The introduction comes as publishers are investing more in
longer-form, original web-video content in the hope of boosting
advertising spending in the medium. To help that movement, the new
guidelines support what the IAB refers to as ad "pods" -- in
essence, a series of video ads that can appear within a single ad
break, similar to a TV commercial break.
"The IAB doesn't create standards, but we step in and help
create guidelines that are essentially reflective of what's going
on in the market and, if broadly adopted, become standards," said
Steve Sullivan, VP-ad technology at the IAB. "And that 's exactly
what's happening here."
In late 2010, YouTube introduced its TrueView in-stream video ads,
skippable commercials for which advertisers only get charged if the
user watches for 30 seconds, or until completion if the video is
shorter than that . For a video service as large as YouTube, data
on who skips an ad is a valuable signal and informs which ad they
show which person.
Also in 2010, Hulu introduced "Ad Selector," which lets viewers select
from three ads, with the aim of identifying an ad that 's more
relevant (or at least less annoying) to the consumer.
This year, ad-tech companies such as Solve Media and
SpotXchange have jumped on the ad-skipping bandwagon, launching
products that let consumers skip an ad if they type in a brand
message or pay $0.10, respectively.
"When Google does something, everyone wants to standardize it
because that 's the kind of power they have, so the IAB should
act," said Jason Krebs, senior VP/chief media officer at video ad
network Tremor Video. "But I think it's the exact opposite of where
the industry should go. I don't think it's about skipping or not
skipping, but about getting the ad right the first time."
Mr. Krebs said Tremor accomplishes this with its interactive
video ads, for which marketers pay only if a viewer interacts with
The IAB also formally introduced a protocol that lets publishers
identify how many and where ad breaks should appear in a piece of
video content when the content appears offsite. Other technical
advancements in this suite include support for HTML5, allowing a
video ad to play across various devices and software platforms.
EMarketer expects the online-video-ad market, including mobile, to
reach $3.12 billion in the U.S. this year, up more than 50% from
*This article has been clarified to
note the IAB itself does not support skippable ads but its new ad
formats do indeed offer technical support for such ads.