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This year, Google and Sizmek, two major ad servers, moved away from Flash. Google did a radical change disapproving all ads that contain flash, on video or on display. When Flash was killed there was another victim: VPAID on Flash, and probably VPAID as a format.
It was the FLASHapocalypse, like the HTTPapocalypse that happen months before, when Google enforced that the creatives need to be https. Are we now on the VPAIDapocalypse?
Andrew Broadstone, director of product management at Brightcove, wrote on AdExchanger a series of issues VPAID brought to the publishers: broken code, no support for mobile configurations, unreliability of the VPAID scripts, increase of error rates and latency, bad user experience; and it does not work on OTT (Smart TVs) or on Apps.
So VPAID was never an upgrade of the traditional VAST tags, mainly because there were no standards. Since the FLASHappocalipse, to serve a VPAID ad in Google DCM, the creative needs now to be built on Google Studio, and approved and checked by a specialized team, a process that can take days or weeks.
Alternative to VPAID? In order to use some verification methods on VAST, a client-side code for viewability reporting is possible to implement, and on VAST4.0 there is a “designated space for inserting ad verification APIs, enabling a more streamlined process for executing files strictly intended for ad verification. In addition, a secondary impression element, the element, has been added to allow publishers the option to track viewability on their inventory.”
With the VAST4.0, the interactive elements of the Video are separated from the Video itself. “A VAST tag that provides the video file separate from APIs can display more successfully across platforms and devices.”
So VAST4.0 appears to be a solution for the death of VPAID format. Do you agree?