Skippable In-Stream Video Ads

Ad Exchange supports Skippable In-Stream Video Ads in both VAST 2.0 and 3.0.

Ad Exchange 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 Ad Exchange 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 via VPAID.

Ad Exchange supports skippable ads that use VAST 2.0 (via 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

Two new fields have been added to the Video message of the RTB protocol:

video_ad_skippable
This field is an enum specifying whether an in-stream impression allows skippable ads, non-skippable ads, or both. Most in-stream Ad Exchange inventory allows both, which corresponds to a value of ALLOW_SKIPPABLE.

Constant Meaning
ALLOW_SKIPPABLE Allows skippable or non-skippable ads.
REQUIRE_SKIPPABLE Allows skippable ads only.
BLOCK_SKIPPABLE Allows non-skippable ads only.
skippable_max_ad_duration
This field specifies the maximum duration of skippable video ads. In general, video publishers allow ads to be longer when they are skippable, and so this value should normally be higher than max_ad_duration.

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 Ad Exchange 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:

<CustomTracking>
  <Tracking event="skip">
  <![CDATA[
    http://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pageid/conversion/?ai=BYjRF3nOCTrCYG8_a-gbhkeDyAaKNvgYC6tiCpyDAjbcBsNsGEA
    IAQGyAQ93d3cueW91dHViZS5jb23IAQXaAShodHRwOi8vd3d3LnlvdXR1YmUuY29tL3ZpZGVvL3NFaHktU1hrTm8wuAIMyALS9s0eqAMBsAP
  ]]>
  </Tracking>
</CustomTracking>

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

Optional new custom tracking event: engagedView

Ad Exchange 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 Ad Exchange 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 Ad Exchange skippable video ads are only available on a Cost-per-Impression (CPM) basis. Ad Exchange 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 Ad Exchange skippable video ads do not, even when the media file is hosted on YouTube.
  • TrueView media files must be hosted on YouTube. Ad Exchange 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.
  • Ad Exchange skippable ads have a maximum length of 30 seconds.

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