AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yieldex have worked together on the new OpenDirect technical specification for programmatic ad sales, and have provided an early version to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), who has opened up public comment on it. Comments will be used to help spur wider industry adoption.
OpenDirect 1.0 is described as an automated, guaranteed API standard for programmatic selling and buying of premium inventory. According to the IAB, it delivers "greater efficiencies and reliability in the packaging, pricing, and delivering of reserved inventory for publishers."
IAB VP of Technology and Ad Operations Scott Cunningham said, “OpenDirect 1.0 is valuable to the industry at-large and therefore is best served under the auspices of the IAB, where we have the resources and reach to ensure it becomes a global standard. Programmatic strategies have become a mainstay within our business and it is imperative to find solutions and technologies that will make these types of automated transactions more reliable and beneficial to all parties involved. This common set of API specifications sets the stage for direct programmatic ad sales and will allow buyers who want to access guaranteed inventory via automated processes avoid multiple, costly, custom integrations.”
Microsoft GM of Display Advertising Greg Nelson added, “Microsoft was founded on the belief that technology empowers people and organizations to do more and achieve more. Supporting the growth of programmatic premium aligns with this value as this technology alleviates points of friction that make it hard for advertisers and publishers to scale big brand buys on the internet. By removing these obstacles, programmatic users are given back valuable time to focus on what matters most to them. These new standards will serve as a catalyst to unlock pent-up demand for premium publisher offerings and help speed the migration of offline media spend to online, and ultimately empower others to achieve more.”
“Yahoo has been working hard to establish standards that will improve programmatic buying and make the process easier and more efficient for advertisers,” said Eric Lange, VP of Ad Products at Yahoo. “Common API specifications will help create a thriving digital ad ecosystem. Now, advertisers can confidently use programmatic to maximize the value of high-quality premium ad placements and get a higher return on their ad budgets.”
“This initiative and the capabilities it provides are in line with AOL's open programmatic strategy and an extension of our AOP Programmatic Guaranteed offering,” added AOL Platforms CTO Seth Demsey. "Efficient transactions between multiple publishers and buying platforms have the potential to dramatically accelerate the growth of automated guaranteed buying.”
Benefits of the specification to agencies, according to the IAB, include liquidity of bigger pools of unique users, increased efficiency thanks to one API integration across multiple publishers, and the ability to book guaranteed delivery and access to media offerings not available on an exchange.
The public comment period will run through December 3. At that point, the IAB Digital Advertising Automation Task Force will evaluate comments, and make necessary adjustments before releasing the final version.
Image via IAB