fields. This behavior has now changed to sending two separate bid requests when these values differ: one representing the maxduration for skippable and the other for non-skippable opportunities.

The following examples show how a Google protocol request translates to OpenRTB before and after bid flattening. The equivalent Google protocol request has a max_ad_duration of 15 and a skippable_max_ad_duration of 60.

Example max_ad_duration skip (true OR false)
Original request without flattening 15 true
Flattened request #1: Non-skippable 15 false
Flattened request #2: Skippable 60 true

The system periodically loads VAST tags to check whether they are skippable. In between checks, the system assumes that the creative, uniquely identified by buyer_creative_id, remains skippable or non-skippable as determined by the previous check. Therefore, the policy is that skippable and non-skippable ads cannot be rotated on the same buyer_creative_id.

Requirements for VAST serving technologies

Required new custom tracking event in VAST 2: skip

For Authorized Buyers to render an in-stream video creative as skippable, the VAST creative must include at least one Tracking node under Ad/Inline/Extensions/Extension/CustomTracking, with the attribute event="skip". The content of the node should be a CDATA-wrapped URI that the video player will ping if the user clicks the skip button.

Here is an example:

  <Tracking event="skip">

For VAST 3, instead of a custom tracking extension, only the skip event should be included.

Optional new custom tracking event: engagedView

Authorized Buyers will also support Tracking nodes under Ad/Inline/Extensions/Extension/CustomTracking with the attribute event="engagedView". The content of these nodes should be a CDATA-wrapped URI that the video player will ping when the user reaches the lesser of 30 seconds or video completion.

Differences from TrueView

Skippable video ads on Authorized Buyers are not the same as TrueView ads and cannot be marketed to your customers as such. Here are the primary differences between skippable video ads and TrueView:

  • TrueView is only available through AdWords.
  • TrueView is available on a Cost-per-View (CPV) basis, but Authorized Buyers skippable video ads are only available on a Cost-per-Impression (CPM) basis. Buyers may charge their customers on a CPV basis, but they will pay for the underlying skippable impressions on a CPM basis.
  • TrueView ads increment the YouTube view count of the media file when users choose not to skip the ad, but Authorized Buyers skippable video ads do not, even when the media file is hosted on YouTube.
  • TrueView media files must be hosted on YouTube. Authorized Buyers media files may optionally be hosted on YouTube. Contact your Technical Account Manager for more information about hosting the media files for your in-stream creatives on YouTube.
  • Authorized Buyers skippable ads have a maximum length of 30 seconds.