Sellers.json and OpenRTB SupplyChain Object:  What Now!

November 21, 2019

Last April, IAB Tech Lab released two new technical specs intended to increase trust in the supply chain, specifically on the supply side.  With transparency being the latest programmatic buzzword, here are new tools aimed at bringing more transparency to the buying process.

Like ads.txt for the Buy Side

Having released the fraud tools ads.txt  and app-ads.txt, the IAB Tech Lab wanted to go one step further and give ad buyers more confidence that the inventory they are buying is in fact legit.  Basically, buyers want to be sure that they are not being duped into buying inventory that is unauthorized to be resold. Because the reality is, there are shady characters in the supply chain who don’t belong there.  Sellers.json identifies the last seller of an impression in a json file.  Supplychain Object allows the buyer to verify all parties that are selling or reselling the bid request and to see all intermediaries that participated in the selling.  

Hmmm, ok.  How does it work?

Exchanges will list all their authorized reseller partners along with their seller ID and any relevant entity that legally owns the company.  Since there is a wide array of players involved in the sale of every impression, it has been pretty much impossible to keep track of who is authorized to resell whose inventory.  Enter Sellers.json and Supplychain Object. And they come as a pair. Sellers.json files will be posted at the root of a tech platform’s domain and follow a similar format as Ads.txt.  The Supplychain Object specification works by housing the identity of each intermediary in a “node” which consists of both the advertising system identifier and the seller ID and provides a record of what has happened with each impression.  In other words, end-to-end transparency in the life cycle of an impression.

Who Wins?

Everyone…well, except the shady characters who shouldn’t be here.  With increased confidence for ad buyers and DSPs to buy on the open exchange, advertisers should be more likely to increase programmatic spend which should benefit everyone in the ecosystem. Transparency is the name of the game right now and trust needs to be re-established among all the players in the supply chain.  Sellers.json and Supplychain Object were developed with the intent to bring more trust and buyer confidence to the process by validating all the different links within the supply chain and ensuring that they’re authorized. This should bridge the gap between advertisers and publishers and bring much-desired transparency to the Adtech landscape.

Adapex will continue to provide updates on this and other trends that affect your business.  We are always here to help you navigate the constant changes to the programmatic landscape.  Contact us and let’s discuss how we can drive more revenue to your site.

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