Xapads Blog blog

ADS.TXT – Authorized Digital Sellers

Authorized Digital Sellers (ads.txt) is an initiative started by IAB which aims at improving transparency in programmatic advertising by preventing unauthorized inventory sales. It helps the buyers to quickly identify who is a certified seller. Publishers have to create their own ads.txt files located on the root level of the web portal.

Why is it important?

Ads.txt is meant to clean the whole ecosystem and is beneficial both for Publishers and Advertisers.

For Publishers – With the help of ads.txt the publisher can authorize seller for their inventory, which will help in removing the fake inventory running by their brand name in the market. With the removal of counterfeit inventory, it will further help them get the better price and brand value of the inventory.

For advertisers- ads.txt by removing fake inventory aims for the advertiser to buy the exact inventory which he is paying for, and won’t be disguised by the fraud inventory. This will further result in better ROI and results against same or less amount spent.

What problem does it cater to?

Ads.txt aims to put off various types of counterfeit inventory across the system by improving the transparency in the supply chain. Whenever a brand/advertiser buys inventory from specific domains they rely on the fact that it was sold by an authorized publisher but the issue is validating traffic source, in spite many fraud detection tools this remain as one of the key issues that would be addressed through ads.txt.

When was it launched?

Ads.txt was officially launched on June 22, 2017, but, a new version ads.txt specification Version 1.0 was launched in spring 2017 with some add-ons.

How to implement ads.txt?

Implementation is very simple as Publisher just have to add one file at root level with public access to it. Alongside have to mention name or parties who can officially sell its inventory across other platforms.

Example: http://www.carzoom.in/ads.txt 

Then, Publisher can authorize seller in the following preset manner

Direct Seller – {Seller name}, {Publisher Id}, DIRECT
Reseller – {Seller name}, {Publisher Id}, RESELLER

How does it work?

Ads.txt makes it possible for the buyers to purchase inventory only from authorized sellers by creating a public record of them. The DSPs can deploy web crawlers to collect all the ads.txt files available. When a Demand side platform will receive a bid request they can check their ads.txt file and regulate their bidding.

How can buyers check who is authorized to sell using ads.txt?

If both the exchange and publisher adopt ads.txt then the bidders can check their tags to find the ads.txt file. And its presence proves the secure connection between the two. 

Programmatic Buying and Selling is already seen as future of Digital Advertisement industry, this move will be a remarkable step forward to bring in transparency for the whole Ecosystem. Xapads Media has always encouraged any step towards transparency and fraud detection, thus we welcome all publishers and advertisers to in-cooperate this change.