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From AI Coder blog: Open RTB panel at the IAB Ad Ops Summit 2011

Cross-posted from the AICoder blog, written by Neal Richter, the Rubicon Project’s vice president and Chief Scientist.

Monday November 7th I was on an IAB Ops panel on OpenRTB.

The clip shows an exchange that followed a question from Steve Sullivan of the IAB about how webpage inventory is described in RTB. I described an example of differentiating a simple commodity, barley.

Two of the major uses of barley in the US are animal feed and malting for making beer. Malting barley has specific requirements in terms of moisture content, protein percentage and other factors. Farmers don’t always know what quality their crop will finish at. They count on having two general markets, if the tested quality meets malting standards then the premium over feed prices can be healthy. A 2011 report noted that malting barley provided a 70% premium over feedstock barley. Growing specific varieties and/or using organic farming methods can provide additional premiums over generic feed barley. The curious can follow the links below.

How does this relate to publishers and advertising and OpenRTB? In my opinion we need several things standardized:

  1. Inventory registration and description API. Allows publishers influence on how their inventory is exposed in various demand-side and trading-desk platforms. Publishers should fully describe their inventory in a common format. Buy-side GUIs and algorithms will benefit from increased annotation and categorization. This can also harmonize the brand-safety ratings that are not connected between the sell and buy sides.
  2. Standardization of the emerging ‘Private Marketplace’ models in RTB. A set of best practices and trading procedures for PM needs to be defined such that the market can grow properly.
While the main bid request/response API of OpenRTB has been criticized as being ‘too late’ given the large implementations in production, it is not too late to define standards for the above. These things will help the buy-side better differentiate quality inventory.