Is the video advertising industry so driven towards solving viewability, brand safety and fraudulent traffic, that it has lost sight of the issue with VPAID that could help unlock all three?
Standardization decisions made as far back as 2009 are preventing the advertising industry from capitalizing on mobile video’s opportunity. One standard in particular could have benefitted from more forward thinking: the IAB’s Video Player-Ad API definition, or VPAID.
The first version of VPAID was released six years ago, when the iPhone 3G gained a foothold after famously launching without Flash support. This first version missed the opportunity to use HTML5, a coding standard being developed by Web standards organization W3C with mobile video capabilities baked in.
Instead, HTML5 support was not added to VPAID until 2012, with the repercussions of this still being felt throughout the video advertising industry today. Yet advancements in mobile video are a must if the industry wants to improve on the $4.4 billion in mobile video ad revenue by 2018 forecasted by BI Intelligence.
Despite the advantages of its reporting metrics, certain stakeholders are not making a speedy transition from VAST to VPAID - a fact that Xaxis aims to remedy by taking matters into its own hands.
Xaxis’ North American arm has stated that it is now exclusively using VPAID to deliver desktop video due to its three-pronged approach that gathers viewability information, lets buy side tools verify URLs serving videos to stop fraudulent impressions and allows consumer opt-out through the Privacy Ad Choices icon.
Video viewing is moving to mobile, but the technology that gives brands and agencies the confidence to buy mobile video inventory has not caught up. If publishers and vendors do not get on board, they will handicap themselves in the future and lose revenue as a result.
As mobile video consumption increases, so too does the financial viability of investing in the mobile video infrastructure. You only have to look as far as ZenithOptimedia’s ad spend study, which reports that the global online video industry will grow an average of 29% year-on-year to reach $23.3 billion in 2017, to see the opportunity in video.
The onus is not entirely on publishers; the buy side needs to continue pushing for VPAID on mobile and vendors have to take responsibility for connecting the two using standardized, transparent delivery.