Evolution of VAST-Past, present and the future

Evolution of VAST-Past, present and the future



Online advertising is on the right path to reach its pinnacle. There are so many options available when it comes to choosing the right type of advertisement. VAST is a predefined structure provided by Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to regulate and enhance the advertising industry.  It was introduced by IABin the year 2008 and from then on the template has evolved according to the requirements. From VAST 1.0 to VAST 4.1, must know details of every upgrade and the entire path of evolution.  


VAST-Working and attributes

Video Ad Serving Template, also known as VAST is an imperative tool provided by Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in their video suite.  A universal standard is maintained among advertisers, thanks to VAST, with the help of XML, VAST removes the complexity of delivering tailor-made ads for each and every system the ad is viewed at.  Some of the vital information relayed by VAST include


  • Duration of video ad’s running time
  • URL to load after audience click
  • The specific location of the video ad in the content stream
  • Targeted video ad approach

The process of delivering advertisements is simplified by VAST, errors and compatibility issues have been answered with upgrades by VAST.Basic call and response in ad serving are improved by VAST. To display a video, a call or request will be sent to the ad server. The total number of ad servers involved in the process can vary; the video player can get hold of the data directly from the server or else it can reach a network that will trigger a response to the secondary ad server. The entire operation is simplified with the help of VAST.


Evolution- change for the better

Standards issued by IAB are the guiding structure for the advertising industry. Introduced in the year 2008 VAST started to get upgraded in a short span of time. A gift for the advertising industry, things are made simpler with VAST and its evolution made it clear that things are about to get better. There are so many features in every upgrade and there are some features if not mentioned will become a crime. The following upgrades are crucial in the VAST ecosystem.


Video Player Ad-Interface Definition (VPAID)

This will enable a separate communication between ad and the video player it’s playing on.  These types of communications are so crucial; both linear and non-linear video ad formats can engage the viewer by interactions, but it should be noted that those interactions will not disrupt the ad quality and content on the viewer screen.


VMAP-Video Multiple Ad Playlist

The specification in an XML template where video content creators can make use of it for describing the entire structure of ad inventory insertion when they have no control over the video player or the distribution outlet.   

Evolution of VAST-Past, present and the future


Inline Ad

These types of ads are also known as “banners”. They are VAST documents that include all the elements which are mandatory to display the visual experience of the ad. They are found either on the top or bottom of the screen.

Evolution of VAST-Past, present and the future


Linear Video Ad

These types of ads are displayed at the start or middle or at the end of the main content, they are also known as pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll respectively. They are sort of like television commercials, these ads take full space over the content thus viewers will be watching ads instead of the content.


Non-linear video ad

Unlike linear video ads these ads do not take up the entire screen. These ads play simultaneously with the content the viewer needs to watch. Non-linear advertisements are available on different structures like text, graphical ads, or as video overlays, and usually, run alongside the main content.  

 Evolution of VAST-Past, present and the future

Primary and Secondary ad server

A primary ad server is the main or the first source where the video player will look if the first ad is to be served. In most of the cases it is assumed that the publisher will make the initial ad request through the primary ad server, and after that, it will be redirected to other servers depending upon the requirement. The secondary ad server is made use of by an ad network or by the buyer of ads to serve creative, track results and optimize creatives.

 Evolution of VAST-Past, present and the future


VAST 4.1 released in the year 2018, is the latest version of VAST available and an update from is expected anytime soon.

VAST 4.1- AD request based on Macros, DAAST has been merged into VAST.Enable verification in non-VPAID architecture.

Difference between VAST version upgrades

VAST 1.0 Root Node Absent Interactive Media Files Not Supported URI for Adtag Calling Media delivery files, non-linear and companion ads not supported
VAST 2.0 Linear Ad Supported Non-Linear Ads supported:Overlay ads Companion ad supportive VAST Adtag URL to VAST adtag URI
VAST 3.0 Allow Ad pods Ads can be skipped Passback Ads Event Tracking
VAST 4.0 Ad stitching Conditional Ads Support Ad categories Mezzanine file support


The changes made in every version helped the advertising industry to take the game up by a notch. As the advertising industry is evolving, upgrades have become an unavoidable part of the ad environment. It’s a good sign, regulations updated according to the requirement of the industry cycle. 


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