Duration based ad pods

With duration based ad pods, you can specify the maximum duration (in seconds) of an entire ad pod depending on the video content type.

For instance you can specify that the ads on the preroll ad break must not be longer than 1 minute (all video ads combined) when the content which follows is between 15 and 30 minutes long; this preroll ad break can be filled with video ads of various duration but must not exceed 1 minute.

Sequenced ("regular") ads have priority over passback ads. However, if a sequenced ad is too long to fit into its position within the ad pod, the client side passback feature will try to fill the position with one of the passback ads. This way, the ad pod duration is used as effectively as possible.  

Duration based ad pods work with Smart AdServer's Video instream for web and mobile web only. You must use Smart AdServer's Video Plugin or the Embedded VPAID Ad Manager to use duration based ad pods.

Setting the maximum ad pod duration

The maximum ad pod duration is set in the data of an ad rule.


"data": {
    "prerolls": {
        "instances": 4,
	 "maxAdPodDuration": 60
    "midrolls": {
        "instances": 0,
    "postrolls": {
        "instances": -1,
    "overlays": {
        "instances": 1,

This example is an ad rule's data with a maximum ad pod duration of 60 seconds for prerolls.

For further details, check the detailed technical documentation here.


The rules according to which the ad pod is compiled are as follows:

  • the durations of each ad in the ad pod are summed up
  • before playing the next sequenced (non-passback) ad, the controller checks if playing the ad would exceed the maximum ad pod duration;
    if it does not, it plays the ad;
    if it does, it checks if there is a passback ad which would fit in
  • the order of sequenced ads is always respected
  • the check among the passback ads is done for every position in the ad pod
  • skipping by end users is taken into account; for instance, if an ad is 30 s, but the user skips at 11 s, then the ad will be considered an 11 second ad
  • the ad pod ends when an additional sequenced or passback ad would violate the maximum ad pod duration or when the total pod size is reached

Recommendation on pod size
Make sure you specify rather large pod sizes for an ad break. For instance, for an ad break of 1 minute, specify a pod size of 4 to 5 ads.
If your pod size is too small, you may not be able to fill in the whole ad pod duration and end up with very short ad breaks and thus poor monetization.


This example uses:

  • a maximum ad pod duration of 100 seconds
  • a pod size of 4 ads
  • 3 passback ads

The ad call's response includes the following ads:

Video Ad Duration (s)
Sequenced Ad 1 30
Sequenced Ad 2 15
Sequenced Ad 3 60
Sequenced Ad 4 30
Passback Ad 1 60
Passback Ad 2 30
Passback Ad 3 5


The following table illustrates the Behavior for each of the ads.

Ad Ad
ad pod
of ads
Sequenced Ad 1
30 Plays Sequenced Ad 1
30 1 out of 4
Sequenced Ad 2 15 Plays Sequenced Ad 2
45 2 out of 4
Sequenced Ad 3 60 Attempts to play Sequenced Ad 3
=> cannot play; this would result in an ad pod duration of 105 s (maximum ad pod duration is 100 s).
45 2 out of 4
Passback Ad 1 60 Instead of Sequenced Ad 3, attempts to play Passback Ad 1
=> Cannot play; this would result in an ad pod duration of 105 s (maximum ad pod duration is 100 s).
45 2 out of 4
Passback Ad 2 30 Plays Passback Ad 2 (it fits in).
75 3 out of 4
Passback Ad 2 is skipped after 19 s. 19 Passback Ad 2 did not play its full 30 s (skipped after 19 s).
64 (re-
calculated due to skip after 19 s)
3 out of 4
Sequenced Ad 4 30 Plays Sequenced Ad 4; since Passback Ad 2 was skipped, there is, again, enough time to play Sequenced Ad 4 (no need to take the short Passback Ad 3).
94 4 out of 4
Passback Ad 3 5 Still 6 seconds for the ad pod left; but cannot play Passback Ad 3 since pod size=4 is reached (4 out of 4)

=> ad pod ends
94 4 out of 4
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