SDK Architecture

This guide provides an overview of the SDK lifecycle and the interactions between your video player, the IMA SDK, and an ad server.

Basic interactions

The following diagram illustrates and annotates the interactions among your video player, the IMA SDK v3, and an ad server. The ad server may be using Ad Manager, AdSense for Video (AFV), or Ad Exchange (AdX). The diagram helps you visualize how things will work when you finish implementing your integration with the SDK.

  1. A Line Item targets an Ad Unit in Ad Manager.

  2. The web page loads the IMA SDK via

    • an embedded script tag for HTML5
    • along with the app for iOS and Android
  3. IMA SDK requests a VAST Response for the specific Ad Unit from Ad Manager or AFV/AdX depending on the ad tag.

  4. The ad server selects the best ad:

    • Ad Manager Ad Unit filters Line Item candidates
    • AdSense/Ad Exchange runs an auction
  5. The ad server sends a VAST response with its URL to IMA SDK.

  6. The IMA SDK parses the VAST response and determines the correct media type based on environment.

  7. The IMA SDK retrieves the in-line video creative (and companion ads if needed).

  8. The video player negotiates the details with the IMA SDK and plays the ads.

  9. The IMA SDK fires an impression ping (and VAST tracking events as needed).


This diagram shows the full lifecycle of the IMA SDK. Constructor and method calls are highlighted in blue, events are highlighted in red, and error conditions are shown with red connectors and red text. Use this as a reference as you work through your IMA implementation.