11 October, 2021

Quality Criteria: In-Stream (Europe)

Ensure the best possible monetisation of your in-stream inventory with our Quality Criteria Guide.


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.

Player and Placement 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
  • 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)
  • 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-streams 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
  • Display video ads are not allowed
  • 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

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.

Martin Voss

As the Head of Ad Verification & Analytics, Martin Voß is responsible for the media quality from a supply perspective. Based in Düsseldorf, he and his team in Gütersloh take care of verification topics such as viewability, brand safety, and invalid traffic. Martin has 10 years experience in the digital industry and has worked for different sales houses in Germany focusing on campaign, ad, and project management.

Martin Voß
Head of Ad Verification & Analytics

Lisa-Theresia Rischke is Senior Sales Marketing Manager Europe and is responsible for smartclip’s sales and content marketing initiatives across Europe. Before returning to her hometown Hamburg, Lisa worked in Vienna, Paris, and London and has 12 years of experience in the international media and entertainment industry.

Lisa Rischke
Senior Sales Marketing Manager Europe

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