IAB Tech Lab Releases OpenRTB 2.6 For Public Comment

OpenRTB 2.6 Provides Incremental Improvements to Support Pod Bidding for Connected TV 

IAB Tech Lab has released OpenRTB 2.6 – the communication protocol that enables real-time buying and selling of digital ad inventory for public comment until February 7, 2022. 

Among several new features in OpenRTB 2.6 is that it enables seamless buying of Connected TV (CTV) inventory by introducing structured, dynamic, and hybrid ad pods. 

Why is ad pod bidding important?

An ad pod is shared as a single request but to maximize revenue, publishers are able to set individual floor prices for each slot within a pod. Because slots within a pod may have varying value, the flexibility to do this is critical. Per pod bidding also offers greater cost-savings for SSPs and DSPs, because multiple slots can come through in a single request. 

By seeing the whole pod, marketers gain more marketplace transparency and also get a chance to bid on more than one slot per pod. As a result, per-pod bidding means better monetization opportunities for publishers and greater bidding efficiency for marketers.

Ad pods simultaneously bring structure and flexibility to ad breaks within CTV content, enabling advertisers to place multiple ad requests in one bid request. Structured pods have a fixed number of ads, all with specified lengths, whereas dynamic pods have a fixed duration for the ad break; however, there is flexibility in the number of ad slots and their length. Hybrid pods combine features of both structured and dynamic pods. The addition of ad pods in CTV brings ad buying in line with the way traditional TV advertising is bought and sold, with the added benefit of flexibility enabled by digital real-time ad bidding. 

The improved flexibility offered by ad pods allows media companies to better monetize their CTV commercial breaks by providing a more comprehensive range of monetizable CTV inventory to which advertisers are accustomed in traditional TV. This will drive higher fill rates within each pod. 

“This is great news as we continue to see rapid growth in programmatic CTV transactions. Developing a solution for podded requests sets us up for sustainable growth as we transition from traditional to automated buying” said Sonia Carreno, President of IAB Canada. 

The additional benefits of OpenRTB 2.6 for programmatic buying are: 

  • The enablement of faster and more frequent changes in lists and enumerations included in OpenRTB through the use of AdCOM. Earlier versions of OpenRTB required a full upgrade of version to facilitate changes, the use of AdCOM means that lists can be updated and implemented independently 
  • Improved support for contextual buying and selling by making it easier to signal the various taxonomies from IAB Tech Lab in the bid request 
  • Introduction of Network and Channel objects to support CTV inventory description 

To review the proposed standard and provide feedback, please go to: https://iabtechlab.com/standards/openrtb/

IAB Canada will be circulating the document within the programmatic, video and ad tech working groups and as always, encourage feedback and discussion during the 60-day commentary period.