OpenRTB 3.0 – Levelling Up Programmatic Advertising
The IAB Tech Lab released its OpenRTB 3.0 specifications for public comment last week and it is expected to level up the way we trade impressions, forever.
As we all know, OpenRTB oversees how the programmatic ads are traded between the Demand-side platforms (DSPs) and Supply-side platforms (SSPs). Since its inception in 2010, there have been a series of updates to the protocol and we can retrospect a number of inceptions like Ads.txt ourselves.
What’s special about OpenRTB 3.0?
Hear it from the creators – “OpenRTB 3.0 is the largest overhaul of the OpenRTB protocol”. Noticeably, OpenRTB 3.0 is not backward compatible, thus, leaving the DSPs, Ad Exchanges, and SSPs with a pre-determined one-way route.
Rewrite your codes, upgrade your technologies to support OpenRTB 3.0. There’s no way around.
What does it eliminate?
1. Domain spoofing and buying invalid ad inventories – By introducing cryptographic signature in bid requests.
It helps the buy side to view the inventory path and to verify its from the trusted source. This advanced methodology is known as ‘Ads.cert’.
2. Undesired ad creatives – By providing a standard API that allows publishers to identify and block the undesired ad creatives easily.
The new OpenRTB will standardize the entire creative approval process involved in the digital advertising space so that both the sell-side and buy-side can trade creatives at scale.
“OpenRTB had evolved ‘organically,’ with organic not necessarily being a positive thing”
– Dennis Buchheim, SVP, and GM of the IAB Tech Lab.
When is it going live?
The new protocol demands a lot of work from the DSPs and SSPs. So, IAB Tech Lab will be rolling out beta first. Later, it is expected to hit us all in 2019.
Influence of Ads.txt
We just saw an upcoming protocol, designed to improve transparency and effectiveness of the programmatic buying. But, what happens when you don’t utilize them?
See for yourself.
Guardian US, Google, and MightyHive teamed up to test the influence of Ads.txt and the state of programmatic ad frauds on open exchanges.
- 72% of video ad spends attributed to Guardian US has been grabbed by unauthorized exchanges and SSPs.
- Ads.txt buying resulted in no discrepancies and all inventories were sold by Guardian authorized exchanges.
- When inventories were brought without ads.txt on the open exchange, unauthorized exchanges claimed to have Guardian US impressions while they haven’t (and stole advertisers’ budget).
Obviously, ads.txt played a significant role in the experiment. From the results, it is clear that the buyers need to include ads.txt in their open market strategy. What’s better? Try private marketplaces and direct deals with publishers.
It’s all incredibly confusing – GDPR persists
“You think it’s over? No, not yet!” says the EU’s GDPR law.
You are well aware of the fact that publishers and buyers need to serve ads (personalized and non-personalized) based on the consent they receive from the users. But, the technical complexity and misinterpretation, keep chipping away the publishers’ revenue.
According to Digiday, Sports publisher Givemesport lost a five-figure sum, because one of their video DSPs couldn’t read the consent signals and agencies were bidding for one-eighth of the total available inventories.
Many publishers are reporting a drop in their revenue despite the increased opt-in rates. This means both the sell-side and the buy-side loses revenue. Some publishers are reporting that their DSPs aren’t accepting any consent signal at all.
If you’re seeing a drop in ad revenue (not the predicted seasonal drop), you need to make sure your consent signals are being processed completely and in the right way.
- DSPs are ignoring the consent signals and sometimes, ad requests as they couldn’t handle the number of calls made for an impression. So, make sure your ad calls are being considered.
- Some DSPs aren’t capable of discerning the consent signals in the right manner; make sure your DSP isn’t one of them.
- Besides, some are converting Google’s consent signals to IAB’s signals. As Google hasn’t joined the framework yet, there is no standardized way to handle this.
- Ensure your CPM is working as per the standard and conveying the signals throughout the supply chain.
How’s your Ad Viewability?
What you know: To be deemed as viewable, your ads should be at least 50 percent in-view for a second.
What you’re about to know: State of viewability in the UK and a few insights on ad viewability.
We know how the buy-side has been pushing the importance of viewability recently. It even keeps demanding to go for 100 percent viewability; not just 50 percent. But, Meetrics reported that the UK is still on the back bench when it comes to viewability.
64% of half page ads served against the UK met the MRC’s viewability standard.
Only 57% of Mid-page units (MPUs) were considered as viewable.
Just 48% of leaderboards ads stayed at least 50% in-view for a second.
It’s time for you to focus on Viewability
If you think your viewability won’t matter much, think again. €600 million was lost on non-viewable ads, last year. As a publisher, aiming for the MRC’s viewability standard isn’t enough. In fact, big ad buyers such as P&G, Unilever have already started to focus on impressions with 100 percent pixel in-view.
In addition, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (Isba) launched a 100% viewability standard in the UK. So, measure your viewability, benchmark it against the best in the market and start improving.