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Last updated: July 8, 2024

About OpenDirect

IAB released the final version of OpenDirect 1.0 in January 2015. Originally developed by a working group of representatives from AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yieldex, and later expanded to include executives from Bionic Advertising Systems and MediaMath as well, the OpenDirect specification was brought to IAB and its Digital Advertising Automation Task Force to be part of the trade association’s existing automation efforts, to gain wider industry participation, and to drive adoption across the ecosystem.

Automated Guaranteed is the method of buying which automates the digital direct sale. The deal is negotiated directly between buyer and seller (in-person or via a platform), the inventory and pricing are guaranteed, and the campaign runs at the same priority as other direct deals in the ad server. The RFP (Request for Proposal) and campaign trafficking process are completely automated within the technology platform. OpenDirect is the API specification which supports this process.

OpenDirect 1.0 was the first open specification that supports Automated Guaranteed to be released into the market. The specification offers a range of benefits to both agencies and publishers alike including:

Publisher benefits:

  • Increased workflow efficiencies
  • Greater control in packaging, pricing, and delivery of inventory
  • Reliable means of automating reserved inventory

Agency benefits:

  • Liquidity of bigger pools of unique users
  • Increased efficiency via one API integration across multiple publishers
  • Book guaranteed delivery and access to media offerings not available on an exchange

Overview of OpenDirect 2.0

Developed by members of the OpenDirect Working Group, OpenDirect 2.0 allows for improved order management.

The updates made in OpenDirect 2.0 and the challenges they address are:

  • Price negotiation between publishers and buyers
  • Discovery of new deal opportunities
  • Expanded media channels (using AdCOM for video and OOH media support)
  • Improved order management across platforms

Version History

VersionRelease Date
Coming soonComing Soon
OpenRTB v2.6-202303
Features include:

  • Object: Refresh The minimum exposure time, in seconds per view, that the (uninterrupted) ad creative will be rendered before refreshing to the next creative.

  • Object: RefSettings Information on how often and what triggers an ad slot being refreshed.

  • ${AUCTION_IMP_TS} in Substitution Macros to signal the timestamp when an impression was fulfilled (e.g. when the ad is displayed) for use by platforms that cannot fire a notification as soon as an impression takes place.

  • New plcmt attribute in Object:Video to support updated values for digital video definitions

  • Deprecation of placement attribute

  • Added implementation guide (.gif examples with definitions
    and Example code for publisher to signal both legacy definitions and updated definitions)

April 2023

Supporting Resources