IAB Tech Lab Unveils 2022 Product Road Map

IAB Tech Lab, the technical standards body and sister organization to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, on Wednesday released its priorities roadmap for 2022.

“The roadmap is based on Tech Lab working group feedback, discussions with other IABs and trade organizations worldwide, and direct engagement with publishers, agencies, brands, and platforms,” said IAB Tech Lab CEO Anthony Katsur. “The draft roadmap is presented to and approved annually by the Tech Lab Board of Directors and revisited quarterly to ensure we’re adapting to the industry as needed.”

As the world has changed in the last 24 months, he says, so has the digital advertising ecosystem, so to maintain a vibrant and open internet, everyone across the industry must work together to address the most pressing challenges.

Creating services for connected television is one of those challenges. Katsur, for example, believes technical standards will ease the friction to transition traditional linear TV budgets into CTV.

When asked to cite the challenges in the addressability space, Katsur named increased privacy regulations and technology changes in browsers and operating systems that either deprecate or limit the use of identifiers within their technologies.

“The functions of digital advertising that are being threatened by these changes are the unique abilities of digital to support an addressable advertising medium, more precisely target advertising, measure and attribute the effectiveness of digital ad spend,” he said.

It is threatening, he said, because these are core functions that advertisers have come to rely on.

“It threatens the unique and acute benefits of digital advertising, primarily the ongoing subsidization of a free or cost-effective internet,” he said.

The IAB Tech Lab is working on several initiatives to support the ongoing addressability of digital advertising while preserving consumer privacy and data security, and will create technical standards, frameworks and open-source initiatives across a portfolio of addressability solutions, keeping consumer privacy top of mind.

On the roadmap are the development of technical standards to accelerate the growth of CTV, supporting the upfront and consistent audience measurement.  

The group recently reaffirmed its commitment to CTV with the OpenRTB 2.6 release. The goal is to increase the group’s focus on CTV investments in 2022, starting with the launch of the OM SDK initiative across the CTV ecosystem in the first half of this year.

The plan is to make additional investments in OpenRTB to support the “upfronts” construct in television buying. The group is researching technical standards to support audience interoperability across CTV.

IAB Tech Lab in 2021 created a framework for privacy and addressability, and in 2022 it will evaluate solutions, including Trusted Servers, Tokenization Frameworks, and Privacy Enhancing Technologies.

The project includes the launch of the Global Privacy Platform early this year, the Accountability Platform designed to ensure consumer consent and privacy is enforced, and an ongoing evaluation of other consumer privacy and addressability initiatives.

The third initiative focuses on advanced technical standards to combat ad fraud, supply-chain transparency, and security   

In September 2021, the Tech Lab launched the final specifications for ads.cert 2.0, introducing a barrier to combating fraud in CTV environments to increase buyer confidence in the validity of CTV inventory. The group will expand support for ads.cert authentication use cases in all programmatic transactions across all channels. 

This year, investments will be made in research on IVT and other forms of fraud to support the development of new protocols to secure supply chains.
This is an important initiative in the adoption, application, and success of industry standards and to support it, the Transparency Center will receive additional investment, and Tech Lab will expand and evolve the data available to the ecosystem.

The Tech Lab will also add metadata to the Transparency Center with mobile and CTV app-ads.txt aggregation, buy-side transparency aggregation, and standards adoption data. It plans to improve sell-side transparency standards with new versions of ads.txt and sellers.json in the first half of 2022.

This year, the Tech lab will also continue with the rollout of a series of Programmatic Guides that explain what our standards are and how they should be used together to deliver market essentials such as seamless experiences in CTV, combating ad fraud, securing brand safety, and more.

Katsur said IAB Tech Lab funding is primarily comprised of general and board membership dues. The Tech Lab augments this revenue stream with events, including sponsorship and registration revenue for the annual Tech Lab Summit and other Tech Lab events.

Funding also is supported by compliance programs such as OMSDK certification for viewability standardization and products that inform the markets, such as the Spider and Bots aggregation service.




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