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IAB Video Ad Serving Template (VAST)

  • Publishers may choose different levels of support for VAST within their Video Players. For example, a publisher may choose to only allow tracking by a Secondary Ad Server, in which case only the tracking section of the XML would be relevant.

  • For latency or infrastructure reasons some publishers may not wish to allow Secondary Ad Servers to serve the video files themselves. The XML document may be used in this scenario with media file URIs pointing to server locations hosted by the publisher infrastructure.

  • An optional error URL is provided so the various ad servers can be informed if the ad did not play for any reason. Note, most ad servers do not currently support notification functionality of this type, but it is included as a future capability.

  • All ad servers need to provide, at a minimum, impression tracking URLs. However, the XML document supports more extensive tracking if available from the Video Player.

  • The Wrapper Ad must include the URL of a Secondary Ad Server’s VAST response.

  • The Wrapper Ad may either include separately served Companions or NonLinear ads. Alternatively, the Wrapper Ad may include impression tracking URLs to allow Companions or NonLinears to be served from an InLine response but tracked separately from the primary Impression.

  • A single click through on the ad is expected, but multiple named click tracking URLs can be provided to allow per- publisher customization. In addition, separate URLs can be provided for tracking the click and for the destination page to open upon a click-through.

  • Any number of URLs can be provided for a single video ad but it is assumed that all versions of the video represent the same creative unit with the same length, ISCI code, etc. Bandwidth is indicated per media file using the bitrate element. It will be up to Video Players to determine which media files with which bitrates are appropriate for their users.

  • Ad elements can specify an AdParameters element to have specified parameters passed to them from the player. For example, a non-linear ad may require that tracking information be passed at run-time.

  • Extensions elements allow for customization or for ad server specific features (e.g. geo data, unique identifiers).

  • It is preferable that the ad server delivering the Wrapper Ad busts the cache on the AdTagURL parameter by including a random number in the URL at the time of delivery.

  • Most Secondary Ad Servers support the inclusion of a parameter in their ad tags (generally “click=”) that will redirect all clicks through the Primary Ad Server to enable counting. In the case of VAST, the value of this parameter (which is set by the Primary Ad Server) should be placed in the VideoClicks-ClickTracking element of the Wrapper Ad response and parsed into the ad tags contained within the InLine response.

Attributes id

Values String



None None None None

String String String URL



XML summary for VAST ad server response:

Element Ad


AdSystem AdTitle Description Survey


© 2008 Interactive Advertising Bureau

  • -


Required Yes


Yes Yes No No


Notes Top-level element, wraps each ad in the response Second-level element surrounding complete ad data for a single ad Indicates source ad server Common name of ad Longer description of ad URL of request to survey vendor URL to request if ad does not

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