Outstream Video Advertising


Outstream video provides publishers the opportunity to generate revenue from video ads without requiring the page to have video content. The outstream ad format is popular due to the higher rates that video ads generate. Outstream ads can be displayed on all devices (mobile, tablet and desktop), and are served within the body content on detail pages.

Outstream Video Ad Terminology

  • Video Player: a video player technology, such as a video player from Brightcove, JW Player or LKQD. Video players handle the ad request and video playback.
  • Video Ad: A video advertisement in the form of 15 - 60 second (recommended length) video clip that is run in a video player. Video ads are almost always served using VAST tags.
  • VAST: Video Ad Serving Template. This refers to a standard XML specification for describing a video advertisement and associated tracking information. Video advertisements are often referred to as "VAST Tags" which are URLs that return an XML document which describes where the video files are hosted and which tracking endpoints are used for each event. When a video ad is served the XML file is given to the video player, which uses the information contained in the file to play the ad.
  • Injection Logic: the location on the page where the outstream video player is inserted into the page content.
  • Viewability: the percent of impressions that were actually seen by users. By MRC definition, viewability is counted when the video is at least 50% in view for 2 secs or more.

Enabling Outstream Ads

To be able to serve direct-sold outstream ads, the site must have the outstream ad slot enabled. Similar to display ad slots, impressions which are not filled by direct-sold campaigns are filled with programmatic video ads.

If outstream ads are not enabled on your site, contact Tempest Support to have them enabled.

Outstream Video Players on Tempest

On Tempest, we support outstream in the body of detail page content. The outstream ad slot appears before In Content display ads. When outstream is enabled the display ad spacing is modified to accommodate the outstream ad slot. The outstream slot is a 640x360v DFP video ad request which uses "outstream" for its ad zone. If no video ads are available, regular display ads are requested using the “outstream_backfill” ad zone.

The outstream video user experience is as follows:

  • The Outstream ad placement appears in the first visible to the user in-content ad slot
  • Outstream player is eligible on all devices
  • Video playback is initially muted and only begins when the ad is in view
  • Sound is activated on mouse-over event in desktop browsers and on tap in mobile browsers
  • On completion, an end card is delivered that allows user to close video placement or click out to advertiser site
  • An ‘Advertisement’ label appears above the player to distinguish Outstream videos from embedded players with publisher video content

Outstream Video Specs

Playback method: Auto-play, muted, audio on mouseover or tap

Video play threshold: 50% in view

Aspect ratio: 16:9

Duration: 6 - 60 seconds

Video size: 640x360 (desktop); full-bleed (mobile)

Controls: video stops when out of view; close button on end-card

Frameworks: VAST 3.0, VPAID 2.0

Technology: HTML5 / VPAID-JS

Video Format/Codec: MP4 / H.264

Audio Format/Codec: AAC or MP3

Video File Size: Max 20 MB

VPAID Support

While the Outstream player will accept VPAID ads for direct-sold campaigns, some VPAID ads may cause user experience issues, such as auto-playing with sound, or not allowing the video to be muted on mouse-out. With direct-sold VPAID campaigns, it’s best to verify that the ad behaves as you expect, and alert the advertiser to any problems you observe. In some cases you may need to request that the advertiser provides a VAST tag instead of a VPAID tag to avoid user experience issues.

Trafficking an Outstream Video in DFP

1. Setting up an Outstream Video Line Item in DFP

Outstream line items can be targeted using the same ad units and key values as normal display advertising. They are distinguished by having a unique Video Size, 640x360v.

To set up an Outstream video line item, select the following options in DFP:
  • Select “Video VAST” for the line item Inventory Sizes setting
  • Select the master video size “640x360v”
  • Select the site ad unit(s) where you wish to serve the outstream ads
  • Other targeting options (section, page path, etc.) are also supported

2. Setting up an Outstream Video Creative in DFP

Video ads are referred to as “Creative Sets” within DFP. When adding a new Creative Set, select the type “Video VAST” and choose “640x360v” as the size.

If you have a video media file (such as MP4) and an advertiser click-out URL, select “Video” as the creative set type, and make sure that the Hosting type is “DFP-hosted” on the following screen.

If an advertiser provides you with a VAST tag URL, select “Redirect” as the creative set type. The URL will be put into the box labelled “VAST tag URL” on the following screen. The VAST tag URL may have placeholders such as [timestamp] which will need to be replaced with DFP macros or hard coded values. For example, you may need to specify the player width or height, or change a [timestamp] placeholder to use the %%CACHEBUSTER%% DFP macro.

Detailed documentation for setting up video ads within DFP is available here:
Note: Outstream video ads are distinguished from Pre-roll video ads by their size setting in DFP. Pre-roll ads use the size 940x529v and outstream ads use the size 640x360v.

Custom Outstream Players Not Supported

Custom Outstream players are not supported on Tempest. Publishers with direct sold campaigns to run should either use a VAST tag or original video assets and traffic campaign through DFP. If only original video assets are available and Publisher does not know how to generate a VAST tag, ad ops support can be provided through Tempest Services. Turnaround Time is two days. 

Forecasting for Outstream on Tempest

Once Outstream ads have been active on your site for at least 4 weeks, DFP forecasting can be used to estimate how many impressions are available for your own direct sales.

To forecast an Outstream line item, set it up using the same process for trafficking a line item as described above.

Blocking Outstream Ads on Individual Pages

The outstream player can be suppressed on an individual page by setting up a special creative type which the player detects as a “blocking creative.”

When an outstream video is blocked, the entire outstream player slot is not shown.

The blocking line item should be set up as follows:

Line Item Type: Sponsorship, 100%

  • Target desired page path, rich term, section, date range, etc.
  • Creative Set Type: Video, 640x360v
  • Hosting: Externally hosted
  • Duration: 1 second
  • Asset URL:
  • Asset Dimensions: 7x7

Add the Asset URL shown above to configure a 1 second blank video as the blocking video creative. Once this is added, you will need to override the “Dimensions” setting to be “7x7” as shown in the screenshot below.


Using an externally hosted non-redirect creative prevents the player for attempting to “waterfall” to a fallback video asset. The player will block the creative when it sees an ad with the dimensions set to 7x7.

Coming Soon:

  • Updated asset & workflow which doesn’t require manually setting the dimensions
  • Allowing the display ad slot “outstream fallback” to be shown when the video is blocked
Contact Publisher Support at to learn more.


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