How To Optimize Ad Unit Sizes for New IAB Standards

Ad Optimization
Last updated: September 18, 2019 | by Kean Graham

This post was most recently updated on September 18th, 2019

Recently, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced the new revamped IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio. The new portfolio emphasizes IAB’s LEAN Principles across all ad formats including video and native ads. According to their President and CEO, Randall Rothenberg, the purpose of the overhaul is to reach consumers across all platforms without sacrificing user experience and to allow creatives to deliver their message seamlessly across multiple devices.

These new ad units will launch early next year and as early as of now, we want to give you a heads up of what to expect in order to help you reach your target revenue for the year 2017.

Switch from fixed ad units to flexible ad sizes

We’re are moving away from the fixed ad units such as 300×250, 728×90, 160×600 etc. to the new aspect ratio-based flexible ad sizes such as 1:1, 1:3, 8:1, etc. The great thing about this new ad units is that they will adjust themselves according to the screen size, so this solves the problem of having to create separate ad units for desktop and mobile.

1-1-new-standard-ad-units 1-3-new-standard-ad-units 8-1-new-standard-ad-units

Comply with the LEAN Principles

LEAN stands for lightweight, encrypted, AdChoices supported and non-invasive advertising. The main purpose is not only for brands to reach out to consumers but to captivate them through an enhanced advertising experience across all platforms including social media and other emerging technologies such as virtual reality and emojis.

According to IAB, the IAB Tech Lab will provide guidelines, webinars and user-friendly illustrations to help everyone transition from the old to the new standard ad units.

Switch to mobile responsive websites

Having mobile responsive sites used to be a recommendation only. However, with the release of the new standard ad units, it’s imperative that you transition now to a responsive model or you’ll be sorry later. In fact, part of the reason for the change is to make sure that all audiences are captured across multiple devices.

Switch to recommended ad formats

Some of the ad types that we have such as floating ads pop up ads, ads that auto-expands and media that autoplay will be discontinued in line with the LEAN principles. So, if you’re still using them, we suggest that you switch to other recommended ad sizes such as interstitials, mobile adhesions, smartphone – anchored expandable.

Comply with file sizes

One important key component that needs to change is the file sizes in order to improve ad delivery and functionality. This will definitely help with speeding up page loads of the websites and could lead to enhance user engagement and increase revenue. Here’s the recommended files weights for the existing fixed ad units.


These guidelines are yet to be finalized but it wouldn’t harm us if we prepare for the inevitable change that is to come.

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