5 Reasons Why: DSPs need more than an ads.txt aggregator

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Authored by Jason Bickham, Vice President, The Media Trust

The Media Trust’s Ads.txt Manager for DSPs puts the muscle in managing ads.txt files.

Even as the digital ad ecosystem finds its footing in 2018, the winds of change are more of a gale than a gentle breeze. Perhaps, one of the most crucial and welcome change that is underway, is the industry-wide push for trust and transparency. The IAB Tech Lab’s Ads.txt initiative does its part by addressing one element of fraud: inventory fraud or the use of spoofed domains to mask illegitimate or counterfeit inventory. As a simple file publishers post to their domain containing a list of their inventory’s authorized direct sellers and resellers, the ads.txt initiative enjoys unprecedented adoption rate among digital publishers.

Adoption by publishers is a good start but only half of the solution. What about their upstream partners who now need to leverage this information, especially DSPs?

We quizzed some DSPs over the past few weeks and learned that while many have built their own crawlers, they are also looking for more color in open source feeds – hoping to derive benefits beyond the fodder collected by their in-house solution. There is key truth here that is hard to ignore: an ads.txt aggregator just isn’t going to cut it when it comes to managing ads.txt files and reconciling payment issues with SSPs.

That’s why The Media Trust took file aggregation a step further and created an Ads.txt Manager for DSPs. This centralized tool supports three mission-critical tasks for prime business impact by helping DSPs:

  • validate digital advertising inventory
  • swiftly reconcile payment issues
  • build trusted relationships with downstream partners and publishers

But, don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what Ari Paparo, CEO of Beeswax, a leading provider of bidder-as-a-service programmatic solutions has to say about the Media Trust’s Ads.txt Manager: "Ads.txt can be confusing, but with The Media Trust’s tool you can quickly see a clean version of a publisher’s most up-to-date ads.txt file."

Why go beyond a simple ads.txt file aggregators that are mushrooming across the industry? Here are five top reasons why you should adopt our Ads.txt Manager for DSPs:

You do you
DSPs need to focus on what they do best – securing the best ad placements possible for their clients! True, while checking ads.txt files definitely helps in vetting and validating advertising inventory, these files change more often than you think. Managing the growing number of ads.txt files shifts focus away from DSPs’ core competencies.

1. What about file accuracy?
The issue of accuracy when it comes to ads.txt files is critical – to fight inventory fraud you need up-to-date file versions. Our solution to the question of accuracy is simple – inaccuracies may come in but they don’t have to go out. Formatting errors and invalid content are stripped from any usable content so DSPs can make the most of what's available without wasting time handling inadequate files.

2. Retroactive lookup and change notifications
In addition to providing access to near real-time versions, Ads.txt Manager archives every captured version of a publisher’s ads.txt file and notifies on file content changes - critical information for billing reconciliation. The tool’s query parameters include domain, key, action, “as-of” date and the DSP’s specified format for easy lookup.

3. A quick check should be quick
Verification of an ads.txt file should be quick and simple. While DSPs are welcome to open several browser tabs/ windows to manually access open source feeds or spend resources building their own tools and troubleshooting as required, The Media Trust offers a centralized platform to access the internet’s continuously updated database of accurate ads.txt files in an easy-to-parse format.

4. Trust and transparency isn’t a one-way stream
We believe that the ads.txt initiative is a step in the right direction, but DSPs need to know more than just surface-level insights about the SSPs listed in these files. Keeping this in mind, Ads.txt Manager provides access to our growing digital vendor network, a group of 200+ entities dedicated to creating a better, more robust digital ecosystem.

For these five crucial reasons we decided to go further than building an ads.txt file aggregator and create a more actionable tool for DSPs. And, more is coming. So watch this space for more updates, but in the meantime,register to use our Ads.txt Manager (FREE until June 30, 2018) if you haven’t already!