IAB Tech Lab Unveils 2022 Product Road Map and Announces Industry Working Groups Focused on Building a Stronger Digital Ecosystem

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IAB Tech Lab CEO Anthony Katsur Lays Out Long-Term Priorities for Global Trade Body and Calls on the Industry to Help Build Solutions for Consumer Privacy, Addressability, Mitigating Fraud, and Supporting Growth of Connected TV

IAB Tech Lab, the global digital advertising technical standard-setting body, unveiled its key priorities and road map for the organization in 2022. They include:

  • Creating technical standards, frameworks, and open-source initiatives across a portfolio of addressability solutions, balanced against consumer privacy needs and ethical data sourcing and usage
  • Developing the technical standards needed to accelerate the ongoing growth of Connected TV (CTV) supporting the upfront and consistent audience measurement
  • Advancing technical standards to combat ad fraud, supply chain transparency, and security

“The world has changed in the last 24 months, and so has the digital advertising ecosystem. To maintain a vibrant and open internet, we must work together to address our most pressing challenges,” said Anthony Katsur, CEO, IAB Tech Lab, who was appointed to the role in August of 2021.

Katsur continued, “During the last six months, I have met with Tech Lab members around the globe, and three key themes have emerged. One, the need to solve for addressability balanced against consumer privacy. With less than one year until third-party cookies fully sunset, the time to act is now. Two, creating technical standards around CTV, which is the industry’s growth engine. Technical standards will ease the friction involved in transitioning traditional linear TV budgets into the CTV ecosystem. Third, and certainly not least, our fight against fraud must evolve to encompass CTV and other forms of ad fraud. If we do not remain vigilant, the stage will remain set for bad actors to engage in fraudulent activities.”

Addressability Solutions Portfolio, Consumer Privacy Frameworks, and Technologies

With the launch of Project Rearc in 2020, Tech Lab has made significant headway in helping the industry navigate seismic shifts in privacy and addressability. In 2021, the organization created a framework for thinking about a portfolio approach to privacy and addressability; and 2022 will be evaluating various solutions, including Trusted Servers, Tokenization Frameworks, and Privacy Enhancing Technologies. The expected 2022 deliverables include the launch of the Global Privacy Platform in early 2022, the Accountability Platform, which is designed to ensure consumer consent and privacy is enforced, finalizing seller-defined audience specifications, and an ongoing evaluation of other consumer privacy and addressability initiatives.

The changes looming in the addressability landscape are threatening some of the most crucial and unique functionalities of the digital advertising industry, Tech Lab’s investment in this area is key to protecting the future and sustainability of a free and open internet.

Supporting the Growth of Connected TV (CTV)

Connected TV (CTV) has firmly established itself as a critical component of the digital media landscape and will continue to grow over the next decade. Tech Lab recently reaffirmed its commitment to CTV with the OpenRTB 2.6 release, filled with CTV enhancements. We intend to double down on our CTV investment in 2022, starting with the launch of the OM SDK initiative across the CTV ecosystem in the first half of 2022. We are also planning investment in OpenRTB to support the longstanding “upfronts” construct in television buying. Finally, we are researching technical standards to support audience interoperability across the CTV landscape.

CTV offers an enormous opportunity for growth and increased spend into our industry, the work that Tech Lab is doing is pivotal to ensuring we capitalize on this opportunity by making the transition of spend as seamless as possible.

Also Read: Samba TV and PubMatic Launch Australia Partnership to Deliver Programmatic Omniscreen TV Audience Targeting

Ad Fraud, Supply Chain Transparency, and Security

In September 2021, Tech Lab launched the final specifications for ads.cert 2.0, introducing a barrier to combating fraud in CTV environments to increase buyer confidence in the validity of CTV inventory. Tech Lab will expand support for ads.cert authentication use cases in all programmatic transactions across all channels.

In 2022, Tech Lab is investing in research on IVT and other forms of fraud to support the development of new protocols to secure our supply chains. This initiative is pivotal to the adoption, application, and success of industry standards. In support of it, the Transparency Center will receive additional investment, and Tech Lab will expand and evolve the data available to the ecosystem.

Tech Lab will also add metadata to the Transparency Center with mobile and CTV app-ads.txt aggregation, buy-side transparency aggregation, and standards adoption data; they also plan to improve sell-side transparency standards with new versions of ads.txt and sellers.json in the first half of 2022.

Programmatic Guides and Work Groups

Standards and tools are essential, but not without the awareness and adoption. Therefore in 2022 Tech Lab will continue with the roll out of a series of Programmatic Guides that explain what our standards are and how they should be used together to deliver market essentials such as seamless experiences in CTV, combating ad fraud, securing brand safety, and more.

“The IAB Tech Lab has made great strides in the past 12 months increasing transparency, creating frameworks for privacy and outlining solutions for addressability but there is more to be done,” said Neal Richter, Chairperson, IAB Tech Lab Board. “Anthony and his team are hard at work establishing standards to ensure the industry can grow sustainably. We encourage players in the space to grab a seat at the table and participate in the many working groups that are committed to building a stronger digital ecosystem.”

Also Read: Demandbase Offers New ABX Certification, Equipping Marketing Teams to Take their Account-Based Success to the Next Level

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