Radiant Media Player Blog

Getting better at outstream video ads

Last updated on February 22, 2018 - Back to blog home page


What are outstream video ads?

An outstream video ad is a video advertisement without content following it. It is just the video ad for the video ad. Like a banner ad but in a video format. The player makes a VAST request to an ad-server, parse the response, get the linear creative and display it. It has been an increasingly popular way to monetise websites and apps in the past few years. We support outstream video ads with Radiant Media Player since April 2016, so this form of advertising is no news for us and many of our customers are already using it in production to generate revenue.


What is the Initial Better Ads Standards from the Coalition for Better Ads?

Bad advertisement usage over the past decade in the web industry has caused many viewers to opt for ad-blockers, be it out of privacy concerns, for faster page loads or to block intrusive ads.

In response to this increased ad-blockers usage, which clearly has impacted revenue from sites and apps properly using ads to sponsor free content, the Coalition for Better Ads was created, with Google actively participating in this venture.

After much survey from online viewers and members from the online ad industry an initial standard was released: the Initial Better Ads Standards. This standard defines a collection of least preferred ad experiences for desktop web and mobile web. Read: ads that should be banned from the web.

However, defining this Initial Better Ads Standards was not enough. It needed to be enforced. Mid-February 2018, Google publicly enabled the Chrome's ad filtering engine. Essentially Google is now actively monitoring sites that do not comply with the Initial Better Ads Standards and has enabled a set of rules to block ads from sites that do not comply with those standards. Google has already notified famous sites like Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune ... that they were not compliant with those standards. Hopefully Google is not too abrupt about this and has released a set of tools to help bring sites that do not comply with the Initial Better Ads Standards to compliancy, as well as a 30 days grace period before any blocking action is effectively taken.


What is the Initial Better Ads Standards saying about autoplaying video ads?

While the Initial Better Ads Standards covers a large spectrum of ad formats to be avoided, there is one specific to video ads: Auto-playing Video Ads with Sound, this is for both mobile and desktop.

First, we want to draw your attention to the fact that this is only for outstream video ads. Video ads that are presented with video content relevant to a site are not currently affected by this "ban".

The Better Ads Methodology has not yet tested video ads that appear before ("pre-roll") or during ("mid-roll") video content that is relevant to the content of the page itself.

In-short: Auto-playing Outstream Video Ads with Sound is to be avoided. To help Radiant Media Player users comply with the Initial Better Ads Standards we have enabled default muted autoplay of outstream video ads for both desktop and mobile devices with version 4.6.30. Previously this was only enforced on mobile devices. While it is still technically possible to use autoplay with sound for outstream video ads on desktop, we do not recommend this approach.

By doing so we hope to help Radiant Media Player customers to bring a better ad experience to their audience.


Radiant Media Player outstream video ads implementation examples

We wanted to go further with outstream video ads. In order to jump start your implementation of outstream video ads with Radiant Media Player we have released a collection of examples on GitHub. Those examples follow best practices for using outstream video ads according to the Coalition for Better Ads standards and showcase popular methods to display them on your site.

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