Quality Criteria: In-Stream (Europe)


The following quality criteria serve as a guideline for best possible monetisation of in-stream inventory in Europe. The contents of this guideline are based on market developments over the past 24 months. The performance values are assessed by smartclip’s proprietary systems as well as well-known ad verification providers.

Publisher Requirements

  • Installation and regular maintenance of an ads.txt and/or app-ads.txt file
  • Correct transfer of the referrer and/or BundleIDs
  • Correct transmission of the consent string signal according to TCF 2.0 (EU only)
  • Correct transfer of the App Store URL for in-app inventory
  • Enabling viewability measurement is required via OM SDK & OMID (or VPAID in exceptional cases, but OM SDK & OMID is the preferred approach)
  • No violation of applicable law. Compliance with legal safety regulations is obligatory 
  • Invalid Traffic (IVT) needs to be avoided. In the event that IVT surpasses the predefined threshold, smartclip reserves the right to deactivate the publisher.
  • Correct transmission of SupplyChain nodes according to the IAB SupplyChain Object specifications, if all or parts of the inventory are not owned and operated.

Player Requirements

These are the minimum requirements for in-stream ads in terms of quality and transparency.

  • In-stream video ads are served into and executed by a video player
  • The video player is placed in a fixed position within the website/app
  • Fly-out or sticky players are only permitted if:
    • The video was previously loaded and played within the fixed video player, which only becomes sticky when the user starts scrolling out of the video viewport 
    • The fly-out or sticky player remains the only video player on the page
  • The video player executes the in-stream ads (pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll) before, during, and after the content — permitted content formats include: traditional streaming videos (e.g. news reports), animations (e.g. recipes or tutorials), music videos, and gaming
  • The user views the ad right before, during, and/or after the content in a linear way           (no overlay video ads)
  • The preferred, high-quality video start is click-to-play or pre-click-to-play with sound on by default. The alternative is autoplay but sound activation by the user
  • No looped playing of the same video content

Placement Requirements

  • User-generated content needs to be reviewed by the publisher’s editorial team or approved by smartclip
  • The same quality standards apply for both desktop and mobile video ads
  • Prevention of ad clutter in the player environment
  • No overlay ads that cover the in-stream player to any degree
  • Only one video ad is allowed to play at a time within the viewport (applies also in cases of both in-stream and out-stream players running on the same page) 
  • Display video ads are not allowed
  • The ideal implementation of the player is in the upper part of the website so it is directly in-view for the user

Example 1

Permitted page player and video ad:

Example 2

Unpermitted in-banner video ad:

If only in-banner inventory is available, out-stream placements are the alternative.

Example 3

Permitted linear pre-roll and post-roll ad but unpermitted non-linear overlay-ad

Download our EU In-Stream Quality Criteria Guide here.

Quality Criteria: In-Stream

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Martin Voss

Martin was formerly the Head of Ad Verification & Analytics at smartclip.

Martin Voss
Head of Ad Verification & Analytics

Lisa-Theresia Rischke is the Head of Brand at smartclip Europe and responsible for the smartclip brand. She leads the design team and oversees collateral, social media, and strategic content marketing initiatives across Europe. 

Lisa Rischke
Head of Brand

Karen is the Marketing Design Manager Europe at smartclip. She is responsible for the creative execution of marketing activities in all markets and leads the in-house creation of live advertising campaigns for clients. Prior to joining smartclip in 2017, Karen gained extensive experience in the German broadcasting business.

Karen Knüppel
Marketing Design Manager Europe