VAST And VPAID: Explaining The Difference

vast vs vpaid video ads differences advertising

VAST vs VPAID is a popular search query among publishers seeking out ways to conquer the video advertising world. Both are protocols that play significant roles in digital advertising and make publishers’ and advertisers’ lives easier. In particular, these protocols solve the problem of ad tuning – due to VAST and VPAID, ads are not required to be custom-made and optimized to meet the specs of different media players. 

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) created the VAST protocol to cover most of the challenges regarding players’ specs and video content. When the standards expanded, new issues arose, so the IAB rolled out another protocol – VPAID. They serve different purposes, but both leverage ad serving. Let’s go into more detail about both to distinguish them better. 

What Is VPAID? 

VPAID (Video Player Ad-Serving Interface Definition) helps video players to “understand” which ad to play and improves the interaction between ads and players. However, the main function of VPAID is to be a backup of interactive elements: preroll, pause, play, skip, enlarge, etc. All of these elements have the potential to boost ad performance for advertisers. Also, VPAID includes measurement instruments to track basic metrics like views, completion rate, and clicks. As for publishers, they might use VPAID to increase revenue – the protocol ensures that their video players support a broad range of ads. 

Still, VPAID has some minuses, as well: 

● VPAID slows down the website speed, which might cause a revenue loss; 
● This protocol is not the best for mobile advertising – incompatibility issues still exist; 
● Sometimes, incorrect rendering might cause an irrelevant ad to display. 

What Is VAST? 

VAST (Video Ad Serving Template) is a standard template that complies publisher’s VAST ad server and video players. With this protocol, video players “understand” which content to show, how to show it, how long to show it, etc. It supports in-stream ads served around different players. In other words, VAST is a so-called translator that allows servers and players to communicate. Publishers can benefit from this protocol by selling more ad space on their inventory since it solves the majority of possible incompatibility issues. Comparing to VPAID, VAST has a couple of limitations: 

● Limited interactivity opportunities; 
● No measurement tools and pre-loading of content. 

And What’s The Difference Between VAST And VPAID? 

Now let’s dive into the core differences of VAST and VPAID to make the picture clear. Here we go: 


● VAST unites ad server and video player 
● VPAID unites video ad units and video player 


● VAST ensures that ads run on the player in compliance with an ad server 
● VPAID serves ads that interact with the video player 

Form Of Ads 

● VAST supports standard ads within videos across all suitable players 
● VPAID supports interactive ads within videos across all suitable players 

Pros VS Cons 

● VAST doesn’t preload ad units 
● VPAID preloads ad units 
● VAST excludes interactivity and measurement 
● VPAID is all about interactivity and measurement 
● VAST is fundamental – it helps players understand what and how to display 
● VPAID enables interactive elements, like clicks, submissions, expansion, etc. 

For Publishers And Advertisers 

● VAST helps publishers specify video players’ settings to get the most of their inventory 

● VPAID allows advertisers to make their ads interactive and measure results 

VAST vs VPAID Video Ads Conclusion 

So, let’s sum everything up. VPAID is a script that offers a range of interactivity features plus measurement tools that ensure an engaging user experience and can provide basic campaign analysis. VAST is used everywhere to enable communication between video players and ad servers. Using these scripts, publishers get more control over their inventory and can increase their revenue. As for advertisers, they don’t have to worry about the user experience – with VAST and VPAID, it’s going to be 100% smooth. Hopefully, now the difference between VAST and VPAID is crystal clear!

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