New IAB Program Lets Members Test Blockchain Technology, Services

The Blockchain Working Group of about 150 members convinced the IAB Technology Lab to spearhead a pilot
program that would allow members like FusionSeven, Kochava Labs, Lucidity, and MetaX to test their technology and services.

The pilots will include partners from across the advertising supply chain, including brands, agencies, DSPs, exchanges/SSPs, publishers, and technology vendors.

The Blockchain Working Group includes employees from companies such as Wout Dispa, director of data and technology integration at GroupM; Shaun O'Farrell, OTT and app specialist at Amazon; and Philippe de Lurand Pierre-Paul, product manager at Google.

The group also includes employees from The New York Times, Papyrus, and Turner Broadcasting System.

FusionSeven, for example, will focus on smart contracts for each media buy. When a transaction occurs, it links with a contract that gets validated automatically. The first pilot is scheduled for the end of the third quarter, running for between 90 day and 120 days.

The company will work with the agency 22squared in Atlanta, with a goal to demonstrate and automate reconciliation, as well as create efficiencies and saving.

Michael Jolly, CRO, FusionSeven, admits that initially blockchains could create additional costs, but “once there’s adoption you’ll see significant savings and efficiencies.”

FusionSeven also participated in the first phase of the pilot with IBM, Unilever and GroupM.

Within the IAB working group, the goal is applying learnings from the pilot to develop an industry white paper that outlines best practices and standards to support the application of blockchain technology.

Think of Blockchain as a cloud database filled with information. All parties participating in the exchange of data have access to change their own information, but also have the ability to look at the information others input. When one person alters the information, all can see the changes simultaneously, similar to Google Docs.

Another pilot will use Lucidity’s ‘Layer 2’ infrastructure protocol to verify impressions and provide programmatic supply chain transparency through a neutral, decentralized shared ledger. It is capable of processing and verifying high volumes of data from multiple parties to reach consensus on the blockchain, according to the company.

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