Google to Change Custom Playback handling in the IMA HTML5 SDK

If you’re monetizing video ads on-site, check out these upcoming change in the HTML5 SDK’s handling of custom playback:

From the Google Ads Developer Blog

Currently if a custom video element is passed into the IMA HTML5 SDK, it’s always used to play video ads. This behavior is now changing; soon we’re going to use custom playback only when necessary (e.g., on devices such as iPhones or pre-4.0 Android phones where UI elements cannot be rendered over a video player) rather than whenever a video tag is passed in.

Read the full details on the blog: Changes to Custom Playback in the IMA HTML5 SDK

If you are passing a custom playback element in your SDK implementation today, please note the following: After the changes, as the SDK will decide whether to use your custom playback element, your custom playback object might not be used. In such cases, custom logic or look & feel implemented in your custom playback element might not appear.


Google recommends all implementations now pass in the custom playback elements so that ads are supported in those environments. For more info on the change and code snippets to help you upgrade, see upgrading to the new custom playback.

Action Items for publishers: What you need to do

  1. Read the blog post to understand the scope of the upcoming changes
  2. Make sure you review our guide on Upgrading to the new Custom Playback and take indicated actions on your player implementation.
  3. If you need support from us, you can get in touch through either our support forum or by contacting directly.
  4. If you are concerned about or cannot implement the custom playback changes in the HTML5 SDK prior to September 30th, we are providing a new flag that you can set in the SDK so that you remain on the current custom playback logic using the IMA Settings:  ima.settings.setRestrictToCustomPlayback(true);
  5. If you need to use this flag please let us know as this flag will only be respected for the next 6-months and we would like to track those that decide to use it.

MonetizeMore can help you with the proper implementation of ads: image, text, or video. Contact us to discuss your needs.

You can also sign-up for FREE to Ad Exchange – the best version of Adsense.

Kean Graham

CEO and Founder at MonetizeMore

Kean has been a pioneer in the AdTech world since 2010 who believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals, programmatic advertising, and building ad technology as keys to scaling ad revenue. Here, he provides publisher resources and guides covering areas like website monetization, AdSense optimization, Google Ad Manager, Ad Exchanges, and much more.

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