Video Ad Platform: Simple Explanation for Beginners

Among all existing types of content, video is the most engaging and popular one. Due to regular and fast access to the Internet, people are constantly watching live streams, lectures, TV shows, and movies almost every day. No other type of content can boast of being that appealing, which is why advertisers prefer it over everything else. In turn, publishers have a great deal of great video inventory to offer. If you are looking for the best way to roll your campaigns or to sell your ad space, you must have heard of a video ad platform. But what is it? Should you use it for your business? Let’s find out. 

What are the main video ad formats?

Here are the key formats of video ads:

  • Linear

Linear ads appear at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the main content. They interrupt the main video for a while, like the commercials we are used to seeing on TV.

  • Non-linear

Non-linear ads are displayed simultaneously with the main content. A user sees both videos in parallel, which makes them concurrent. 

  • Companion

Companion ads don’t interrupt the main video too much – they include pictures, text, or other media that accompany the watched content.

What is an ad platform?

In simple words, video ad networks for publishers allow them to realize their inventory efficiently. They make deals with advertisers who purchase ad space and make their promotional content visible. The key functions of ad platforms are:

  • Direct or programmatic deals
  • Efficient content delivery
  • Management
  • Results tracking and optimization
  • Improvements of current strategies

Both sides, advertisers and publishers, benefit from ad platforms significantly. These websites work as intermediaries between them and ensure that publishers monetize their inventory, while advertisers make their content visible for numerous potential customers.

The video ads serving process

Video ad serving technology allows for a smooth and simple process of content delivery. This is how it looks like:

  • The user opens a video;
  • The publisher’s server receives a request to show the ad of the right format received from the right source;
  • The publisher’s server picks the right ad;
  • The advertiser’s server receives a request from user’s device;
  • The impression is counted and the ad appears on the user’s screen.

This is a schematic explanation of a basic ad serving procedure. The complexity may vary however depending on the number of platforms that participate in it, since each of them receives, processes, and sends requests.


These three abbreviations stand for special scripts for content standardization. Watchers use different devices, like smartphones, laptops, CTV, and tablets. Scripts exist to make ads compatible with these devices and display ads properly.

VAST is a basic function used to unite servers and devices. Due to VAST, video players receive information on how to display the ad, which length is required, and whether it is skippable or not. VPAID supports some advanced interactive features, like buttons, galleries, and links to landing pages. Also, this script allows for evaluating the efficiency of promotional content and seeing if it evokes immediate actions of potential buyers. As for MRAID, this script was created specifically for the mobile environment. It ensures that the promotional content is displayed properly across different applications and types of devices.


Video ad platforms are integral parts of the modern digital environment. They help publishers and advertisers achieve their goals. Publishers receive the opportunity to sell their inventory to brands, while the latter display their creative content within videos, applications, and websites. Publishers monetize their space, while advertisers boost their brand awareness. Due to platforms, the process has become not only efficient, but also fast, simple, and more transparent than ever. If you have never tried using an ad platform before, it is high time to do so!