OpenX has recently announced that they will be banning the 300×250 video ad format. This format accounts for 30% of all the video sold programmatically today, making it one of the most popular options. The company said they are banning it because of its extremely high rate of having low-quality videos, and the fact that it carries invalid traffic at a rate two times higher than the average programmatic video format.
300×250 doesn’t match any standard video sizes, which is likely why so many of the ads that use it have such low quality production value. In addition, they almost always have a poor user experience. This is, according to OpenX, because arbitrageurs and ad network resellers are buying static banner ad inventory first from many publishers, and then reselling it as a video ad unit.
This ad size works fine for static images or text, but for videos it just doesn’t work. Then when you factor in that these are being used by second and third tier buyers, it is really no surprise that the quality drops significantly.
Even video ads that are well made are often ruined by putting them into this ad size. The resellers will sell the spot to a marketer, and then ‘force’ it to fit into the 300×250 size. The good quality ads are either reformatted, or simply cut off. Either way, it ends up looking terrible. Since it is all done programmatically, the advertiser doesn’t realize it is going on until well after the fact in most cases.
John Murphy, head of marketplace quality at OpenX said, “Quality has always been a priority at OpenX, and while IBV does not represent a significant portion of our inventory due to our strict quality standards, it is a rapidly growing industry ad format that we believe needs to be stopped in its tracks.”