HTML5 banner file sizes, CDNs, the lack of IAB standards, what should publishers, traffickers, and creative agencies do??

I have some technical questions about the transition to HTML5 from Flash .swf banner ads. Specifically about the allowable file sizes and their impact to budgets and possible workarounds. It’s a little like the wild west right now without official IAB guidelines for file sizes but it’s clear that a 50kb flash file will take around 150kb to create in HTML5 with the same images and comparable animations. Globally most media that is purchased by companies is non-rich media low kb units as these provide the cheapest cost and widest reach.

I think it’s unrealistic to expect Clients to have to pay rich media prices for media buys which tend to be about ten times the cost of a standard 50kb unit just to serve what is essentially the visual equivalent of a 50kb flash banner.

So I’d like to discuss some solutions that would allow the advertising community to create ads that meet the budgetary and the creative requirements of our clients.

That said, I have a few questions and possible workarounds that I’d like to run by everyone. I would love input from anyone that works with ads html5 or flash.

Will common javascript libraries such as createJS, Greensock’s Tweenlite, TweenMax, TimelineLite, Timeline Max count against the total kb weight of a banner? These libraries are loaded from a CDN (the same CDN across campaigns, clients, and advertisers) and only have to be loaded into a user’s browser once per year. Once loaded it’s cached, and upon being cached can be referenced by any banner from any advertiser in any campaign. So it would not make sense for these to count against a publisher or trafficker file size limitation.

Now having reached out to some Trafficking companies I can tell you that they vary in their response to this first question. I won’t name any specifics but SOME will count it against you for every ad and some won’t count it against you at all. It’s the wild west 🙂

By default all banners created using Adobe Flash CC 2015 Canvas HTML5 use the createJS library CDN (which stores that javascript file externally). Can animators store images and other javascript files on our own CDN and not have them count against the total kb file size of the media buy? This would allow animators to have an initial load of 50k meeting the 50kb requirement and subsequently load 100k. Total file size would be 150kb however only 50kb would be uploaded to the publisher’s website or the trafficking platform.

Can we serve up our own video from a CDN or from YouTube into a standard ad container with only standard tracking metrics and non-rich media costs? This has is a long standing practice of the TV/Movie entertainment industry. Assets uploaded to the publisher’s website or the trafficking platform would be within 50kb and would politely load a 2MB video on from a CDN that the end client provides or that We the advertiser (creative agency) provides. Is there a cost increase to this? Is there additional QA fees / time associated with this on the publisher end?

I don’t think publishers would tolerate these CDN cases because it increases the load on their website. My hope is that august 18th the IAB releases a final recommendation for HTML5 standard banner ads. Only time will tell.

Learn more about David Edeburn’s review of the software and languages needed to animate html5 display ads

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