New Google Interactive Media Ads (IMA) Support

Jun 1, 2015



Today we updated our Google Interactive Media Ads (IMA) SDK integration to provide the SDK’s complete suite of functionality. This adds new features not previously supported, makes old mechanisms easier, removes inconsistencies, and ultimately aims to provide the best experience possible with Google’s ad monetization tools.

Here are highlights of what’s new:

Ad Scheduling

One of the major updates to our integration is to allow the SDK to control playback of video. The SDK will then also be able to insert ads at specified times. This allows IMA to have full knowledge of content during and in between playlist items to control ad playback.

IMA supports ad scheduling via two methods – Ad Rules Playlists and VMAP. JW Player now supports both of these mechanisms in Flash and HTML5. If you are using the JW Player ad schedule setup, we automatically convert that to VMAP so the SDK can insert the ads correctly. 

There are some notable platform-specific limitations, specifically on iPhones. For a full list of what is supported with VMAP and the IMA SDK, check out the SDK compatibility documentation from Google.

New Ad Formats

In addition to the ad formats that were supported in the past, the new integration extends support to VAST 3.0 Ad Pods and nonlinear ads in HTML5.

However, these formats are only completely supported through the SDK on desktop browsers. Podding, for example, is not available on phones, though it does work on tablets. Due to iOS restrictions on video playback, nonlinear ads will not be delivered to iPhones.

Other Tweaks

In the past, pre-rolls delivered through IMA would sometimes start after video content flashed for a brief instant. This has been fixed: JW Player will now only start playback of video content once the SDK allows it. This means that the SDK will load, play the pre-roll video ad, and then start content playback, similar to the way we handle this with our native VAST advertising support.

We have also extended our playAd API function to work in HTML5. playAd is mostly used to dynamically play an ad within rich applications, like a game or embedded within a photo slideshow. Extending playAd() to work in HTML5 means that you can integrate our faster HTML5 player directly into your application and monetize with HTML5 creatives.

What do you need to do?

Just update to JW Player 6.12 and you will automatically start getting these benefits. Already on 6.12? Perfect, you don’t need to do anything!

What’s Next?

Stay tuned for JW7. We are going to add additional customization layers on top of the integration to allow for skinning, custom messaging, and even some VPAID 2.0 creative support!