VAST vs VPAID: What Are They and How They Work? 

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Time ago, ad delivery was more complicated than now. Different media players and devices had various peculiarities and meeting them all was a real problem back then. Publishers initiated ad requests and received responses in numerous formats. The number of formats was almost the same as the number of requests sent and only a couple of them fit their player. This was a real nightmare – various players made ads display differently, so the ads were coded and recorded endlessly. VAST (Video Ad Serving Template) was created to ensure standard ad response, meet compatible demands and thus save publishers and advertisers from that issue.

VAST was helpful, but couldn’t support new creative ad formats just as well. It was perfect for simple in-stream promotions, but not enough to ensure a smooth interactive experience. VPAID was created to meet this need. These are the two standards that have different purposes, pros, and cons. People are used to confuse these terms, so we decided to present a small VAST vs VPAID guide to explain the differences between them.

Which problems do VAST and VPAID solve?

It’s no secret that the main purpose of ad publishers is income. VAST gives them full control over the advertising process and an insight into the way content is served. With its help, videos run on different websites and devices as expected. VAST makes the media players “understand” the following:

  • Which content to display
  • How to launch the ad
  • The ad-skipping options
  • The length of an ad
  • Where users should be transferred after clicking the button (“Buy now”, “See more”, etc.)
  • How well an ad is performing

VAST connects to a server, fetches ads, and triggers relevant URLs. These are the basics to make the content look the way it should.

As for the VPAID ad template, it stands for serving inline ad creatives to video players. VPAID also saves and stores user behavior data and allows advertisers analyze performance and thus generate more income. VPAID script allows:

  • Completing surveys
  • Engaging with an ad to get more info
  • Running interactive advertisements

As you can see, these two templates are pretty different. While VAST is responsible for compatibility and adequate ad displaying, VPAID adds advanced features and interactive elements. Together, they make a perfect match and allow both publishers and advertisers to make their content look and feel perfect.

Pros and cons of VAST and VPAID

To make the picture clearer, we would like to compare pros and cons of these two scripts. So, the strong sides of VAST are:

  • VAST ensures that ad servers and media players “speak the same language”
  • This script provides publishers with vast opportunities and operations to realize their ad space

The cons are:

  • VAST has limitations regarding interactivity of ads
  • This script doesn’t enable accurate measurements of ad performance

As for VPAID, we can name the following strong sides:

  • VPAID supports numerous modern ad features and interactive elements
  • This script has tools for measurement and analysis of customer behavior

At the same time, the weak sides of VPAID are:

  • VPAID has limitations when it comes to mobile inventory and in-app environment – applications are delivered in Javascript, while desktop versions usually use Flash
  • Being incompatible with in-app environment, VPAID drives long page-load time

Conclusion

VPAID and VAST advertising increase the level of control on both sides – publishers’ and advertisers’. While VAST was the first step towards smooth and cross-dimensional video advertising, VPAID was a real shoot forward – it provided numerous measurement tools and propelled ad interactivity. With VPAID, publishers could accept more ad formats from advertisers, including interactive and creative content so appreciated in today’s ad world. VPAID supports the delivery of premium promotional content, so publishers can expect premium income for their efforts.

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