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APP-ADS.TXT RELEASED FOR PUBLIC COMMENT BY IAB TECH LAB AS NEXT STEP TO FIGHT DIGITAL ADVERTISING INVENTORY FRAUD
The IAB Technology Laboratory today released app-ads.txt specification in beta, the much-awaited app guidance that can increase the pool of authorized digital advertising inventory while reducing fraud. Available for public comment through February 4, 2019, app-ads.txt is an extension of the original ads.txt standard that provides a mechanism for content owners to declare who is authorized to sell their inventory. With demand side platforms (DSPs), it allows buyers to confidently purchase through approved seller accounts. App-ads.txt applies this ads.txt functionality to ad transactions in mobile apps, as well as over-the-top (OTT) video apps.
In addition, app-ads.txt can help identify and block instances of unauthorized developer impersonation. The specification details how to get an app developer’s website URL from the app listing page within an app store, which should have minimal implementation burden for any app store. Publishing authorizations in an app-ads.txt file on the developer’s website will create a centralized online resource that the developer independently controls. As a beta specification, this can be implemented now and then app stores can also adopt a standardized way to making this information available.
The IAB Tech Lab encourages adoption of this beta specification for publishers and app stores, as minimal changes are expected. Not only is this specification based on one already in use, it incorporates feedback provided from proposed mobile app-focused solution strategies released in July 2018.
App-ads.txt FAQ: Getting Started
The industry’s anti-fraud initiative for online advertising has finally and officially made its way to OTT and mobile in-app advertising. On March 13, the Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech Lab released the final version of app-ads.txt, which is intended to combat bad actors that disguise themselves as another company’s app in order to siphon the money that advertisers are spending on mobile and OTT advertising. App-ads.txt bears many similarities to the original ads.txt, but there is a crucial difference that could complicate advertisers’, publishers’ and ad tech vendors’ efforts to adopt the initiative.
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