With 2018 on the horizon, we thought we would look at what the new year might bring in terms of inventory quality within the programmatic industry. Here are some items we think will help shape the industry in 2018:
Ad fraud targeting video campaigns will increase
With marketers and brands increasingly spending on digital video, we’re reminded of the adage, “fraud follows the money.” Like moths to a flame, the money within this channel will attract more fraudsters. With digital video revenue growing 30 percent in just the first half of 2017, we think the number of video ad fraudsters will increase as well.
Viewability standards will become more stringent.
The MRC guidelines are a good start for standardizing what’s considered viewable or not viewable on a page. But with media buyers, such as WPP’s GroupM, demanding stricter guidelines, we think the entire industry will begin to adopt tighter standards. Partial ad views may no longer be considered viewable as buyers demand 100 percent of their pixels be in view for a least a full second.
Buys directed toward Ads.txt-compliant inventory will increase.
More and more ad tech companies and publishers will implement ads.txt, designed to thwart domain spoofing and unauthorized arbitrage. This year saw announcements from several companies concerning the buy-side filtering of ads.txt-compliant inventory, including Google’s Double Click Bid Manager, AppNexus, The Trade Desk, and Media Math. Smart begin filtering its inventory from the supply side and here at Fraudlogix, we implemented reporting within our verification suite. The increased industry adoption in recent months signifies that ads.txt will likely not go away, however, domain spoofing may be on its way out.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will shake up the digital ad industry in Europe and beyond.
May 25, 2018 marks the enforcement date for GDPR, after which those organizations in non-compliance will face fines. Among several changes to an earlier 1995 directive, the regulation broadens the definition of personal data, changes consent laws, and now makes non-EU companies subject to EU rules by extending the regulation to any company marketing goods and services to EU members and/or monitoring their behavior, which inevitably will affect numerous publishers and ad tech companies globally. The IAB Europe has released an industry consent mechanism for meeting the challenges of GDPR, read more here
OpenRTB 3.0 will bring more transparency to the programmatic landscape.
OpenRTB 3.0 is said to be the largest overhaul of the OpenRTB protocol since its inception in 2010, and with its expected roll out in the first quarter of 2018, the industry should expect some changes from the IAB Tech Lab guidelines. Some major proposals are a new process of signed bid requests that will enable buyers to validate many of the fields in the bid request, a way for publishers to have more control over the creatives and user experience on their sites, and a standardizing method for the creative approval process for buyers and sellers. Read more here.
Blockchain technology will move further into the digital ad space.
The use of un-editable, decentralized, transparent ledgers in the RTB space could reduce fraud and shine a light onto the often-opaque supply chain. A blockchain-based exchange that uses tokens from publishers, users, and advertisers has already popped up. The digital advertising industry is ripe for the type of disruption blockchain technology can bring.