What is VAST?

As online video advertising became more common, ad servers struggled to provide a video serving code that would work consistently across different video players used by their clients. To help solve this problem, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) created a Video Ad Serving Template (VAST), standardizing the interaction between video ad servers and video players.

Basically, the VAST template is an XML data structure containing all information needed to play the advertisements as intended by the user. So by definition, VAST is device and platform independent. VAST-compliant video players can display ads on desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, smart televisions, and other set-top-boxes.

The process first begins with the advertiser setting up the ads in a VAST-compliant ad server. The ad server then returns the XML data according to the VAST template. A VAST-compliant video player then parses this XML data and plays the creatives in the specified manner. VAST supports these main types of ads: linear (pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll video ads), non-linear (overlay text or image ads) and companion ads.

Improvements and new features are periodically introduced in each newer version of VAST, allowing for more advanced formats to be displayed and additional video serving events to be tracked. AdSpeed Ad Server is compliant with the latest VAST version for video ad serving so make sure you take full advantage of what our adserver has to offer.

Posted in Video Ad Server April 22, 2016 (first published July 2014)


  • How does video ad serving work?
    "Video advertising has proven itself as an effective advertising platform since the first television advertisement in 1941. As more and more viewers watch television programs, music videos, Internet shows, and viral clips on the Internet, advertisers gain interest in the market. " More
  • Introduction to in-stream video ads
    "As more and more people have broadband Internet and high-speed cellular data service, online video is becoming more popular than ever before. When you search something, video results are often featured on the top because it is visual and can deliver a lot of information within only a few seconds. " More
  • Ad serving in modern TV advertising
    "The way people watch television has changed dramatically just in the last 10 years. Modern TV advertising means digital and Internet-connected advertising. " More