Video Ads on Premium Connected TV Inventory

There are some special considerations for video ads on premium Connected TV inventory.

We strongly encourage customers to use our built-in DSP video ad serving. We automatically transcode video to all necessary formats and bitrates, so as long as you upload the highest quality asset available, you won't need to worry about the technical details in the Third-Party VAST section below.

Note: Do not include calls to action or buttons that imply that the ad is interactive. Most Connected TV environments are unclickable, and some publishers may not allow ads that imply they can be clicked.

General Video and Audio Quality

Connected TV publishers are especially sensitive to poor quality audio and video. Upload the highest quality file available with dimensions of 1920x1080 for 16:9 content and 1440x1080 for 4:3 content. The maximum file size is 100 MB. For more information, see Ad Specifications and Transcoding Videos Using HandBrake.

When examining the video on your computer, it should be:

  • Free of visible compression artifacts, encoding defects, etc.
  • Encoded at the proper frame rate for the content, without visible stuttering or duplicate frames.
  • Encoded as constant frame rate (not variable frame rate), at a standard frame rate (23.976fps, 25fps, or 29.97fps as appropriate).
  • Progressive, not interlaced.
  • Not letterboxed or pillarboxed. For example, 4:3 content should not be pillarboxed to fit 16:9 aspect ratio. Instead, submit the original 4:3 aspect ratio.

Audio should have a sample rate of 48khz.

Publishers vary in their expectations, but failing to adhere to these quality standards may lead to your ads being blocked on the most premium publishers.

On the preview page, a medium-quality transcoded video suitable for the regular size of the player on the preview page is shown. This does not reflect the file that CTV publishers will select at the time of delivery. Examine the original source file on your computer for video and audio quality purposes.

Third-Party VAST

Due to the nature of the Connected TV environment, VPAID is not supported.

VAST can carry multiple media files and the player is expected to select the one it prefers. One case of this is VAST containing a VPAID MediaFile as well as MP4 alternatives. While this is technically suitable for CTV environments, some publishers do not handle this scenario correctly and delivery will fail. Publishers may then block your ads or the advertiser.

Accordingly, we strongly recommend ensuring that there are no VPAID MediaFiles in ads you deliver on CTV inventory.

The third-party VAST should have the following characteristics:

  • VAST 2.0
  • InLine VAST (not a Wrapper)
  • No VPAID media files
  • At least one of the MediaFiles is an MP4 with:
    • Video resolution of 1920x1080 / 1440x1080, bitrate > 15,000kbps, H.264/AVC codec
    • Audio is 48khz, stereo (two channel), 192kbps or greater, AAC codec

Delivery fails for some CTV publishers if VAST URLs have special characters in them (e.g. [, ], |). When this occurs, publishers may block your ads or the advertiser. Make sure to replace all placeholders in VAST URLs. For example, VAST URLs from Google Campaign Manager may have placeholders in them:

https://ad.doubleclick.net/ddm/pfadx/N123.1231234TEST/B123123123.123123;sz=0x0;ord=[timestamp];dc_lat=;dc_rdid=;tag_for_child_directed_treatment=;tfua=;dcmt=text/xml;dc_sdk_apis=[APIFRAMEWORKS];dc_omid_p=[OMIDPARTNER]

Replace the [timestamp] placeholder with the DSP {ts} macro, and also replace the [APIFRAMEWORKS] and [OMIDPARTNER] placeholders. No value is required to replace them.

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