Getting Started with VAST Video Ads

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The Platinum and Enterprise editions of JW Player has built-in support for the leading video ad frameworks: VAST/VPAID, Google IMA, and FreeWheel. Not every VAST feature is supported at present, and FreeWheel uses proprietary request and response formats. See Supported Ad Formats for more information.


In order to start running video ads in JW Player, you need the following three things:

  • A valid license for the Platinum or Enterprise editions of JW Player. The Free, Premium, Starter, and Business editions do not support advertising. See our Pricing page if you are interested in running ads with JW Player.
  • A working embed of the Ads player on your website. Please refer to Embedding JW Player to get learn how to embed a basic player.
  • A working ad tag from an ad server, in either VAST/VPAID or Google IMA format. Again, see Supported Ad Formats for details.

VAST Advertising

JW Player's advertising features allow you to monetize your content with video ads. JW Player supports ads that are compliant with two of the leading ad frameworks — IAB's VAST 4.0 and VPAID 2.0 as well as ads that are managed with Google's Interactive Media Ads SDK.

To begin monetizing content all that is needed is a valid ad tag from your ad partner and a Player that has advertising turned on.

Using the JW Player dashboard, you can associate an ad tag to a particular player by creating an ad schedule. This allows you publish the same ad tag with specific player settings alongside any number of videos. You can easily create a side-rail ads player as well as main content ads player.

Creating an Ads Player

  1. Navigate to the Players section in your Dashboard.
  2. Click New Player or edit an existing Player.
  3. Set your desired playback settings and other customizations.
  4. Open the Advertising or Monetize pane.
  5. Turn Advertising on.
  6. Select "Create New Schedule" from the Schedule dropdown menu to quickly create an ad schedule with a pre-roll. You can also select from any previously selected Ad Schedules.
  7. Choose the type of ad tag that you would like to associate with this player and a name for your new Ad Schedule.
    1. VAST uses JW Player's own ad tag parser
    2. Google IMA uses Google's IMA SDK
    3. VMAP is an external ad schedule 
  8. Enter the tag URL or a URL to your VMAP file in the Value field.
  9. Set the text for the user interface elements that you desire.
    1. Message for while the ad is playing.
    2. Cue text - the tooltip over the controlbar cuepoint.

      Ad Scheduling Configuration

Publishing Your Ads Player

Now that you have an ads player, all you need to do is publish it with content. Choose your media from the Video List page and click Embed. On the Generate Embed Code dialog, select your ads player. You can also take the cloud-hosted player url for the player and place it on the page where you need an ads player.

  1. Navigate to Content.
  2. Press the button for the video you want to publish.
  3. Make sure your Ads player is chosen. If not click CHANGE and select a new player.
  4. You can preview your ads on the Preview Page.
  5. Choose JavaScript or iFrame embed and copy the code to place on your page.


You can enable a ‘Skip Ad’ interface element during ad playback and even customize the countdown message as well as the skip text. Enabling skipping provides better engagement for your viewers. Note that ads that have VAST 3.0 skipoffset in the response use the skip offset from the tag and not from your player settings.

Companion Ads

JW Player supports the insertion of companion ads into the page. HTML/IFRAME and GIF/JPG/PNG ads are supported for both VAST and IMA. FreeWheel uses a proprietary method for filling companion ads.

In order to render a companion, you must set the id, width and height of the DOM element the companion should be placed into. JW Player will then insert a companion if the ad tag contains one that exactly matches the width and height provided in the configuration. If the dimensions do not match up, JW Player will not display an ad. (which could lead to broken page designs)

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