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Carl

IAB Recommends 200kb file size for standard display ads

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Hot on the heels of our article detailing the need for higher file sizes in banner ads, the IAB has released a draft of their

 

DISPLAY ADVERTISING CREATIVE FORMAT GUIDELINES

 

The biggest news here is that across the board they recommend 200kb for standard display ads and much more room with Rich Media ads that use polite loading.

 

This is a major victory for everyone who has been fighting with publishers that insist on using the same 40kb specs from the Flash days for modern HTML5 creative. Although this document is just a draft, it is a clear sign that the IAB is looking to lead the industry in setting reasonable standards. 

 

Also of note, this document encourages using CDN-hosted libraries.

 

Use well-distributed, cached libraries to provide supporting files instead of providing them with the ad. 

 

On the downside it mentions that these libraries will still count towards total file size which we feel ultimately hurts developers.

 

File weight calculation: All files for the ad, including supporting files (unless they’be been exempted in the publisher certification process or by the Ad server), must be included as part of the maximum file weight calculation for all file limits load. Review the 2015 update to the HTML5 Best Practices for more details on what files may be exempted from file load limits.

 

We feel strongly that developers should not have to constantly account for the overhead a few js libraries that are required for their ad to function. We expect to have more clarification on this when the 2015 update to the Best Practices guide is released.

 

We encourage you to read the DISPLAY ADVERTISING CREATIVE FORMAT GUIDELINES and contact the IAB with your feedback.

 

They deserve a lot of credit for the progress that has been made thus far! Hooray!

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Super stoked they got this out so quickly and that it has reasonable file sizes etc...

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Like ripping a Band-Aid off... while you are still bleeding.

 

The tools simply are not there yet for designers to create HTML5 banners. The code these tools spit out are a rats nest of code I would not want to debug. You are better off hand coding these banners. Unlike Flash, it's an exercise better suited for those with development skills. Banner ads are typically handled by designers, so a shift in the types of associates applied to the work will need to change. Luckily Greensock is there for us designers/developers hybrid types! 

 

These new specs are still woefully inept. This was an opportunity for the IAB to fix problems with the old standards. For example the 160x600 has almost 150% of the surface area... which is a direct translation to file size. They could have used this opportunity to optimize specs per creative layout. 

 

Also, why are there still specs for frame rate for HTML5? I understand it for video... but HTML5 doesn't have a frame rate you can control like Flash. Also, libraries like Greensock are essential to building these things. We not only NEED them and they SHOULD be externalized so they are cached on the user's machine. And the SHOULD NOT count against your file size. Why make the users load 30% of the banner every single ad that displays? That is just ignorance.

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Good catch on the fps limits, definitely an antiquated metric. I'm curious how that even got in there or how they suggest the frame rate of CSS animations should be capped??? 

 

This document is open for comments and I suggest that everyone submits their feedback to the IAB as instructed in the document.

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It will be interesting to see how much of that spreads out to the worldwide community. I'm in the UK and have, time and time again, seen that specs here are always slightly different than in other countries.

 

We seem to have a slightly easier time than the guys in the US (I never been told I could only load 10 files, for example), and we also seem to be slightly up to date in terms of browser/technology supported (I used to get request to make AS2 FP8 banners, or support IE8 for eastern europe only).

 

I know there's something like the IAB here, need to dig around to find them and get in touch. We might as well campagin for some standards in this side of the pond.

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For the record, I don't think the new IAB doc is saying that the CDN-hosted libraries will necessarily count toward the file size. Here is the statement:

 

File weight calculation: All files for the ad, including supporting files (unless they've been exempted in the publisher certification process or by the Ad server), must be included as part of the maximum file weight calculation for all file limits load. Review the 2015 update to the HTML5 Best Practices for more details on what files may be exempted from file load limits.

