RTB 2.5

RTB 2.5 – new features that affect video advertising

With the release of the IAB spec for RTB 2.5, there are some interesting new ideas around how to describe video adverts. Here's a few of the changes...

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The IAB has released the new RTB 2.5 spec and there are some interesting new changes around video advertising. Here are a few of the changes…

1 video.placement

This allows publishers and SSPs to describe the type of placement that an ad is being requested for. We’ve all seen 300×250 ad placements come through and we all know they’re in banner requests. Now we have a way of explicitly saying that.

2 Data Encoding

You can now specify a data encoding header that should be handled by the bidder. A good example of this would be specifying gzip encoding of the bid request. This simply compresses the traffic over the wire from exchange to bidder and back, saving on bandwidth and ultimately, money.

3 Bid Changes

There are a few changes to the bid object. A bidder now has the ability to provide a Billing Notice URL (burl) and a Loss Notice URL (lurl).

For Coull, this added layer of transparency is something we’ve been passing to bidders already, albeit relying on our own tech to make that possible. It’s an important inclusion as brands and agencies are demanding more clarity about what they’re bidding on and the results. We optimise the process by allowing the bidder to see if they’ve won or lost and what the winning price was.

The addition of these two features introduces a subtle but important change to the data a DSP can get from an auction. The win notification can now be thought of as just that.

The burl is a great addition, it’s a stage further on from the current win notification. The burl will provide a more accurate way of tracking spend based on delivered impressions, it tells you that the impression cost $x.  Splitting these 2 things up enables DSPs to track things like failed impressions and possibly partners that may have issues with their player.

The loss notification adds another dimension to this information. It enables the DSP to immediately know that the spend that they had assigned to the auction is now free – there will be no impression. Coull has been offering loss notifications since the introduction of its Exchange and we’re pleased to see this finally make it into the RTB specification.

4 Source

The new Source object lets the exchange pass on some data about whether or not there will be a decision made from the exchange. Header Bidding is the obvious example here. But more and more Ad Managers are holding client-side auctions to increase the amount of demand an opportunity sees. It’s now normal to see sideways connections from exchange to exchange, again to increase the amount of demand available in an efficient way.


RTB 2.5 onwards…

There are some more changes, little and big, to the spec but I’ll leave it there for now. The above represents what we believe to be the most interesting ideas in the new spec. It’s great to see some positive changes have been made in the is the RTB 2.5 update. We’ll look for yet more improvements in version 2.6.


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Posted by simonholliday