The integration, which will follow the IAB’s OpenRTB Specification Version 2.3 guidelines, offers in-feed ad placements across premium sites and apps through the Sharethrough Exchange (STX). Sharethrough claims its in-feed ads get clickthrough rates 10 times higher than banner advertising and drive 18% higher purchase intent. (Curt Larson, Sharethrough's VP of product management, wrote a guide to in-feed ads and the IAB's standards, available here.)
Larson said bringing on a partner of The Trade Desk’s caliber has been a goal for Sharethrough and its clients. Below, he talks with Real-Time Daily about native programmatic and his role in developing the IAB 2.4 standards for buying and selling native ads at scale, coming later this year.
Real-Time Daily: What are the misconceptions about native ads that you've encountered?
Larson: The classic misconception is that native can’t scale, which never made any sense to us, since we always built in a programmatic, scalable way. Now with integrations like this there should be no more room for anyone to think that.
RTD: What advantages does this new offering have over custom-executed native
Larson: Custom-executed native campaigns are tied to individual publishers and will be unable to utilize the advantages of programmatic -- like user data, optimization, consolidated reporting, advanced targeting, etc. Programmatic native brings together the advantages of the "custom" nature of native with the compelling features of programmatic that have propelled it to be the dominant form of ad buying for all other formats.
From a publisher standpoint, this allows them to fill their unsold impressions in an easy, scalable way without custom work and manual selling.
RTD: Can you tell me more about the Native 1.1 extension for the IAB 2.4 specifications you're
Larson: The 2.3 spec was a good starting point to allow for programmatic native to become a reality, providing the parameters and standards for what would be included in the actual native metadata of the ad. But it still left each supply source open to define their own standards for things like image size, aspect ratio, headline length, brand name length, etc. -- it would be like display advertising not having standardized sizes like 300x250, etc.
How could a marketer be expected to have an ad creative for every possible pixel dimension? The Native 1.1 extension both addresses this asset standardization and classifies the context and layout of where the native ad will placed, which allows for greater confidence of a buyer to scale buys across multiple sources while maintaining control over what they buy.