Just under a year ago, the IAB Tech Lab launched its ads.txt initiative, which stands for Authorized Digital Sellers. That created a public record of publishers and advertisers who conform to trusted advertising practices. Yesterday, Oath released the results of a survey that polled more than 220 ad agency exes about their views on ads.txt.
While the initiative and adoption of its standards have grown exponentially over its short lifespan, only 60% of the top 1,000 U.S. publishers have implemented it. However, the numbers from the study show a collection of publishers and advertisers putting faith in ads.txt.
More than 50% of the advertising execs said the use of ads.txt makes them feel more comfortable with buying programmatic advertising from a publisher, and almost 50% are suspicious of publications that don’t use it.
“It’s a more secure way to publicly identify the platforms authorized to sell publisher inventory, limiting bad actors. And it gives advertisers a more accurate representation of media impressions and who is selling them." Tim Mahlman, president of advertising and publisher strategy, Oath, stated.
“For publishers that haven’t yet implemented ads.txt, they’ll ultimately get on board. They can’t afford not to as more advertisers buy based on transparency.”
While many publishers are jumping on the ads.txt train, one video monetization outlet, Telaria, announced earlier this week that it has become the first and only platform of its kind to reach 100% ads.txt compliance.
“Telaria was an early contributor to the development of ads.txt as a member of the IAB Tech Lab’s board of directors,” Chief Operating Officer Katie Evans told Publishing Insider. “Transparency has always been an integral part of our platform, and we saw ads.txt as an important tool that could bring more clarity for all participants.”
In addition to featuring 100% compliance, Telaria will continue to ban all unauthorized sellers from its platform. This comes at a time when efforts to determine counterfeit videos is at an all-time high.
One of the platform’s efforts was the creation of a self-service button on its dashboard that created “automatic code specific to the supply partner’s seat, making it easier for them to update their ads.txt file.” Buyers can use a simple text crawler to confirm they’re buying from an approved source.
Evans explained, “In order for us to monitor all domains that transact using our platform, we built out a crawler that pulls each domain’s ads.txt page and looks for our code. We then are able to make adjustments where necessary. We work on a white list, which allows us to know exactly what domains are or are not coming in.”
Some 20% of those polled still hadn’t heard of ads.txt, but the study and announcement from Telaria shows the landscape is changing.