Google streamlines Video Publisher Policies

Google streamlines Video Publisher Policies

Google is streamlining its video publisher policies across all its products, including AdSense, Ad Manager, and AdMob, starting April 1, 2024. The new policies are designed to simplify compliance and keep pace with industry standards.

New Video Publisher Policies

Accurate inventory descriptions: Video inventory must provide accurate declarations about audibility (audible by default or muted) and type of ad placement (in-stream, accompanying content, interstitial, or standalone).

Supported implementations: In-stream or accompanying content placements must use the Google Interactive Media Ads SDK or Google Programmatic Access Library on supported platforms. Interstitial or standalone placements must use Google-provided solutions: on web, Google Publisher Tags; in app, the Google Mobile Ads SDK.

Protecting advertiser value: Video inventory content or controls must not be obstructed, hidden, or non-functional. For in-stream placements, audio ads must not be requested or served in muted placements.

Respecting the user: Video inventory may autoplay only if one video inventory across all placement types may autoplay with sound at any time. Additionally, for in-stream or accompanying content placements, only one video player may autoplay in view at any time. Video inventory may be sticky only if a dismiss option is presented for the entire duration of the video or ad content.

Google says publishers should review the updated policies to determine if it affects their video inventory. If video inventory was previously disapproved but the publisher believes that it should no longer be disapproved following the update, they may request a review or appeal on or after April 1, 2024.

Understanding Video Ad Placements: In-Stream, Accompanying Content, Interstitial, and Standalone

When delivering video ads, it's crucial to accurately categorize the ad placements to ensure optimal performance and user experience. Google has defined four primary video ad placements: In-stream, Accompanying Content, Interstitial, and Standalone. Each placement type has distinct characteristics and considerations.

In-Stream Ads

In-stream ads are seamlessly integrated into the stream of video content, where the video content is the primary focus of the user's visit or explicitly requested by the user. These ads can appear before, during, or after the main video content.

Characteristics:

  • Engaged audience: Users are actively watching the video content, making them more receptive to the ad message.
  • High viewability: In-stream ads are guaranteed to be seen by users since they are part of the video playback experience.

Examples:

  • A video ad that plays before a YouTube video
  • A pre-roll ad that plays before a movie on a streaming service
  • A mid-roll ad that interrupts a long-form video

Accompanying Content Ads

Accompanying content ads are also played within the stream of video content, but they are considered secondary to the main content. These ads are typically muted by default and take up a smaller portion of the screen.

Characteristics:

  • Non-intrusive: Accompanying content ads are less disruptive than in-stream ads, making them suitable for environments where users are not solely focused on video content.
  • Complementary to the main content: Accompanying content ads can complement the main content by providing relevant information or entertainment.

Examples:

  • A video ad that plays in a muted corner of a news article page
  • A video ad that plays in a muted sidebar of a blog post
  • A video ad that plays in a muted banner at the bottom of a landing page

Interstitial Ads

Interstitial ads are full-screen video ads that appear between content transitions. They are the primary focus of the page and take up the majority of the viewport.

Characteristics:

  • High impact: Interstitial ads capture the user's full attention, making them ideal for branding and awareness campaigns.
  • Short duration: Interstitial ads are typically short in length to maintain user engagement.

Examples:

  • A video ad that plays between levels of a mobile game
  • A video ad that plays between articles on a news website
  • A video ad that plays between sections of an e-commerce product page

Standalone Ads

Standalone ads are video ads that play independently of any other streaming video content. They are not the primary focus of the page and may be placed in various locations, such as banners or sidebars.

Characteristics:

  • Flexible placement: Standalone ads can be placed in various locations on a website, making them versatile for different campaign goals.
  • Non-intrusive: Standalone ads are less disruptive than other video ad formats, making them suitable for environments where users are not actively seeking video content.

Examples:

  • A video ad that plays in a banner at the top of a website
  • A video ad that plays in a sidebar of a blog post
  • A video ad that plays in a pop-up window

Why is Google updating the Video Publisher Policies

Google is set to introduce updated video publisher policies effective April 1, 2024, aimed at aligning with evolving industry standards, buyer expectations, and simplifying policy guidelines for publishers and advertisers.

Key Highlights of the New Video Publisher Policies:

  1. Accurate Inventory Description:
    • Publishers must accurately describe their video inventory using metadata and declarations.
    • For Ad Manager publishers, the vpmute and plcmt fields are crucial for programmatic video buyers.
    • Accurate ad tag parameters, including description URLs and ad placement size, enhance discovery and transparency.
  2. Supported Implementations:
    • In addition to IMA SDK, the Programmable Access Library (PAL SDK) is now an option for 'in-stream' or 'accompanying content' placements.
    • For placements outside of a video player, publishers must use GPT or GMA SDK to monetize 'Interstitial' or 'Standalone' video placements.
  3. Protecting Advertiser Value:
    • Video content or controls must not be obstructed or non-functional.
    • Audio ads must not be requested or served into muted video placements.
    • Standard aspect ratios and minimum ad sizes are no longer required, as buyers can identify and target inventory based on placement size signals.
  4. User Respect:
    • Autoplay behavior is clarified:
      • Only one video placement can autoplay with sound at any time.
      • Only one 'in-stream' or 'accompanying content' placement can autoplay in view at any time.
      • Autoplaying placements can only start playback when 50% of the ad unit is visible.
    • 'Sticky' video ads have specific conditions:
      • A dismiss option is mandatory.
      • 'Interstitial' and 'standalone' placements can be anchored in sticky units via GPT SDK.
      • 'In-stream' and 'accompanying content' placements must first render in the body of the page before transitioning to a sticky placement.

Overall Impact:

The updated video publisher policies aim to:

  • Enhance transparency for buyers, ensuring they receive the expected video ad placements.
  • Uphold high standards for inventory health, protecting advertiser investments.
  • Optimize the value for publishers, enabling effective monetization strategies.

Additional Considerations:

  • Google Publisher Policies still apply, and standard aspect ratios (4:3, 16:9, 3:4, 4:5, 9:16, or 1:1) and audible placements generally result in higher monetization.
  • Publishers are advised to experiment with different setups to find the optimal configuration for their needs.

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