Advertising with the IMA SDK, p. 0

Have you ever wondered how you can get started with video advertising on the web and mobile but without the hassle? Do you like playing with codes across platforms and see how they beautifully interact? Do funny ads make you laugh (or cringe)?

If you answered yes to the above questions, you should check out my posts here on Medium. I’m Vu from the IMA SDK Team, and over the course of the next dozen posts or so, I’m going to help you set up the IMA (Interactive Media Ads) SDK provided by Google so you can start with video advertising. There will be tips, best practices, and recommendations for you to get the most out of the SDK. And most importantly, you can contact me with any questions you have.

For this first post, rather than diving into unique use cases and wonderful how-tos, we will take a look at some of the existing resources to make sure you are up and running.

I am new to the IMA SDK and video advertising in general. Help!

Check out Video Advertising Overview for a high-level understanding of what video advertising is all about.

Basically, it works just like other client-server models. The SDK sits in your application code, makes an ad request to an ad server (AdX, DoubleClick, etc.), and parses the returned ad response (called VAST, which is expressed in XML). Once the response is understood as valid, the SDK renders the creative as an ad to your users.

During the process, various impressions are registered. From your perspective as a developer, this probably won’t matter much. The SDK correspondingly fires VAST events for these tracking impression (ad started, midpoint, ad finished, etc.) — these you can log in various ways for performance and debugging purposes. So if the SDK doesn’t fire a COMPLETE event, you can tell the ad doesn’t reach completion.

Across 4 platforms. Really? But I’m an Android developer who barely knows HTML5!

Yes, really. The IMA SDK currently supports 4 platforms: Android, iOS, HTML5, and Flash.

But hold tight. Even though the languages may be different across platforms, IMA functions using almost the same logic on all of them. Which means once you are comfortable with a platform, you can easily translate your understanding and skills to the others. Most of the API is parity-friendly as well, so you won’t get lost when trying to do the same thing on all platforms.

Check out the SDK lifecycle diagram (which shows a platform-independent workflow) for a complete picture. Any questions — ask away!

Cool! I understood how video advertising works, and how IMA’s workflow is supposed to be. Do you have a checklist?


Do you have an ad tag? For our list of sample tags, see To generate your own:

Did you download the SDK and integrate it? To do it manually: Android | iOS | HTML5 | Flash. To use our samples: The corresponding repositories all begin with “googleads-ima-[platform_name]”.

Compile. Make your ad request. And enjoy the ad!

- Vu, IMA SDK Team