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IAB Tech Lab Launches Phase Two of OpenRTB 3.0 Public Comment, Releasing Tech Specifications & Kicking-Off Beta Tests


Also Releases ads.cert, AdCOM & Ad Management API Tech Specs for Use with OpenRTB

Testing to Be Conducted by Centro, Oath, Rakuten, Sharethrough, SpotX & The Trade Desk


NEW YORK, NY (July 24, 2018) –  The IAB Technology Laboratory today released for public comment tech specifications for OpenRTB 3.0, built upon the framework released last September, as the second step in its introduction to the ecosystem. New specifications designed to support OpenRTB are also being made available for public comment – ads.cert, AdCOM, and the Ad Management API – all designed to promote healthy growth of the digital advertising programmatic marketplace.

The combined use of the proposed OpenRTB 3.0 tech spec in conjunction with ads.cert, AdCOM, and the Ad Management API, will improve security and support new use cases in OpenRTB on both the buy and sell sides, ultimately facilitating a better consumer experience.

In addition to being made available for industry-wide comment, all of the specs will be beta tested by at least two buyers and two sellers to ensure rigorous assessment of their applications in real-world scenarios.

The three new specs to be used alongside OpenRTB introduce a range of benefits for SSPs, DSPs, exchanges, buyers, sellers, publishers, and advertisers:

  • ads.cert: proposal to cryptographically sign bid requests to indicate the authenticity of premium inventory (e.g. video) that is available through authorized sellers listed in ads.txt files
  • AdCOM (Advertising Common Object Model): a new, modular approach to describe the advertising objects to be transacted in OpenRTB or other transactional specifications
  • Ad Management API: streamlines creative approval process through standardization of API connections, which supports greater transparency to inform decisions about ad quality

Beyond the comment period, beta testing for ads.cert will be conducted by Sharethrough, SpotX, The Trade Desk, and Rakuten, while the Ad Management API will be tested by Sharethrough and Centro.  OpenRTB 3.0, in combination with the three supportive specs, will be tested by SpotX, Oath, and Rakuten. Testers will be looking for performance results and developing a path forward for future industry adoption.

“OpenRTB 3.0 represents a ground-up reworking of specifications central to the future of automated buying and selling,” said Dennis Buchheim, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. “We are confident that OpenRTB 3.0, ads.cert, AdCOM, and the Ad Management API will resolve security, extensibility, and usability concerns, and we look forward to the results of the comment period and beta testing, so that we can ensure the final specifications meet the needs of buyers and sellers.”

“The enhanced security and fraud reduction made possible by these new specs will make a difference in the confidence of buyers in programmatic ecosystems,” said Dr. Neal Richter, CTO, Rakuten Marketing. “Moreover, the combination of OpenRTB 3.0, ads.txt, ads.cert, and the GDPR specs enable a safe, secure inventory supply chain with clear user consent.”

“OpenRTB v3.0 and its built-for-reuse counterpart AdCOM v1.0 set a new standard for managing the growing complexity of our industry,” said Dr. Jim Butler, CTO of Global Supply Platforms, Oath. “Along with the launch of ads.cert and the Ad Management API, this interoperable platform of OpenMedia specifications will enable new levels of quality, security, and buying efficiency across programmatic supply chains.”

The specifications will have a 60-day public comment period, running through September 24, 2018. Beta testing by the IAB Tech Lab OpenRTB Working Group will be ongoing. Industry members are encouraged to actively participate throughout the beta period, and to get involved with the OpenRTB Working Group. The group will evaluate and incorporate the feedback received, as well as real world insights from beta testing, to produce final specs that will be ready for full industry adoption by the end of the year.

To review the proposed OpenRTB, ads.cert, AdCOM, and Ad Management API technical specs that are part of the IAB Tech Lab’s OpenMedia specification stack, please visit


About IAB Technology Laboratory

The IAB Technology Laboratory (Tech Lab) is a non-profit research and development consortium that produces and provides standards, software, and services to drive growth of an effective and sustainable global digital media ecosystem. Comprised of digital publishers and ad technology firms, as well as marketers, agencies, and other companies with interests in the interactive marketing arena, IAB Tech Lab aims to enable brand and media growth via a transparent, safe, effective supply chain, simpler and more consistent measurement, and better advertising experiences for consumers, with a focus on mobile and TV/digital video channel enablement. The IAB Tech Lab portfolio includes the DigiTrust real-time standardized identity service designed to improve the digital experience for consumers, publishers, advertisers, and third-party platforms. Board members include AppNexus, ExtremeReach, Google, GroupM, Hearst Digital Media, Integral Ad Science, Index Exchange, LinkedIn, MediaMath, Microsoft, Moat, Pandora, PubMatic, Quantcast, Telaria, The Trade Desk, and Yahoo! Japan. Established in 2014, the IAB Tech Lab is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco and representation in Seattle and London. Learn more about IAB Tech Lab here:

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg