Picture this: You're chilling on your couch, streaming your favorite show. In the next ad break, the ad loads slowly and is grainy and pixelated. Clearly, you're frustrated because you expect more from your HD TV and lightning-fast internet connection.

You're not alone. Advertisers and broadcasters hate it when this happens too -- they want you to stay deeply engaged with what you're watching and not be distracted by the streaming experience. But providing TV-quality ad experiences has become challenging with the proliferation of connected TV devices that people use to stream video.

At DoubleClick, we are focused on helping deliver great user experiences by enabling advertisers and TV broadcasters to show seamless, high-quality video ads across all screen sizes and device types.

In this vein, we partnered with the IAB, CBS Interactive, Ad-ID and others last year to develop a new digital video standard that allows advertisers and broadcasters to deliver TV-quality ads to living room screens and devices. This standard, called VAST 4.0, updates previous video standards to work better for the viewing behavior in today’s world.

Today, we’re rolling out support for aspects of VAST 4.0 in DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick Bid Manager, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, and DoubleClick for Publishers. It was important to launch this standard for both advertisers and broadcasters simultaneously to ensure that the whole ecosystem runs smoothly, from insertion order to ad serving.

To enable optimal viewing experiences on living room screens, we prioritized our focus on two specific aspects of VAST 4.0:

  • TV-quality viewing experiences: TV-quality creative files (known as mezzanine files) uploaded to DoubleClick Campaign Manager and DoubleClick for Publishers can now be passed to services that dynamically stitch ads into video streams (server side ad insertion platforms). This helps ensure a higher quality viewing experience, especially for connected TVs, by enabling the TV-quality ad creative to be transcoded and served in one stream alongside the video content.
  • More efficient ad delivery: A universal ad ID system helps the server side ad insertion platform better identify unique vs. existing creatives, which reduces unnecessary transcodes.

This updated set of standards applies across ad servers and server side ad insertion tools, helping advertisers and broadcasters provide high quality viewing experiences for their audiences.

To learn more about VAST 4.0 and how we’re supporting it in DoubleClick, please register for our webinar, coming up next Monday, 5/22, from 12-1pm ET.

Posted by Peentoo Patel and Sunil Gupta
Product Managers, DoubleClick Video Ads