IAB Tech Lab Releases for Public Comment a New Specification to Improve Transparency and User Experience in Video Advertising

SIMID (Secure Interactive Media Interface Definition) Replaces VPAID
to Improve Trust, Creativity, and Interactive Capabilities for Digital
Video Ads

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The IAB Technology Laboratory today released SIMID (Secure Interactive
Media Interface Definition) for public comment, a specification designed
to replace VPAID (Video Player Ad Interface Definition) and increase
transparency and security, while increasing support for creativity and
interactive capabilities.

The introduction of SIMID comes after a decade of the industry relying
on the VPAID specification, a period that was a time of intense growth
and evolution across the digital video landscape. As a result, even
though VPAID was originally intended for building interactive ads,
companies adapted it for verification and other use cases, attempting to
have VPAID work outside of the scope of its intended purpose and design.
This gave rise to significant problems with trust, transparency and
creative freedom—all of which SIMID will resolve.

With SIMID, playback control will be in the hands of the player itself,
giving publishers greater control of the user experience. In addition,
by using SIMID together with OMID (Open Measurement Interface
Definition) and VAST (Video Ad Serving Template), not only will
creatives have more freedom to focus on interactivity, but also
verification vendors will have better understanding of how ads
performed, and publishers will know the sources of components of their
ads, ultimately leading to better consumer experience and more trust and
transparency between digital media and marketing stakeholders.

“With SIMID, Tech Lab is responding to the needs of the evolving video
advertising marketplace, creating an interactivity solution that should
become a critical part of the video supply chain and will promote
transparency and security,” said Dennis Buchheim, Senior Vice President
and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. “Everyone who has relied on VPAID for
interactivity should please review SIMID and provide us with feedback,
so it can become a critical part of the video supply chain and drive
greater transparency across the ecosystem.”

Anyone that has relied on or used VPAID is encouraged to review SIMID.
More specifically, SIMID has clear architectural goals to:

  • Enable a “player-centric” model, giving publishers control over the
    user experience and what runs on their pages. Publishers can be
    confident that ad units will not “take over” their pages/apps.
  • Support server-side ad insertion (SSAI).
  • Apply to all platforms including mobile and OTT.
  • Be free of constraints to support verification or other unofficial
    uses of VPAID, which significantly simplifies the requirements and
    makes it lightweight.

At CBS, we always place a premium on the integrity of our
properties and the user experience we provide. The combination of SIMD
and OMID — the safety and transparency features of SIMID alongside OMID
allowing our inventory to be verifiable, makes for a powerful solution,
giving us confidence in the two supporting our larger digital goals,”
said Jarred Wilichinsky, Vice President Video Monetization and
Operations, CBS Interactive.

“SIMID meets the needs of a number of our publisher partners to support
an interactive ad format that offers more control, while providing a
flexible framework for building innovative ad creatives,” said Peentoo
Patel, Group Product Manager, Video on Ad Manager at Google. “We look
forward to the gradual phasing out of VPAID with the availability of
this new standard.”

Simultaneously, the IAB Tech Lab is releasing an updated VAST 4.2
template with some minor changes to support SIMID. With these releases,
IAB Tech Lab is aiming to have a single tag for all video ads and all
platforms.

To review SIMID and VAST 4.2, go to https://www.iabtechlab.com/SIMID
and https://iabtechlab.com/VAST.
Public comment will run through May 24, 2019. Any comments or questions
can be directed to video@iabtechlab.com
and will be distributed to the Digital Video Technical Working Group for
review.

About IAB Technology Laboratory

The IAB Technology Laboratory (Tech Lab) is a non-profit consortium that
engages a member community globally to develop foundational technology
and standards that enable growth and trust in the digital media
ecosystem. Comprised of digital publishers, ad technology firms,
agencies, marketers, and other member companies, IAB Tech Lab focuses on
improving the digital advertising supply chain, measurement, and
consumer experiences, while promoting responsible use of data. Its work
includes the OpenRTB real-time bidding protocol, ads.txt anti-fraud
specification, Open Measurement SDK for viewability and verification,
VAST video specification, and DigiTrust identity service. Board members
include ExtremeReach, Facebook, Google, GroupM, Hearst Digital Media,
Index Exchange, Integral Ad Science, LinkedIn, LiveRamp, MediaMath,
Microsoft, Oracle Data Cloud, Pandora, PubMatic, Quantcast, Rakuten
Marketing, Telaria, The Trade Desk, Verizon Media Group, Xandr, and
Yahoo! Japan. Established in 2014, the IAB Tech Lab is headquartered in
New York City with staff in San Francisco, Seattle, and London. Learn
more at https://www.iabtechlab.com.

Contacts

IAB Media
Laura Goldberg
347.683.1859
laura.goldberg@iab.com

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