Evolution Of VAST Over The years & Key Difference Between Its Versions Such As VAST 2.0, VAST 3.0 & VAST 4.0 Skip to main content

Evolution Of VAST Over The years & Key Difference Between Its Versions Such As VAST 2.0, VAST 3.0 & VAST 4.0

Image Source: IAB and Advertiser Perception

Over the years , Online advertising is moving from display to video , And Video ad spending is increasing.As per recent report from eMarketer Digital Video Advertising to Grow at Annual Double-Digit Rates US digital video ad spending will continue to grow at a pace that exceeds TV advertising growth through 2020.
– See more

There are four versions of VAST released by IAB, first version which is released in 2008 was first of its kind and which start the process of standardization of Video serving template.

Various kind of update were made over the years from increasing the reporting,tracking to advancement of the functionality with different types of file support.

In the latest version VAST 4.0, new functionality which is know as ad stitching or server side stitching is introduced which will help publisher to run bypass the ad blocker.

Before understanding all different format Of VAST , Please read all terminology used in below table:

Video Ad-Serving Template (VAST) :A universal protocol for serving in-stream video
ads, permitting ad servers to use a single ad response format across multiple compliant
publishers/video players
Video Player-Ad Interface Definition (VPAID) : A method of communication between the ad itself and the Video player in which it is displayed. This
communication is important because both Linear and Non-Linear video ads can be interactive, and such user
interaction will generally affect the activity of the Video player. For example, when a user clicks on an overlay ad
the user may be presented with more information about the advertiser, while the video content is expected to
pause. Currently, each publisher and technology vendor has implemented this type of communication in a nonstandardized
way, resulting in additional work for all parties when bringing campaigns live.

Companion Ad: Commonly text, display ads, rich media, or skins that wrap around the video
experience. These ads come in a number of sizes and shapes and typically run alongside or
surrounding the video player.
InLine Ad: VAST document that includes all the elements necessary to display the visual experience of the ad.
Linear Video Ad: The ad is presented before, in the middle of, or after the video content is
consumed by the user, in very much the same way a TV commercial can play before, during or
after the chosen program.
Non-linear Video Ad: The ad runs concurrently with the video content so the users see the ad while viewing the
content. Non-linear video ads can be delivered as text, graphical ads, or as video overlays.
Primary Ad Server: First ad serving system called by the Video Player or other framework. It is assumed that in most
cases a publisher will make all initial ad requests through their Primary Ad Server (whether homegrown or third party), then
redirect to other ad severs as needed.
Secondary Ad Server: Ad server used by an ad network or by the buyer of ads to serve creative, track results and
optimize creatives.

Wrapper Ad: VAST document that points to another VAST document from a different server.


KeyPoints VAST 1.0 VAST 2.0 VAST 3.0 VAST 4.0
Media Files Single Media File mostly mp4,3gp,mov with basic functionality such as start,stop,play pause. JS, Flash along with basic hardcoded media files such as mp4 ,mov,3gp,flv Five Ad Formats: In VAST 3.0, five unique ad formats have been defined, allowing publishers to be VAST compliant with the ad formats that best fit their particular business models. For example, if a publisher only accepts linear ads, that publisher/player would not be expected to support for other ad formats, such as nonlinear ads. Separate video file and interactive file
Skippable Ads Not Supported Not Supported Skippable Ads: Both VAST and VPAID include new functionality for the addition of skip controls, as well as new metrics for tracking skipped ads.Server-side support Supported
Ad Type Only Linear Ads are allowed Support both Linear Video Ads (such as “pre-rolls”), Non-linear Video Ads (such as “overlays”) and Companion ads Ad Pods: VAST supports the ability to serve multiple ads in a single VAST ad response. A set of sequenced ads in a VAST response plays back-to-back ads as a “pod”, similar to how consumers experience commercial ad breaks in broadcast television. With the addition of VMAP, ad breaks can be specifically designed to accept these Ad Pods and any combination of single ads, random sets of ads, and structured Ad Pods. Mezzanine file(The mezzanine file is very large and cannot be used for ad display, but ad-stitching services and other ad vendor use it to generate files at appropriate quality levels for the environment in which they play.)
Ad blocker Bypass Not supported Not Supported Not supported Supported with server stiching
Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) Compliance Not supported Not supported OBA Self-Regulation: Both VAST and VPAID now enable basic support for managing industry icon programs such as the Digital Advertising Alliance’s ‘AdChoices’ program for Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) self-regulation Supported
Multi Platform support and conditional declaration Not supported Introduction of Creative element to delineate multi-part creatives within a single Ad Multi platform but doesn't support conditional declaration Supported
Viewability /Ad Verification/Reporting/Tracking Basic Event Tracking support only Quartile event plus player event tracking Improved Error Reporting: VAST now defines a common list of error codes used to report errors, as well as specifications for when to send error notifications. An error tag protocol is also included at the topmost level to handle a “no ad” response. Improved error reporting enables systems to troubleshoot technical issues and become more sophisticated over time. Ad Verification ,Viewability Execution and reporting advanced level
Wrapper Ads (VAST document that points to another VAST document from a different server.) Not Supported Supported Supported supported

Note: With Each version VAST is upgrade with additional functionality so if in previous version of VAST something is supported or present it means it will by default supported or present.

Facebook Comments


My name’s Sachin, and I am Blogger and tech geek, currently working in Digital Advertisement Domain having work experience of more than 3 years.
Ad-Tag Macros is the professional association dedicated exclusively to online advertising operations and technology.
We focus primarily on topics such as ad serving and related technologies, yield management, policies, procedures, and standards.
DFP Small Business
Google Analytics
Native Ads
Yield optimization
Mobile web ads
Display, video ads
Troubleshooting creative issue
SEO and Blog revenue Optimization
For Any Queries Please Contact Me

Leave a Reply