As more and more media dollars are moving towards in-stream video ads, it is important to ensure that the advertisers are only paying for the ads that were actually served. In the past or even currently, a lot of video ad-publishers/networks prefer to serve the ad themselves vs. serving the ads via a 3rd party like Media Mind or DoubleClick. When the publishers serve the ads, they offer to implement a 1x1 pixel from a third party ad server. Most of the publishers tend to push back indicating that implementing 1x1 is their solution to 3rd party ad serving.
The issues causes by the publisher serving the ad and implementing a 1x1 pixel are as follows:
- This leads to reliance on media publishers to correctly implement the tracking pixels (1x1 to measure impressions and click-commands to measure clicks)
- The use of 1x1 tracking provides no insight on how the impressions are counted
- The 1x1 pixels are implemented by the publishers and they can implement the pixel to record an impression at their liberty e.g. at page load or pre-buffer or incorrectly
In order to accurately count the number of impressions, as per IAB, it is necessary that the impression is counted "post-buffer" and not "pre-buffer".
IAB recommends that the video ads are served using a VAST/VPAID standard. Not only does this allow the 3rd party ad servers to serve the ad but also provides more metrics like % video viewed, so advertisers can know what % of video was viewed by the end users.
Utilizing VAST/VPAID standards to serve video ads helps drive higher accountability for in-stream video advertising.