Publishers Revenue Optimization

Moving To Safer CTV Transactions With App-Ads.txt

September 15, 2021 3 min read
Moving To Safer CTV and OTT Transaction With App-Ads.txt


Moving To Safer CTV Transactions With App-Ads.txt

Reading Time: 3 minutes

With the accelerated adoption of CTV as an advertising platform, it has become imperative to tackle the challenges which provide a threat to safety and transparency in its nascent phase. Keeping in mind the healthy growth of CTV transactions, the IAB Tech Lab has released the specs for app-ads.txt in an effort towards reducing fraudulent activities. 

Fraudsters profit from a lack of transparency in the advertising supply chain. And since OTT already faces the opacity of server-side ad insertion, the relatively familiar implementation of app-ads.txt should be a quick win for everyone. With 59% of buyers increasing their investment in the channel, there are all more reasons to clean things up.

What is App-ads.txt?

Originally released in March 2019 by the IAB Tech Lab, their site refers to the spec as a new way to bring improved standards to the ad-funded streaming ecosystem. App-ads.txt is an extension of the original ads.txt standard and was released to combat counterfeit inventory selling across the connected TV ecosystem. Within CTV and OTT environments, greater complexity is introduced through the concept of inventory sharing.  App-ads.txt allows mobile and CTV application publishers to list the various vendors that are authorized to sell their ad inventory within applications. 

Why Is This Change Important For CTV?

The consumption of CTV/OTT is on a steep rise, which makes it critical to place anti-fraud and enhanced transparency measures at the forefront of programmatic transactions. Having control over who can represent your brand programmatically is important to drastically reduce the amount of impact of fraud schemes. Bad actors in the industry are taking market share away from legitimate media owners by fraudulently using their names and representing that name programmatically.

Scammers can impersonate legitimate publishers by forging apps and OTT inventory in order to steal their rightful revenue. With app-ads.txt, in-app and CTV advertisers can distinguish real publishers from fake ones so they get inventory through fair programmatic deals.

Why Should Publishers Adopt It for CTV transactions?

Now that you know what app-ads.txt means, let’s head over to understand why you should implement it as a publisher. According to a recent survey by Pixalate, 80% of the top 500 Roku apps and 62% of the top 500 Fire TV apps had app-ads.txt by the end of 2020. Publishers who care about their brand reputation should also turn their attention to the in-app ads.txt. The verification of authorized sellers is also vital for advertisers who can otherwise spend their money and receive no impressions. Such accidents will certainly negatively impact the relationships between the supply and demand sides. Adopting new standards, thus, would help to maintain trust and transparency.

App-ads.txt has standard support from Google , so the adoption of this standard will help publishers to stay valid for buyers and protect their incomes long-term. Therefore, the VDO.AI team recommends app developers and OTT publishers to support this initiative and create an app-ads.txt file as soon as possible.

How to streamline CTV Transactions with VDO.AI’s apps-ads.txt file?

For the integration, you can enter VDO.AI Dashboard and open the “Inventory” section- the requirements include Domain name, Publisher ID and account type, etc.

At VDO.AI we always do our best to be at the forefront of the innovations, and we believe that app-ads.txt adoption is crucial for every member of the industry. Registration of authorized sellers will increase media-trading transparency and make the programmatic ecosystem a better and safer place, which has always been the greatest mission for our company.

Palak is a Strategic Marketing Associate at VDO.AI. She is an AdTech enthusiast and an avid reader. In her spare time, you can find her creating spec ads for the brands she is fond of!