The IAB Technology Laboratory has released new guidelines for advertising on over-the-top (OTT) platforms, providing, it said, a technical framework for improving consumers’ video ad experiences across smart TVs, connected devices and other systems.
Available for public comment from 3 May 2018, the technical guidelines are designed to give instructions on best practices for delivering targeted ads, as well as controlling ad frequency and rotation, with recommendations the IAB believes will ensure high-quality advertising experience within OTT environments.
The guidelines also feature specific advice and intelligence for consumer electronics manufacturers, OTT app publishers, and ad/measurement platforms to address the needs of each of these stakeholder groups.
In order to be compliant with these guidelines, devices and apps must store and send the following parameters as part of any ad request: an identifier for advertising (IFA) – required, unless the user has opted in to limit ad tracking; an associated IFA type – identifying the source of the IFA, whether device-generated, publisher-provided, or temporary; limit ad tracking (LAT) – an opt-out mechanism to respect the user’s privacy choices.
“After linear TV, more Americans watch video content on OTT than on VOD or DVR, and the medium is skyrocketing,” said Dennis Buchheim, senior vice president and general manager, IAB Tech Lab. “The traditional semi-persistent cookie we are accustomed to using as an identifier on browsers isn’t at play across OTT systems, so we need to deploy other types of identifiers to ensure that ad experiences are optimal for consumers. These guidelines will direct stakeholders down the path of best practices to allow OTT to grow and evolve as a significant advertising platform.”
“Between smart TVs, connected devices, and other OTT systems out in the marketplace — all with varied approaches to identification — we’re looking at a ‘Tower of Babel’ challenge,” added J Allen Dove, CTO of ad technology firm SpotX, which is a member of the IAB Tech Lab OTT Technical Working Group. “The new IAB Tech Lab guidelines solve these challenges and improve overall user experience. We are hoping that others in the industry also contribute their input to make these recommendations even more effective.”
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