What is VAST 1.0?
VAST 1.0 was the first iteration of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Video Ad Serving Template (VAST). Introduced in 2008, VAST 1.0 marked the beginning of the IAB’s attempt to introduce a standardized protocol for delivering in-stream ads from video ad servers to different kinds of video players.
Why VAST 1.0?
The proliferation of video playback devices and environments left advertisers grappling with issues like audience fragmentation, compatibility across content platforms, and efficiency. With each video player using different, often proprietary, technology, advertisers needed to rework the ad delivery process each time they wanted to reach a new type of video player. An ad served to iPhone users, for example, could not always be guaranteed to work just as well for someone watching on streaming TV.
With VAST 1.0, the IAB set out to create a device- and platform-independent protocol that would simplify the ad delivery process for advertisers and content publishers. By using an XML schema that could be read by a wide range of video players regardless of their respective technical underpinnings, the IAB launched a video ad format that would soon become an industry standard due to its efficient solutions to many of the digital video ad industry’s largest problems.
[illustration of VAST 1.0 main features]
VAST 1.0 supported only linear ads in single media file formats like MOV, MP4, and 3GP. In terms of functionality, it gave advertisers the option to let users play, stop, and/or pause video ads. VAST 1.0 also supported basic event tracking, allowing advertisers to collect rudimentary data regarding audience engagement.
VAST 1.0 addressed some bugs and refined some functions in a subsequent release coded VAST 1.1. The IAB and the broader digital video industry have since stopped supporting both versions.