Adform is making programmatic video buying and ad serving even more effective by introducing a new set of video capabilities across its Demand Side Platform (DSP) and Ad Server.

Video is the medium of choice for advertisers around the world. It is high impact, immersive but also comes with a premium price. Advertisers and media agencies need to ensure that they are paying the right price for this inventory which means that measuring ROAS or effectiveness is vital when video is so often a weapon of choice for branding campaigns. Ad verification and measurements for video are paramount. In a time when advertisers are battling the lack of transparency across walled gardens and the open market is poised with technical challenges to offer complete transparency, Adform is pushing the envelope with a new way to buy, verify and optimize video inventory.

In the early days, advertisers were forced to accept the flaws of traditional video completion metrics and as a result were running campaigns blindly. This started to change with the introduction of VPAID (Video Player Ad-Serving Interface Definition), which allowed advertisers to run sophisticated measurement scripts in parallel with the video in-stream ad that would be playing on the screen. However, VPAID never reached mass adoption across publishers due to concerns about the security and content control, and instead left the inventory market fragmented.

Adform is changing the industry

Adform is encouraging the adoption of IAB’s Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) 4 and Open Measurement Interface Definition (OMID) standards, which enable unified and secure video measurements across direct and programmatic environments. The IAB VAST 4 standard has been available for some time, but as with any new standard, it can take time for the adoption to pick up. VAST 4 solves many technical issues between publishers and buyers when it comes to ad verification and measurements beyond the standard completion metrics. Custom VPAID solutions are replaced with a single OMID based standard approach ensuring that the technology is easier for clients to compare and verify their results across different vendors. OMID is a universal and open standard that is purpose built to be easily implemented by publishers in order to increasethe adoption across the industry. Adform has built its own native VAST 4 and OMID based ad verification solution, and also, being an independent and open stack, supports 3rd party verification vendors. We have taken a proactive approach to work with our SSP partners, publishers, large advertisers and independent ad verification vendors to make this solution work across the full ecosystem.

How does the inventory buying and delivery change?

Adform automatically supports all VAST tag versions so buyers don’t need to take any proactive actions to buy VAST 4 specific inventory. We are working with our SSP partners to enable this option across as many publishers as possible. Currently, market adoption is still nascent, but we are seeing it increase rapidly each month. Supply is expected to adapt quickly as major demand platforms, like Adform, start using VAST 4 by default. Direct campaign users can also benefit from the new changes and we are seeing major publishers in various markets rapidly adopting VAST 4 across their inventory.

True video optimization

With the new release, we are also introducing a new set of metrics that are tailored for video ads. These include viewable quartiles (25, 50, 75%), viewable and audible video completions (AVOC) as well as general in-screen viewability. In this sense, “Viewable” means that the video is actually appearing on the screen as opposed to running in the background of an inactive browser tab or somewhere in the non-visible area of the website.

These new metrics allow you to understand the quality of the inventory based on the visitor engagement and attention level. Was there a human eye watching the video? Did someone hear the audio message or was it muted? All these aspects will give you better insights to curate and optimize inventory and audiences in order to achieve your campaign goals. Amazing video ads are only as effective as the attention they receive.

The new release will help curate high-quality inventory lists and get deeper insights into video campaign performance. Ultimately, this will give advertisers better control over their campaign budgets and a way to verify that the inventory they are buying is actually worth the premium prices. Our current focus is on VAST 4 and VAST 4 adoption across markets. However, we are also planning to release the same metrics set for both legacy VAST 2, VAST 3, and rich media in-banner video formats. This will unlock more sophisticated video auto-optimization methods across all video inventory. To learn more, contact your Adform representative today.