An AppNexus Update on Ads.txt Implementation

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AppNexus has long upheld a core commitment to trust and transparency.

We took early and aggressive measures two and a half years ago to combat invalid traffic and inventory. We have been on the forefront of the fight against hate speech and fake news. We endorse radical price transparency and encourage our peers to do the same.

In furtherance of this commitment, we have been early promoters of ads.txt, an emerging IAB initiative that will make domain spoofing and unauthorized reselling difficult, and even rare, once a sufficient number of publishers and their ad tech partners have implemented it.

We are pleased to share a platform update for buyers using both our legacy DSP (Console), and our newly-launched DSP (AppNexus Programmable Platform, currently available on a limited basis in closed beta). Effective January 24, both DSPs will stringently enforce ads.txt. If a publisher adopts ads.txt, our DSP will disable buying from parties that are not directly identified through the publisher’s ads.txt files as authorized resellers. Our crawler updates on a daily basis to ensure that our default setting is current.

Please note that we are not providing an optional filter for buyers using either Console or APP. The new policy will automatically and irrevocably disable buying on unauthorized sellers.

Over the past six weeks, we have seen a 400 percent increase in publisher adoption of ads.txt on our platform. Today, roughly two-thirds of the top one thousand domains directly available on AppNexus’ marketplace have adopted it. We anticipate continued momentum and are confident that by late January we will be able to apply the new standard without disruption to buyers’ or sellers’ business.

To help the process along, we recently released a free Ads.txt validation tool to the public. This free resource will help digital publishers ensure that their ads.txt implementation is free of common errors we’ve seen publishers make.

For the programmatic ecosystem to function at peak efficiency, buyers and sellers should enjoy full confidence. By furthering the twin causes of trust and transparency, AppNexus is committed to strengthening that confidence.

Filed under AppNexus Updates, Industry Perspectives.

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