IAB Seeks Feedback on In-Stream Guidelines

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is seeking feedback on suggested guidelines for the use of in-stream ads.

The document proposes so-called “broadband ad creative guidelines,” referring to in-stream video, animated formats, and in-game advertising. These are treated separately from the IAB’s rich media guidelines, finalized last year.

Specifically, the document urges publishers and advertisers stick with a maximum ad length of 15 or 30 seconds for pre- and mid-roll ads. For post-roll ads, it proposes no time limit be imposed. Fast-forwarding should be turned off during ad play, according to the proposed guidelines. Ads should be host-initiated, rather than user initiated, because users are only getting the ads if they are choosing to view content.

The IAB suggests publishers use a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio and a minimum encoded bit rate of 200 Kbps. The suggested minimum panel size is 300 x 225 pixels. Additionally, it should be considered OK to run banner ads or text links alongside in-stream advertising, so long as they’re IAB-approved sizes.

A period of feedback will follow the release of the suggested guidelines, after which the IAB’s broadband committee will consider changes.

“The guidelines have been developed during first three months of the year,” said Leo Scullin, the IAB’s VP of industry initiatives. “After we hear from everybody in the industry and beyond, we’ll issue a final [document].”

It’s not clear why the trade group selected the designations “rich media” and “broadband” to refer to in-page and in-stream creative formats, respectively.

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