A Standardized Video Master Format: AICP File Delivery Specification

02/08/2018 - Before the proliferation of mobile, over-the-top, and connected devices, delivering a video ad was simple and straightforward. A video ad was produced, transcoded, distributed, and delivered. In 2018, the consumption of video has exploded, and so has the need to support video playback across multiple devices. Delivering video across the large variety of devices available to consumers has proven to be an enormous challenge. With no standards or specifications for a common file format, video has been produced in silos, leading to multiple file formats and platforms. The result is a fragmented marketplace.

Recognizing the lack of a standard video master format specification as one of the most critical issues to be addressed, the TV Convergence Working Group agreed on a common file format and developed the AICP File Delivery Specification for standardizing the delivery of video files (created by production houses) into a common master format for standard and high-definition video. 

The AICP File Delivery Specification also includes tools to support embedding the UniversalAdID element into the master file. The current process for delivering a video file and its associated advertising-asset identifier (e.g., Ad-ID) is to name the file the Ad-ID code (e.g., ADID0001000.mov). This approach has caused problems as the files move through the advertising ecosystem because there is still too much manual intervention. Embedding the Universal Ad ID provides a better way to carry an identifier. 

This new AICP File Delivery Specification is significant because it solves two major industry issues. 

First, by having a single common format, it reduces or eliminates complexity with transcoding, resolves compatibility issues, improves video quality, and solves other issues related to supporting unstandardized formats during production and distribution. It also significantly improves workflow processes and efficiencies by not requiring troubleshooting of unsupported formats going forward. 

Second, embedding the Universal Ad ID enables automation and eliminates manual processes, which helps to reduce the inconsistent use of advertising-asset identifiers throughout the advertising supply chain.

To view the AICP File Delivery Specification, click here

Harold Geller
Executive Director