Video Advertising Transparency: How to Make your Supply Attractive to Advertisers

sovrnmarketing // April 22, 2014

Video Advertising

In our effort to advocate for our publisher base, Sovrn Holdings strives to provide a fully transparent and well-segmented supply chain for our advertising partners. We take pride in educating and assisting our publishers about industry best practices and in this article we will discuss transparency and the advantages of complying with these standards.
Programmatic video advertising is quickly becoming an attractive and preferred option for advertisers due to its ability to efficiently and cost-effectively distribute campaigns to the right websites and the right audiences at the right time. However, with this trend toward automation, transparency requirements have become an area of greater scrutiny. It is well known that brands are highly sensitive to the environment in which their ads are rendered and it is of the utmost importance to have their products associated with brand-safe content. Subsequently, advertisers demand quality placements and publishers who can clearly and accurately represent their inventory in real time are going to reap the benefits. The more pertinent information that is passed along in the ad call, the more success a publisher will have with monetization; this includes attributes such as referring URL, player size, and user initiation. (This also keeps publishers in good standing with advertisers. Sending obfuscated or blind supply can often lead to infractions and ultimately down-time with respect to revenue or worse, blacklisting of a publisher’s inventory.)
Despite the video tech space being highly fragmented with a myriad of video players, online video platforms, and video ad servers, there are still some fundamental and crucial actions a publisher can take to be as open as possible with their supply.
1)     Ensure VAST/VPAID tags are properly coded with all the appropriate run-time parameters, often referred to as MACROS.
Think of properly installing macros as a game of telephone. Each layer of technology needs to “whisper” the information to the next and when done correctly the last one on the call, the advertiser, will get all the data it needs to make an informed decision as to whether this is a good placement to deliver an ad. Our team has compiled and provided below a list of run-time parameters from many of the ad servers, OVPs, and video players in the market place.

Audio Referring URL Cachebuster Width Height Autoplay
JW Player/Flowplayer __page-url__ __random-number__ __player-width__ __player-height__
Acudeo/Tremor [page.url] [timestamp] [VIDEO_WIDTH] [VIDEO_HEIGHT]
LiveRail [LR_MUTED] [LR_URL] [CACHEBUSTER] [LR_WIDTH] [LR_HEIGHT] [LR_AUTOPLAY] ${embeddingPageUrl} ${AdPlayer.cachebreaker} ${width} ${height}
OpenX {pageurl} {random}
OneScreen __AG_IMPR_HINT[referrer]__ __AG_RANDOM_NUMBER__
24/7 Real Media OAS %%PAGE%% %%REALRAND%%
AdSpeed [referrer_url] [random_number]
Auditude <?auditude:q:page_url?> <?auditude:rand?>
Kaltura {pageurl} {random}
YuMe $embeddedIn $rand
SpotXchange [page_url] [random_number] [player_width] [player_height]

2)     Select a video player that is VPAID Compliant.
The majority of video campaigns are now developed to VPAID specifications and if a video player is not compatible, then a large revenue opportunity could be missed. VPAID, stands for Video Player Ad Interface Definition and has established a protocol and an API to guide and track user interactivity with video ads.  Additionally, it provides advertisers greater granularity about the video inventory.

3)     Consider using a video player that sits outside an iFrame, as they often block the origins of the ad call. iFrames solve for the issue of latency or slow load times on a page by allowing the page and the video player to render separately of each other. Unfortunately, they often create an environment in which information cannot be passed regarding the website, such as the domain, and this is imperative for monetization.
We hope this is helpful and please feel free to contact at us at for any additional questions.
Sovrn Video Team

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