Here's what you need to know about VAST Tags

Here’s What You Need to Know About VAST Tags

Video advertising has been gaining popularity over the years. It’s understandable as many publishers and advertisers realize that it’s a potent revenue generator. And this is all thanks to the increasing adoption of VAST (Video Ad Serving Template), which allows video players to align with third-party ad servers and make their content more personalized.

Over the years, video consumption increased, with many consumers demanding content they can watch as they go. Cisco reported that 82% of global consumer internet traffic would be from video streaming this 2022, increasing by 9% from 2017 numbers.

As such, video ad spending is expected to reach $180.4 billion this 2022 and hit $318.8 billion within the next five years. The majority will pool their resources for programmatic video advertising through the use of VAST tags.

What are VAST Tags?

A VAST tag is a script that permits video players and ad servers to exchange data. In essence, the VAST tag gives video players relevant information to help them retrieve ads, render ads, and choose the ad media type, including ad format, length, information, pricing, duration, and tracking.

VAST transfers metadata from the master video ad slot source into a readable format using XML schema. Once this happens, the format becomes readable to computers and humans, allowing the data to become accessible for video ads.

This process helps simplify the video ad because the video players can play third-party video ads regardless of the ad server or network used.
These VAST tags are generated by ad servers.

Benefits of VAST Tags

VAST tags were first introduced in 2008. It supported various video formats, including 3GP, MP4, and .MOV. Over the years, the number of video formats it supported grew. The latest version, the 4.0, now supports ad options, including server stitching, video and interactive files, mezzanine files, verification, reporting, closed captioning, and viewability. These improvements dramatically benefited publishers in terms of monetizing pages via video ad displays.

The use of VAST tags has several benefits, including:

  • Provision of straightforward communication language between video players and ad servers
  • Better control on developing and implementing video ads
  • Decreased incidence of ad playback and rendering errors from the source file
  • Efficient allotment of resources, such as time and budget

How to Create VAST Tags

Here are some ways how to create a VAST tag:

1. Manual VAST tag Addition

For publishers with XML knowledge, manual VAST tag creation is simple. They can use a pre-determined parameter to add tags manually. Once a value is in place, advertisers can use the content to develop an XML. However, many don’t prefer this method since many ad engineers still need to verify the VAST tag.

2. Via Google Ad Manager

VAST tag addition can be done using any compatible ad server, including Google. To do so, publishers will need to set up their Google Ad Manager accounts.

  • On their dashboard, click on Inventory >> Ad Units.
  • Choose the ad unit and click Tags.
  • Indicate Tag Type, Option, and Results. Click Continue after each step.
  • Choose Copy Tag.

3. Via AlgoriX

AlgoriX also supports VAST Tag integrations and getting started is really easy! To set up a video using VAST Tag, publishers must complete the following steps:

  • Create a publisher account.
  • Submit your app or website and the ad placements.

For more information, publishers can check this documentation on VAST Tag integration. 

Final Thoughts

VAST has had several improvements over the years. While it still has room to grow, the use of VAST tags has tremendously improved video ad performance, thereby allowing for maximized revenue. 

If you need more help to get started, our team is more than happy to help! Contact us to learn more.



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Pranav Kataria

Associate Director, Programmatic Strategy

As the Associate Director of Programmatic Strategy, Pranav brings over 8 years of experience in the adtech industry working with Publishers, DSPs, Agencies, and Advertisers from global regions to improve their monetization, performance, and strategies. With great understanding of the mobile market, his expertise lies in analytics, account management, strategy, and ad sales. With this refined skill set, he brings customer-centric mindfulness that enables growth and innovation.

Before joining AlgoriX, his keen business perspective and skills have earned him opportunities to work across different organizations and verticals in the advertising ecosystem; be it improving the processes, sales enablement, and managing client relationships.

Ray Xia

VP, AlgoriX Partner Studio

Ray Xia was a mainstay at Tencent Games, having worked at the company for 13 years. There, he took on various roles including backend developer, application development manager, and game producer. During this time, he actively participated in the development and operation of popular titles such as QQ Pet, QQ Pet Fight, and games involving the Naruto franchise. To date, these games have over 10 million daily active users. Through this rich well of experience he has accumulated covering all aspects of game development and operation, he aims to spearhead more creative endeavors via AlgoriX Studios.

Naomi Li

VP, Research and Development

Naomi Li has a decade’s worth of experience in research and development for the adtech industry. She started her career at Baidu where she was mainly responsible for the Automation Testing of the Baidu Fengchao Ad Search Engine. There, she focused on the fields of overlapping experiment infrastructure, rich media ads rendering, and ad antispam technology. Moreover, as part of Baidu’s International Group, she led the research and development of various monetization and advertising mechanisms for Baidu’s overseas app store, SDK, and AdNetwork. At present, she is responsible for the overall direction of AlgoriX’s R&D efforts, which include product planning, technical architecture design, and talent training.

Frederic Liow

SVP, Revenue Growth & Strategy

A veteran in the digital advertising industry, he began his career during the early days of the dotcom era. To date, his passion for the digital industry is still as strong as ever (and getting even stronger). Spanning twenty years of his digital career, he has worked for leading companies like Nielsen, MRM McCann, Omnicom Media Group, Millward Brown and Smaato. Currently, Frederic is the revenue officer for AlgoriX spearheading global revenue growth, business expansion and strategic partnerships. He has set up and built AlgoriX’s global mobile ad exchange, hiring talents, establishing best practices, and injecting global industry standards into the company. Prior to his current role, he was the Head of Demand for Smaato, overseeing the demand business and operations in APAC. Frederic is currently based in our Singapore HQ.

Xinxiao Guo

Chief Operation Officer

Equipped with a decade’s worth of experience in global product operation as well as a deep understanding of emerging markets, Xinxiao brings her expertise in mobile traffic monetization and programmatic advertising to the table. Before her role at AlgoriX, she was a core member of iQIYI’s research and development unit. After that, she moved to Baidu as Head of Programmatic Advertising.

At present, she is AlgoriX’s co-founder and Chief Operation Officer. Together with the team, she aims to help game developers effectively reach global audiences and implement better monetization strategies.

Ruiz Xie

Chief Executive Officer

With nearly 20 years of business experience, Ruiz Xie founded AlgoriX with the vision of creating a global advertising platform and entertainment ecosystem. Through AlgoriX’s services, he aims to create a more inclusive tech ecosystem by providing customized solutions that meet the needs of businesses at every stage. At the same time, through AlgoriX Studios and its third-party partner studios, the company is currently bringing to life a greater goal of providing a comprehensive entertainment platform for people worldwide, which covers games, IP, comics, movies, and more. At present, he leads nearly a hundred employees with concrete plans to expand the company by establishing more offices worldwide.

Before founding AlgoriX, Ruiz Xie joined CoreMail in 2002. There, he created the first Ajax version of the mailbox in China for NetEase, which was the largest Internet company in China at the time. After that, he joined Tencent in 2005 and contributed to the creation of Tencent Games while also building a large scale distributed storage system. In 2013, he moved to Baidu where he took part in developing Baidu International’s overall architecture and search advertising system. During his tenure, he was also the Chairman of the Baidu Global Technical Committee and Baidu’s chief architect.