VAST (Video Ad Serving Template)
VAST stands for Video Ad Serving Template is an XML script developed by the IAB designed to facilitate communication between video players and ad servers. It helps video players choose which ad to run, how to run it, how long it should last, and whether to skip it or not.
It’s important because it’s what lets video players and ad servers speak the same language. Standards mean scale, which means more volume for publishers to sell and more revenue. The idea behind VAST is to avoid forcing a publisher to change its video stack just to use different ad servers. But it doesn’t just stop at serving and monetizing video ads; VAST can also provide insight into the performance of the ads it’s serving. Metrics such as how the viewer interacts with the ad can help stakeholders measure an ad’s performance.
VAST is a common, popular standard. This kind of ubiquity means that both publishers and advertisers can know what to expect when approaching video ad tech. VAST also automates the ad delivery process, cutting costs for advertisers and increasing revenue. Although VAST provides some insight into ad effectiveness, it’s not as easy to do as VPAID. It also doesn’t provide as many interactive features as VPAID. However, the gap between the two in this regard is closing with each VAST release.