TechBytes with Amit Shetty, Sr. Director, Product at IAB Tech Lab
Please tell us about your current role and the team/ technology you handle at IAB.
What is ads.txt and app adds.txt solution that you recently announced? Could you elaborate on how these work in the CTV / OTT ecosystem?
ads.txt (and app-ads.txt) is a transparency mechanism that enables publishers to state the “authorized digital sellers” of their inventory. The recent update IAB Tech Lab released is to better support the additional complex relationships in the Connected TV (CTV) ecosystem, where multiple entities (vMVPDs, content producers, OS platforms, etc.) have content and inventory sharing agreements, and so they need a good mechanism to model those relationships.
Why should CTV / OTT advertisers upgrade their systems to meet ads.txt benchmarks?
The main change to advertisers is that this recent update enables them with the same levels of transparency that they have access to for their web and mobile inventory. They can ask their buy-side platforms to check the supply chain involved in delivery of the CTV inventory and ensure that they are working with authorized sellers.
Your predictions for the adtech solutions industry and how IAB is gearing up for the future in 2021?
CTV has already grown in 2020 and will continue to grow in 2021, and will require/result in an increase in programmatic traffic (as opposed to direct transactions). This is the reason why IAB Tech Lab has been working on a number of CTV efforts. In addition to pushing for the adoption of transparency standards (app-ads.txt but also sellers.json and SupplyChainObject), we are working on a number of other CTV efforts across the entire digital supply chain.
Tell us more about TV ad security and the Cloud-based ecosystem that supports your product.
IAB Tech Lab has focused on developing several tools for transparency: ads.txt and app-ads.txt along with sellers.json and SupplyChainObject are the set of standards that promote transparency for both buyers and sellers in the digital supply chain.
Thank you for answering all our questions!
Amit Shetty leads the programmatic, anti-fraud and brand safety initiatives at the IAB Tech Lab. He joined the Tech Lab with a history of building cloud, mobile and video products in a wide variety of markets ranging from Telcos to Enterprise to Consumer apps.
He has worked in Product Management, Marketing, and Engineering roles and has built platforms in standards-based ecosystems at Motive/Nokia (products built on Broadband Forum standards) and InnoPath (products built on Open Mobile Alliance standards). He also worked at Yahoo! where he worked on the Video Player used across all of Yahoo!’s properties. He is a proud Longhorn from the University of Texas at Austin.
Established in 2014, the IAB Technology Laboratory (Tech Lab) is a non-profit consortium that engages a member community globally to develop foundational technology and standards that enable growth and trust in the digital media ecosystem. Comprised of digital publishers, ad technology firms, agencies, marketers, and other member companies, IAB Tech Lab focuses on solutions for brand safety and ad fraud; identity, data, and consumer privacy; ad experiences and measurement; and programmatic effectiveness. Its work includes the OpenRTB real-time bidding protocol, ads.txt anti-fraud specification, Open Measurement SDK for viewability and verification, VAST video specification, and Project Rearc initiative for privacy-centric addressability.