 

I think they're leaving the door open for a short list of recommended libraries (like GSAP) to be excluded from file size calculations. That list will likely be coming soon, in that "HTML5 Best Practices" document that's referenced. They just couldn't go into details in that small line because the point is that these exempt libraries will be the exception, not the rule, and they need to get people in the mindset of including everything (except a short list of recommended libraries). 

 

So the way I'm reading it, this is all good news and it will likely only get better when that other doc gets released. 

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according to the CDN issue.

 

Publishers and ad servers will decide what the most common libraries are and they will go into the "accepted" list.

 

I know that Doubleclick, Flashtalking and Sizmek already have GSAP white listed and it is exempt from the final k size of the banner. Now, Ad serving companies are another story, they will probably see their bottom line getting a little hurt since they used to charge more if the banner was over 40k. If there is a group that will have some resistance, it will be them.

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Yeah, let us know if you hear about any pushback from ad serving companies. We haven't heard any reports of that (yet). 

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Doubleclick (owned by Google) whose Chrome browser is forcing this change has upgraded all accounts to "Enhanced Ad Format" at no extra charge for higher k weights for all DCM accounts. The question will be what percentage of ads will end up being categorized as Rich Media because they are served and trafficked through Studio as opposed to just uploading SWFs, JPGs or GIFs to ad software.

 

 

 

This email serves as formal notice that we have decided to offer Enhanced Formats as part of the standard DoubleClick Campaign Manager Service ("DCM Service"), starting August 3.  Starting August 1, 2015, your additional fees for Enhanced Formats are hereby waived for the remainder of your contract term.  After August 1st, Enhanced Formats will be charged at your standard ad serving rate
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Also, why are there still specs for frame rate for HTML5? I understand it for video... but HTML5 doesn't have a frame rate you can control like Flash...

 

 

Good catch on the fps limits, definitely an antiquated metric. I'm curious how that even got in there...

 

Actually, I think the FPS is in reference to anyone relying on raw javascript for animation (mobile ads do this a lot) and getting the most from/or abusing  requestAnimationFrame

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I'm new to GreenSock, this is a powerful tool. I made an professional Ad in a few hours. NICE!

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So what's the best way to get an accurate measure of the file-size of your banner? What you see in the Network tab of the Inspector is the uncompressed compressed size, right? Do you zip up your files and check the file size of that archive, then add the ~31k (compressed) of GSAP (TweenLite, TimelineLite, CSSPlugin and EasePack)? 

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I think that is most important CPU, RAM memory and Graphic Card usage. Download of 50-100-150-200-250-300-350-400-450-500 kb is not problem in 21 century.

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What's the definitive answer for a media company (Zenith) that kicked back some HTML5 banners because they're supposed to be 24fps? They claim they're 30fps, and I don't even know how they measured that.

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flysi3000, that's pretty odd indeed (for an HTML5 banner). According to the IAB, there shouldn't be a frame rate limit in HTML5. In fact, it's impossible to cap the frame rate for CSS transitions/animations, and most other animation libraries don't offer a way to do it either. But ultimately the publisher (Zenith in this case) decides. You can easily cap the frame rate with GSAP:

TweenLite.ticker.fps(24);

But I really don't see why you'd need to do that. Did you ask Zenith what their reasoning was? I'm very curious. I wonder if they were under the impression that the IAB mandates that frame rate (but of course they don't - frame rate caps were from the Flash days). 

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Thanks, Jack. It turns out it's LinkedIn that's rejecting anything over 30fps - must be someone in their media department just following a checklist. Either that, or whatever they use to validate or load stuff into their platform still has fps in there as a spec.

 

Anyway, I found TweenLite.ticker() after I wrote that post yesterday; I guess I will go and implement that to make them happy.

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Interesting flysi300 - I'd be interested in hearing how they measure this and if it is truly part of their testing environment.

We do lots of banners and the FPS is no longer part of the spec.

 

Maybe some cranky old PM that just learned how to use Chrome Dev Tools... ;)

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