IAB Tech Lab Releases Protocols For OpenRTB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Tech Lab on Tuesday released its OpenRTB 2.4 protocol and the OpenRTB Dynamic Native Ads 1.1 extension for public comment.

OpenRTB is the standard protocol that enables programmatic transactions and basically allows the platforms to “talk” to one another.

Highlights of the OpenRTB 2.4 standards include:

  •  Digital audio support: Creation of a new audio object that will support both the DAAST & VAST protocols.
  • Video skippability support: OpenRTB 2.4 supports skippable in-stream video ads. Prior to this, there was no such support. Providers can inform the platforms they’re working with about certain business rules that enable a more positive user experience. “We’re trying to make it so that all of our tech products offer a positive user experience, though we still have a lot of work to do in the supply chain,” Scott Cunningham, SVP, technology and ad operations, IAB, and GM of the IAB Tech Lab, told Real-Time Daily.
  • Encryption that now supports both HTTP and HTTPs: OpenRTB now recommends encryption for both HTTP and HTTPs. “The more we encrypt, the more secure things become,” Cunningham said.
  • More location features: “We’ve increased some location features. Buyers can know the sources, device location and targeting function, mainly around mobile,” Cunningham said.
  • Dynamic native ads: The OpenRTB Dynamic Native Ads API 1.1 includes market-demanded improvements and features corresponding to the IAB Deep Dive on In-Feed Ad Units, released in July 2015.
  • Creative element standardization: Includes the creation of two new fields: “Context”(describes the type of content surrounding the ad on the page) and “PlacementType” (describes the format of the ad being purchased). 
  • Articulation of a native ads sequence: Provides further clarification for DSPs to bid for specific slots within the feed. 

 “OpenRTB 2.4 includes important improvements in how we handle private marketplace auctions, native advertising, and, for the first time, digital audio advertising,” Bill Simmons, CTO and DataXu and co-chair of the OpenRTB Working Group, stated via email.

"I think the introduction of audio is particularly important, and the protocol places a high value on a positive user experience. It’s time to focus heavily on the user experience,” Cunningham said.

The public comment period will run through Feb. 19, after which the OpenRTB Working Group and OpenRTB Native subgroup will evaluate the comments received, make any necessary revisions, and release a final version of each corresponding protocol.

The IAB Tech Lab is a nonprofit research and development consortium tasked with producing and helping companies implement global industry technical standards and solutions.

For more on the RTB standards, go here.

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